New countertops impact your space in a big way! Updated countertops refresh your kitchen and bathrooms without having to completely remodel your home. In addition, counters come in a variety of materials, including laminate, granite, quartz, concrete, stainless steel and laminate.
Quartz and Granite
Granite and quartz are the two most popular countertop materials we sell at Graham’s Flooring & Design:
- Quartz is an engineered stone that uses a blend of stone chips, resins and pigments. It’s perfect for areas that get a lot of use and comes in a variety of colors and styles. Want to use it with an under-mount sink? No problem! Quartz is stain resistant, and doesn’t need to be sealed to protect against stains—it’s even waterproof!
- You should be aware though—some patterns can look unnaturally uniform, and edges and corners can chip. Thankfully, pros can fix them, but rounded edges also help.
- Granite is a natural material and remains a very popular choice for countertops. It stands up well in heavy traffic areas and can even be used for under-mount sinks.
- Like quartz, granite can also chip, but can be repaired by a professional. You’ll also need to seal granite periodically for stain protection.
In addition, there are plenty of other counter options including concrete, butcher block, soapstone, stainless steel and laminate.
Concrete counters offer an indestructible, industrial option. Keep in mind that it takes up to 28 days to completely dry so it’s not a quick process. Unfortunately, cracks can appear if the house settles or appear for no reason, but can be repaired.
Butcher block is an affordable option. It’s made from pieces of wood bonded together to form a larger wooden slab. Butcher blocks can use a variety of woods—cherry, walnut, oak, maple, teak and even sustainable options, such as bamboo. Butcher block comes sealed or unsealed. If it’s unsealed, you’ll need to oil it twice a year. Be careful with unattended stains—a red wine stain can quickly become an eyesore.
Soapstone is a natural stone with a high percentage of naturally occurring talc. This gives the surface a soap-like or soft feeling, which is why it’s called soapstone. Soapstone counters require minimal maintenance and are entirely non-porous, so it’s resistant to stains, bacteria and heat. Similarly, it also has a unique look to it and is available in a variety of gray shades with blue or green undertones. Soapstone includes varying natural, marble-like veining in each stone.
Stainless steel gives your kitchen an industrial look, and this type of counter is easy to clean and maintain. However, the longer you leave a spill on stainless steel, the more challenging it is to clean. Much like stainless appliances, stainless counters show fingerprints and water spots.
Laminate counters are affordable, durable, non-porous and easy to maintain and clean. Counters come in a variety of colors and styles. Unfortunately, heat can easily damage laminate and shows scratches, so it’s important to be careful.
Graham’s Flooring & Design offers a stock program that lets you buy only what you need. Curious about updating your countertops? Call us—we can answer questions and virtually show you countertop options.