4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Countertops Looking Their Best for Years to Come

Stone and engineered stone countertops are well known for being durable and easy to maintain. They perform best when cleaned regularly and some types of countertops require regular sealing as well. After installing natural or engineered stone, it is important to know your role in keeping these materials looking their best for years to come.

1. Choose the Right Counters for Your Lifestyle

Not all countertops perform exactly the same. When trying to make the decision between synthetic material or stone, it’s important to know each type’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can purchase countertops that make sense for your lifestyle.

Natural Stone

Natural stone countertops are the product of choice for homeowners who prefer natural materials and who have time to maintain them. Stone is porous and needs some preventative care to avoid stains.

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is stain-resistant, crack-resistant, and durable. For homeowners with small children, busy careers, hectic lifestyles and for homeowners who just do a lot of cooking and are hard on their counters, this type of countertop material is top choice.

2. Clean Regularly

All types of countertops need to be cleaned regularly because of the potential for germs and food-borne illnesses. To clean your countertops, use a damp, soapy rag. Wipe away all food particles and dust. Do this between meals and at the end of every day. If you spill anything on your counters, especially anything acidic like red or white wine, or tomato sauce, clean it up as soon as possible to avoid staining.

Do not clean your counters with abrasive material or acidic cleaners like vinegar. Acidic cleaners can etch the surface of your counters, leaving the surface vulnerable to staining.

3. Seal if Needed

Some natural stone countertops, marble and granite included, need to be sealed periodically. Most engineered stone and soapstone do not need to be sealed, but read the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty for more information.

Sealer prevents the material from absorbing liquids like wine and cooking oil. Failure to seal natural stone countertops can result in stains. How often your counters need to be sealed depends on how you use your counters, what kind of material your counters are made from, and the quality of the sealer used.

Your stone dealer can help you choose a quality sealer that will protect your counters for the longest time possible. You will be able to tell when the sealer wears off because your counters will start to absorb liquids. Spill a tablespoon of water on your counters and leave the water there for a few minutes. When you wipe the water away, all moisture should be wicked away by the rag. If a water stain is left on the counters, the counters need to be re-sealed. (By the way, the water stain will evaporate – just give it a little time.)

4. Read the Warranty

Read any warranty that comes with your countertops. In the warranty, you’ll see helpful information about what to do and what not to do with your counters. Follow instructions in the warranty to avoid damaging your counters.

Questions? Call Us

With proper care, your countertops could outlast all other fixtures and features in your home. They’re that strong. For more information about how you can take care of your stone countertops, feel free to reach out to us.

Inspirational Fall Decor Ideas for Your Kitchen Countertops

There is a chill in the air. Leaves are turning. Inside and outside, autumn is coming. In your home, root vegetable dishes are baking in the oven, scent of pumpkin wafts from the kitchen.

It is time to start decorating for fall. Your kitchen countertops are good surfaces for seasonal decorations. Here is what we suggest.

Wooden Tools

It is a rustic time of year. Thinking of harvest, many people look back to times when families harvested their own food by hand from the fields, then used wooden tools to make their meals. Wooden cooking tools in a glass jar or ceramic pitcher serve as a reminder of our heritage. Add a tin container labeled with its ingredients, like flour, salt, or sugar. Tie a ribbon or bow around the pitcher.

Seasonal Flowers

Place a pitcher of fresh seasonal flowers on your counters. Replace water regularly to keep the flowers fresh and to prevent the water from becoming stagnant. Mix the water in the pitcher with two tablespoons apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons water to help keep the flowers fresh and kill bacteria in the water. When blossoms start to dry up, clean up the fallen petals, but consider leaving dried flowers out longer than you normally would. This is a time of year when natural things die. Drying flowers have an artful quality and symbolic meaning.

