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Your Ultimate Guide to Countertop Materials!

Granite

  • Price: Ranges from affordable to premium.
  • Durability: Relatively resistant to heat and scratches, and robust against most household chemicals. Extremely long-lasting but susceptible to chipping, though it can be repaired.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Cleaning is straightforward; requires periodic sealing, which is an easy task.
  • Construction: Natural stone, formed over long periods of time, ensuring that no two slabs are identical – each one is as unique as a snowflake.
  • Heat Resistance: Capable of withstanding hot pans, but it’s recommended to use a trivet to avoid testing its limits.
  • Scratch and Chip Resistance: Generally resistant to scratching, though not impervious. Prone to chipping.
  • Variety: Offers a wide range of colors and styles, catering to diverse tastes and design preferences.

Quartz

  • Price: Mid-range, offering value without extreme costs.
  • Durability: Relatively resistant to scratches, but vulnerable to scorching and discoloration from hot pans. Generally resilient against household chemicals and has a long lifespan. Chipping is possible, but repairable.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Effortless cleaning and generally no sealing required, providing a maintenance-free experience.
  • Construction: Engineered stone, with each slab made from a consistent blend of natural quartz and resin, lacking the uniqueness of natural stone.
  • Heat Resistance: Advised against placing hot pans directly on the surface to prevent discoloration.
  • Scratch and Chip Resistance: While resistant to most scratching, it can still be scratched and is susceptible to chipping.
  • Variety: Offers an extensive variety of colors and styles, making it adaptable to a wide array of design preferences.

Quartzite

  • Price: Moderately high, with potential to be quite expensive.
  • Durability: Offers excellent resistance to heat and scratches, handles household chemicals well, and is long-lasting. However, it is prone to chipping, and certain colors might etch, though these issues are generally repairable.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Easy to clean and requires periodic sealing, a straightforward maintenance task.
  • Construction: A natural stone, each slab is unique and formed over many years, offering a distinct look.
  • Heat Resistance: Can handle hot pans, but using a trivet is advised to avoid risk.
  • Scratch and Chip Resistance: Generally resistant to scratches, but not immune to them. It is also susceptible to chipping.
  • Design Options: Provides a vast range of colors and styles, suitable for various design preferences.

Marble

  • Price: Premium and can get super expensive.
  • Durability: Relatively heat resistant. Scratches very easily/ Household products will etch/stain marble quickly and easily. It will chip very easily. This is a material that “wears”.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Not easy to clean. Requires sealing regularly.
  • Construction: Natural Stone. Made by the earth over many years. No slab is the same. Unique.
  • Hot Pan: Can handle hot pans. Should not be tested. You should always put down a trivet
  • Will It Scratch or Chip: Scratches and chips easily. It is part of owning a marble countertop/ It will chip.
  • Broad Color/Style Range: Not really. It all looks like marble. Can get warm tones and cool tones.

Soapstone

  • Price: Not cheap and can get expensive.
  • Durability: Scratches very easily. Highly heat resistant. Fine with most household chemicals. Is considered a “soft natural surface. Repairable
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Relatively easy to clean. Does require oiling regularly. Can remove scratches with effort.
  • Construction: Natural Stone. Made by the earth over many years. No slab is the same. Unique.
  • Hot Pan: Very heat resistant. Set your pans on it no problem.
  • Will It Scratch or Chip: Scratches and chips easily.
  • Broad Color/Style Range: Generally going to be a darker color.

Porcelain

  • Price: Not cheap but does not get crazy high.
  • Durability: Highly heat and scratch-resistant. Fine with most household chemicals. Will last forever. It will chip badly, like porcelain tile.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Very easy to clean. No sealing is required. Zero maintenance.
  • Construction: Man-made. Is made from multiple materials. Not unique
  • Hot Pan: can handle hot pans. Nobody should test this, and you should always put down a trivet.
  • Will It Scratch or Chip: Chips easily. Does not scratch easily.
  • Broad Color/Style Range: Not a very broad offering at this point.

