How to Choose Kitchen Countertops for Your Family
With so many kitchen countertop options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which material is best suited for your family. We’ve broken done the most popular stone countertop options based on lifestyle. While every family has unique needs and goals for their kitchen, natural stone countertops offer an excellent variety of colors and patterns, price points, and levels of quality. There are certainly stone countertop options to fit any budget or lifestyle.
For Busy Families with Young Children.
If you’re looking for a durable, low maintenance kitchen countertop that can withstand lots of abuse, your two best bets are granite and quartz.
This natural stone is one of the most durable options available. It’s virtually scratch proof, and it is a very hard material that isn’t likely to chip or crack. Granite provides excellent heat resistance, and as long as it’s properly sealed, it’s not likely to stain or fade. Some granite does require a sealer to protect the stone from spills, so grainte can require a little more maintenance than quartz. Typically a sealer and a polish are applied once per year. It is important clean up spill on granite soon after they occur, because the stone is porous and some acid foods and chemicals can cause discolorations. Granite has been one of the most popular stone countertops on the market for many years, and it’s likely to stay on that list for many years to come.
Quartz is very similar in price to granite. Because it is engineered from quartz aggregate, it’s even stronger that most granite, though not quite as scratch proof. Quartz typically has a more subtle pattern, and a sleek modern look, which some people prefer. Because it is non-porous, it doesn’t require any sealing and it’s more forgiving with food spills. Other than basic cleaning, quartz countertops are maintenance-free.
For Families who Prefer Luxury.
If aesthetics and luxury are your top priority, you might be in the market for marble, soapstone or (again) granite. These options take price out of the equation, and assume you’re not going to be terribly rough on the countertop. These countertops choices are strictly about design and luxury, rather than just utility.
We’ve established that granite is a versatile and durable stone, and while it is normally less expensive than more exotic and high-end stones like marble, some granite slabs are more rare and unique, and subsequently more sought after. This can drive up the cost. You may also want to explore more unique edge profiles, cutouts and sink installations that can raise the total cost. So while granite is typically very cost effective, there are more luxurious options available for families looking for a unique style.
Known for its elegance and striking beauty, marble is used quite often in high-end home design. It is not typically suggested for busy kitchens, especially for large families or families with children who could damage the stone. Marble can chip easily if heavy items impact the edges, the surface is prone to scratches, and spills and food debris can cause stains and etching. However with proper care and minimal maintenance, marble offers a high-end look and classic design style that can’t be matched.
If you want a truly unique look, soapstone is an excellent choice to make your kitchen stand out. This stone offers a modern aesthetic, but organic feel. A smooth matte finish and dark neutral tones make it versatile option for a number of kitchen design styles. Because it is not used as often as other stones, it instantly attracts attention. A softer stone, soapstone does scratch easily, but can be repaired by the homeowner. No sealing is required, but an occasional oil application will help keep a consistent color while minimizing the visibility of scratches.
Families who want the maintenance free countertops.
If are looking for a low maintenance stone countertop, quartz is probably the best choice. Because of the way it is engineered, it doesn’t require sealing like Granite. Quartz is extremely durable and and scratch resistance, though it is more likely to scratch than granite (you cannot cut directly on the surface of quartz). The heat tolerance is very good, though you should not leave extremely hot pots or pans directly on the surface. Quartz is easy to clean, and is very forgiving when it comes to stains and etching.
Natural stone countertops are a top choice for kitchens because of their durability, resale value and design versatility. If you’re researching the best countertop for your family, you’ll certainly find several suitable stone options to fit your budget and lifestyle. Check out our gallery of kitchen countertops to learn more. If you have any questions about our stone products, call us at: 316-946-0530