Squash, Mini Pumpkins

Nothing is more decorative and reminiscent of autumn than squash and mini pumpkins. Buy fresh, live specimens. Mini pumpkins should last two to three months without rotting, but if you’re placing them directly on your countertops, consider placing a small layer of plastic wrap beneath to protect your counters. If your counters are made of natural stone, keep them sealed to ensure they’re protected.

Mason Jars with Harvest Wheat or Acorns

Fill a mason jar with a bouquet of harvest wheat or acorns. Tie a bow around the jar and place it somewhere prominent but out of the way on your countertops. This also makes an excellent centerpiece on your dining room table. Scatter your table or counter with a few dry but attractive oak leaves for something extra special.

Candles

Candles are rustic and old fashioned, a bit like wooden tools. They remind us of a time now gone, when autumn nights were a little spooky, and a little romantic. Place slender taper candles in a holder or place a pillar candle in a mason jar or on a small wooden plate scattered with acorns. If you plan to burn the candles, protect your countertops from dripping wax. Reseal the surface if needed, and place something protective between your counters and candles. Remember that melting wax dyed a dark color can stain surfaces like natural stone, so take care to avoid drips.

Common Questions to Ask When Choosing Countertops

Installing new countertops can transform your kitchen and change the way you prepare food. Modern countertops made of stone and engineered stone are ultra durable, long-lasting and high value. They come in an assortment of colors and are made from a variety of materials. There are so many types of countertop materials, it can be hard to choose which type is best for your home. Before you can purchase the countertop material that will make you the happiest, it’s important to know the answers to these five questions.

1. Are quartz countertops natural stone?

In the world of geology and science, quartz is a mineral. In the world of countertops, the word quartz refers to a man-made material made from real crushed quartz combined with resins and pigments. So while quartz countertops are not pure stone, they are made up of about 90% natural materials. Some quartz countertops look and feel so much like real stone that few people can tell the difference.

2. Which is better: natural stone or engineered stone (quartz)?

Years ago, natural stone was the most coveted countertop material in high-end kitchens. Today, many homeowners prefer quartz. Why? It’s ultra durable and requires less maintenance. Some homeowners still prefer natural stone because they like natural materials. Natural stone can also be less expensive, which makes it more attractive to homeowners on a budget.

The decision to install natural stone or quartz depends entirely on your personal preferences, budget, cooking practices and so on. You’ll have to weigh these factors to make your choice. Work with a good countertop installer to discuss the pros and cons of countertop materials you like.

3. How much maintenance does natural stone require? How is that different from quartz?

Both natural stone and quartz countertops need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Natural stone should also be sealed once a year (or more often, depending on how you use your countertops and the type of stone). Sealing can be done by a professional, or it can be done as a DIY project. To seal your counters, purchase the appropriate sealer for the stone type and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. What does sealing do for countertops?

Some countertop materials are made from porous stone and will absorb spilled liquids. Cooking oil, tomato sauce, red wine and even some lighter liquids like white wine can stain unsealed countertops. The sealing process fills the pores and prevents the stone from absorbing liquids. Ultimately, this protects your counters from becoming stained.

Sealing is not necessary for all types of countertop material. Granite and marble need to be sealed, while most soapstone and quartz counters do not. Whether a countertop material needs to be sealed depends on its porousness. Your countertop installer can answer your questions about sealing at the time of purchase.

5. What can you afford?

Know your budget and the dimensions of your counters before shopping for countertop stone. You can expect to spend anywhere between $40 to $80 per square foot, depending on the material, quality and brand. Knowing how much you can afford and how much you need to buy can help narrow your choices and make your decision easier. Communicate your budget with your countertop installer to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Kitchen Color Schemes – Cabinets, Counters, Flooring, Backsplashes and More

During a full kitchen remodel, many distinct parts and systems are brought together to be united into one beautiful space. Countertops, floors, cabinets, and backsplashes are all made from different materials and thus come in different colors. How do you match them to create a lovely kitchen color scheme? What can you do to unite this important space in your home?

