The choice of your countertop is probably the most important decision you will make in your newly remodeled kitchen because you will look at your new countertop more than any other part of your kitchen. It will also take more wear and abuse than any other part of your kitchen. Consequently you should carefully consider your countertop options, especially when it comes to durability, appearance, ease of maintenance, and resale value.
When it comes to durability, stone takes first place as a countertop material. You can see some of the options on the Cabinet Discounters website. Both engineered quartz surfaces and natural granite will take a great deal of punishment, but nothing sold today is completely abuse-proof. Occasional cutting on these surfaces will not usually leave marks, but why tempt fate – use a cutting board. It will not only protect the surface, but it also saves the edges on your knives. Occasional hot pots will have little effect, but exposure to extreme heat can destroy the sealer in natural granite and sometimes discolor the binding agent in the engineered quartz material. As far as durability goes, these surfaces will certainly outperform Formica and non-quartz solid surfaces such as Corian.
For appearance, nothing compares to the natural beauty of granite unless you prefer a particular color scheme – then quartz will provide many more alternatives. These two materials offer many edge profiles to provide both function and beauty. Another plus is the finish which can range from shiny and reflective to soft and dull or even rough. In the past, visible seams were the downside in appearance for these materials, but modern technology has improved to such an extent that seams in granite and quartz surfaces are now hardly noticeable.
Both granite and quartz require very little maintenance, but quartz has a slight advantage. Being non-porous, quartz needs nothing more than routine cleaning with soap and water. Because granite is porous, it is treated with a sealer when it is manufactured. This prevents any discoloration from stains, grease or oil spots, or etching from acid (lemons or vinegar). It is wise to apply a sealer annually, but otherwise soap and water is all you need.
For resale value of your home, you can’t beat the investment made in granite or quartz countertops. They are certainly the most popular materials and can really make a huge contribution to the appearance of your kitchen. Granite or Quartz are truly the best choice. But which one is better? It really comes down to your taste and preference. Quartz has a slight edge in maintenance, and granite is usually preferred for its natural beauty and because it is from nature, it is considered to be a “green” product. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and since your will be the one looking at it most of the time, go with what you like the best.