Which Countertop is Right for Me?

Which Countertop is Right for Me?

Which Countertop is Right for Me?

So you have decided to purchase new countertops, but in today’s market the choices are nearly limitless! How do you know what type of countertop is the best option for you and your family? Continue reading to discover pros and cons to the popular countertop options of Cambria Quartz, Marble, Corian and Butcher Block.

quartz

Cambria Quartz

Let’s first take a look at Cambria Quartz which is an engineered countertop. Quartz countertops are fairly new and have a tremendous following because the advantages are numerous. Let’s take a closer look.

Strengths

  • To start out with, Cambria Quartz comes in a wider range of colors compared to natural stones due to its manufacturing process.
  • The final appearance of Cambria Quartz is rich and luxurious with a depth that cannot be produced with solid surface materials like Corian.
  • Cambria Quartz has the same durability you will find with concrete and granite, but it’s so much more forgiving and won’t chip or crack easily.
  • Some people find the hardness of a countertop to be unpleasant, but with Cambria Quartz you will be amazed that it doesn’t feel the same way!
  • A Cambria Quartz countertop is non-porous and resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and many other sources of kitchen stains.
  • Its non-porous surface does not harbor bacteria or viruses like porous surfaces. You will always know that your kitchen and bathroom are clean!

Weaknesses

  • Cambria Quartz will run approximately $115-$200 per square foot. Don’t let this alarm you because these prices are competitive with that of other high-end countertop materials like granite, marble, concrete and slate.
  • Cambria Quartz will give you a contemporary look, which isn’t necessarily a con because beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But, some homeowners simply prefer the natural look of granite, marble, slate or wood.
  • Cambria Quartz will sometimes give a noticeable seam similar to those of granite countertops.
  • A Cambria Quartz countertop is not heat resistant like granite, crushed glass or concrete. You will have to be cautious with hot pots and pans in the kitchen or hot hair tools you find in the bathroom.

 

marble

Marble

Marble is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that starts out as dolomite or limestone. Once it has been subjected to extreme heat and pressure, it becomes a beautiful stone. Marble is a striking option and is considered to be the Cadillac of countertops. So what are the pros and cons to Marble countertops? Continue reading to find out!

Strengths

  • Marble is softer to work with over other commonly used stone slabs and can be fashioned into unusual shapes and given fancy edges.
  • When compared to granite, Marble is so much easier to work with because damage is less likely to happen when cutting the stone.
  • When choosing a white countertop, you will not find a brighter one than in Marble!
  • Marble is not a big heat conductor and stays naturally cool. This is great if you are a baker!
  • Marble is widely available and results in less wait time in having the perfect stone delivered for your countertops.

Weaknesses

  • Marble is heat resistant, but you should never place a hot pan directly on the surface like you can on quartz and granite.
  • Marble is a durable, but porous surface and doesn’t take a lot of bumps and bruises which can result in stains and scratches. A seal can help stop staining, but doesn’t help much with scratches.
  • Maintenance is necessary to keep your Marble countertops looking nice. You can expect to apply a sealant yearly to help prevent stains. If you cook a lot, you will have to keep a close eye on the surface and apply the sealant when necessary.
  • One a stain sets in, you can consider the stain as part of your Marble countertop.
  • Marble tiles are easily fixed by a technician. However, Marble slabs are more difficult to fix.

 

corian

 

Corian

Corian countertops were invented and are produced by DuPont. This is a high end countertop surface that is made from acrylic or plastic to produce a solid surface. There are advantages and disadvantages with Corian countertops. Let’s take a closer look.

Strengths

  • Your Corian countertop, backsplash and sink can have the appearance of one solid surface and prevents grime and dirt from getting between the cracks of the different surfaces.
  • Corian is easy to clean and not affected by common household cleaners!
  • Non-porous surface of Corian is resistant to stains.
  • When properly cleaned, the Corian surface is resistant to mold, mildew and bacteria.
  • Minor scratches can be buffed out of Corian using a special cleaning pad.
  • Corian comes in a variety of colors and patterns and cost approximately $50-$75 per square foot.

Weaknesses

  • Corian countertops are not heat resistant and can scorch easily.
  • Over time, Corian countertops require more frequent cleaning to help maintain their finish and color. The finish will most likely change even when properly cared for, but can be restored by the owner.
  • Due to Corian’s synthetic nature, some people feel the quality and appeal of its surface do not compare to that of natural surfaces.

 

butcherblock

Butcher Block

A Butcher Block countertop option is a popular choice among homeowners. Once of the fantastic features of this element is that it can be used on all of your countertops or simply as an accent. Some homeowners opt to install a work island with a Butcher Block top. Another option, if you don’t want all of the countertops to be Butcher Block, is to choose a section to surface in this manner. The natural beauty of the wood will enhance the appearance of your kitchen or bath and blend seamlessly with other countertop possibilities. The options are endless!

Strengths

  • Butcher Block countertops offer a wide variety to choose from. Often, the wood types used are maple, cherry, oak, birch and teak.
  • Wood counters blend with so many different styles including traditional, country, French country, Mediterranean, Old World, modern, contemporary, transitional and eclectic.
  • Butcher Block countertops are warm to the touch, unlike its stone counterparts.
  • Wood countertops are often produced from reclaimed wood and can be recycled.
  • Butcher Block countertops are easy on your knives and will allow the edges to last longer, although your knives may not be so easy on it!

Weaknesses

  • The wood surface of Butcher Block countertops must be sealed correctly. Otherwise, its naturally porous surface can collect germs.
  • The surface must be constantly treated with mineral oil or other protectant in order for water damage not to occur.
  • Over time, your Butcher Block counters will show some wear and tear. The entire surface can be sanded and refinished. You can expect to complete this process every 10-20 years.
  • Wood is a softer material and can be more easily damaged compared to tile and stone surfaces.

Let’s face it… There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to countertop options. It all depends on the look you want to achieve, how much money you want to spend and how much work you are willing to invest in the upkeep of your countertops. So, have fun and let the shopping begin!

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