Learn the Lingo

Before you get started choosing a color scheme for your kitchen, familiarize yourself with some of the terms that professionals use when discussing colors and design. You will encounter these words as you are researching color palettes.

  • Complimentary colors are colors found opposite on the color wheel, like red and green. These colors stand out sharply against one another.
  • Neutrals are a color category that encompasses a wide range of non-colors, like brown, white, cream, gray, and black. Neutrals are extremely popular kitchen colors.
  • Monochromatic is a color scheme that involves shades of only one color. Usually people use this term loosely, either to refer to black, white, and gray color schemes, or to refer to a color scheme that involves mostly one color.
  • Accent colors are colors chosen to stand out against the overall color scheme. Often, accent colors are complimentary colors.
  • Warm colors are shades of red, yellow, and orange, while cool colors include shades of blue, purple, and green.

Know Your Resources

Become familiar with the resources available. Color palette apps help consumers choose the right color combinations for their homes, inside and out. Apps are especially helpful if you consider yourself to be less than savvy with color combinations, and you want to achieve a professional interior design without hiring a professional. Below are a few useful apps that are available to consumers, but there are many others you can try.

The Behr Paint Color Visualizer, available for desktop computers, enables you to browse colors and add your favorites to a project. The visualizer then suggests coordinating or complementary colors to complete your palette.

Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer is available for mobile phones. Upload a picture and change surfaces to test potential colors. You can change the color of up to 5 surfaces, including the walls, floors, and so on.

ProVia is an app available for tablets. It is similar to the color visualizers listed above, but it’s designed to enable homeowners choose different materials, including stone.

These apps and more are available to homeowners like you during your kitchen remodel. If you are feeling you are in over your head, reach out to a professional. There are many interior design professionals and even color specialists who help homeowners create a fully realized, beautiful kitchen remodel.

Start with Kitchen Countertops

Countertops come in a range of colors and can be made from many materials ranging from quartz to granite, marble, and other natural and man-made materials. Stone countertops are a natural centerpiece in most kitchens, so homeowners often choose counters first, and build the rest of their kitchen around the stone they select.

Work with your contractor to choose a countertop material that looks and performs the way you want. Appearance is important, but not every stone is the same. Granite is hard and durable, while marble is relatively soft and requires maintenance. Quartz is as hard as granite but also non-porous, which makes it more water repellant than any natural stone material. Select a material that matches your lifestyle, then choose the color and pattern you like. Most stone come in a range of colors. Even marble, which is most commonly available in white and gray, may come in a range of hues, including blue, red, green, black, brown, and more.

Pro tip: Take home samples of the stone that you like the best. You will feel differently about each slab as you view them in different qualities of light and in varying environments.

Coordinate or Contrast Kitchen Flooring with Countertops

Once you have selected a countertop, move on to the flooring. The flooring you choose should either support your countertops by coordinating colors or should contrast with the countertops to make a bold statement. Let us explore an example:

Imagine you installed a warm, light brown quartz countertop that resembled a speckled granite, with flecks of gray and cream. Coordinate your warm countertops with a dark brown, nearly black wood to set off your counters and make them pop. Worried about making your kitchen too dark? What about a medium-toned honey-colored oak flooring to support the light brown quartz countertops? Both flooring types result in a rich, elegant kitchen space, but the results are dramatically different.

Pro tip: Get flooring samples to hold up to your countertop samples, to ensure that the colors you choose truly match.

Unite the Space with Cabinets and Kitchen Backsplash

Cabinets and backsplashes become accent pieces after the flooring countertops have been selected. When choosing colors for both surfaces, look for shades that appears briefly in your counters to draw attention to the counters without being redundant.

Remember the light brown quartz countertops with flecks of gray and cream? Install kitchen cabinets that respond to these little flecks. Milk-colored cabinets with soft wooden handles add more warmth to your kitchen while also lightening the space. For the backsplash, a neutral stone, the color of sand, adds sophistication and elegance to your kitchen walls.