Butcher Block

  • Price: Not cheap but does not get crazy high.
  • Durability: Scratches easily. Will burn. Will not last forever.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Requires high effort to maintain and clean monthly resealing.
  • Construction: Pieces of wood glued together.
  • Hot Pan: NO
  • Will It Scratch or Chip: Scratches very easily. Generally will not chip but it will get gouges.
  • Broad Color/Style Range: This can generally be found in most wood tones.

Laminate

  • Price: Can be cheap, can get pricier in steel laminates
  • Durability: Scratches easily. Will burn. Will not last forever. Water can cause issues with glue
  • Cleaning and Maintaining: Cleans easily and does not require sealing
  • Construction: Plastic adhered to particle board.
  • Hot Pan: NO
  • Will It Scratch or Chip: Scratches and Chips easily.
  • Broad Color/Style Range: Every color, pattern, metal, etc… under the sun.

Defining the Waterfall Edge

  • In the realm of countertop aesthetics, the waterfall edge stands out as a design marvel. This feature takes your countertop on a graceful journey, making a dramatic 90-degree descent down the sides of cabinets, kitchen islands, or seating areas. Instead of concluding with a conventional edge, the countertop material continues vertically, forming a flowing, uninterrupted surface that mirrors the side of the structure it adorns.
  • Named for its striking similarity to a waterfall’s natural grace, this design element sees the countertop material cascade over the edge in a smooth, continuous manner, reminiscent of a stream seamlessly spilling over a precipice. While a variety of materials can be employed to fashion this stunning effect, quartz often takes center stage, prized for its robustness and visual allure, making it an impeccable choice for creating this signature look.

Current Top Picks in Countertop Selections

Quartz: The Industry Favorite – Quartz leads the pack as the most popular choice among our offerings. Those seeking a sophisticated upgrade for their countertops find quartz to be an ideal match. In our showroom, we take pride in presenting samples that perfectly represent the actual slabs, ensuring what you see is exactly what graces your home.

Granite: A Versatile Contender – Granite stands as a solid choice, offering a spectrum of budget-friendly options, particularly in specific colors and styles. Its durability and timeless appeal make it a consistently favored option for various design preferences.

Quartzite: Elegance with Ease – For those aspiring to the luxurious aesthetic of marble without the upkeep, quartzite emerges as a premium selection. Each slab of quartzite is distinct, bringing an exclusive and upscale design element to your space, making it a sought-after choice for high-end kitchen designs.

Diverse Countertop Finish Styles:

Honed/Satin/Matte Finish:

Known for its refined elegance, the honed finish, or matte finish, offers a smooth and understated appearance. This finish doesn’t reflect light, instead providing a subdued, soft look that enhances the tranquility of your space. It’s perfect for a sophisticated, understated ambiance as it smoothly distributes light without the glare, lending a calm, collected feel to your area.

Leathered/Brushed Finish:

This finish, often termed as leathered or brushed, brings a contemporary twist to countertop surfaces. Originating from a honed base, our specialists meticulously work the stone with diamond-tipped brushes, imparting a gentle, textured feel. This process not only lends a refined, artisanal touch but also preserves the stone’s inherent color nuances better than a standard honed finish.

Polished Finish:

The polished finish is the quintessence of shine and clarity. Through an extensive buffing and polishing process, the stone achieves a high-gloss, reflective surface that captures light, adding a dash of brilliance to your space. This finish is favored for its practicality as well; its smooth, sealed surface offers enhanced resistance to stains and is straightforward to maintain.

Ready to transform your space with the perfect countertop? Connect with the experts at Cabinet Creations today. Whether you’re dreaming of a sleek quartz masterpiece or a classic granite statement, our team is here to bring your vision to life. Schedule your consultation now and take the first step towards a beautifully elevated home. Your dream kitchen or bathroom awaits!

Look out for our next blog about the best edge profiles for your countertops….

Kirk Richardson
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