Your Most Commonly Asked Questions About Quartz Countertops, Answered

Quartz is one of the most popular countertop materials installed in modern kitchens. It’s the new granite, according to many. If you’re considering installing quartz in your kitchen or bathroom, here’s what you need to know about this versatile and durable countertop material.

What is quartz made of?

Quartz is a natural mineral found in the earth. However, when most people talk about quartz countertops, they’re talking about an engineered stone that is produced by mixing ground quartz with resins. The resulting material is extremely hard, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant and low maintenance.

How is quartz different from marble and granite?

Quartz countertops are a man-made product engineered to be ultra-durable and long-lasting. Quartz can be made to resemble a variety of natural stone types, including marble and granite. It can take on a number of colors and patterns.

Granite and marble are natural stones. Granite is long-lasting, durable, scratch-resistant, and stain-resistant when properly sealed. Granite comes in a variety of colors including white, black, and brown.

Marble is softer than granite and scratches more easily. If properly maintained and regularly sealed, marble can be stain-resistant and long-lasting. Marble comes in many colors but is most commonly available in gray and white.

Many people are unable to tell the difference between marble, granite, and quartz-based on looks alone. Long-term performance and maintenance are the biggest differences between these three materials.

Will quartz products vary in color?

Yes, quartz can be almost any color, though it is most commonly available in colors that are common to natural stone, including gray, brown, black and white.

Can quartz chip?

Quartz is very chip-resistant. It is possible to chip quartz, but it is rare.

Is quartz durable?

Quartz will last a lifetime (and then some!), even with minimal maintenance. Even after years of use, it does not need to be resealed or specially treated in any way. It is stain-resistant and scratch-resistant.

What should I look for when buying quartz countertops?

  • Color – Choose what looks right in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Quality – Buy from a reputable dealer with a good reputation in your community.
  • Cost – Shop around to find a product that fits in your budget.

Do quartz countertops stain or scratch?

Quartz is non-porous, so it remains stain resistant even when unsealed. It is also ultra-hard and should not scratch. Avoid scraping it unnecessarily to maintain your counters, but rest assured it is not fragile.

Can you put hot pans on quartz?

You should not put hot pans on quartz. It may not crack, but it can be discolored. Use a trivet or a hot pad, or place your hot pans on your cooktop rather than your quartz countertop.

Can you cut directly on quartz?

Cutting directly on quartz from time to time is unlikely to cause scratches. However, quartz is not completely immune to scratches (as nothing truly is). In addition, quartz could damage your knives (because the surface is so hard), and it also makes a loud noise when impacted by metal. So for the sake of your counters, your knives and your personal comfort, use a cutting board while preparing food.

What kind of maintenance does quartz require?

Clean it! Cleaning makes your quartz a safe surface for food prep and prevents the spread of germs in your kitchen. Clean spills as soon as they occur, and clean the countertops after every use. For standard cleaning, use a rag dampened by soapy water. For deep cleaning, use cleaning products made specifically for quartz.

Your Most Commonly Asked Questions About Soapstone Countertops, Answered

Is soapstone the right material for your kitchen or bathroom? If you’re trying to decide what kind of countertop to install in your home, answers to these common questions can help you make your decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Is soapstone a good countertop material?

Yes, soapstone is a valued countertop material that has been popular in farmhouse style kitchens for a long time. It’s durable, unlikely to crack from excess weight or stress on the stone, and available in a variety of colors.

Are soapstone countertops expensive?

Soapstone countertops can be a little more costly than granite and quartz, though there is some overlap in costs between mid-range soapstone and mid-range granite and quartz. Prices vary so get a quote from a quality stone dealer before deciding between one or the other.

Do soapstone countertops scratch easily?

Soapstone is not as hard as granite, which means it does need to be protected from scratches. Use a cutting board on your soapstone and avoid slicing any food directly on your countertops. You should also avoid sliding heavy items with scratchy bottoms across your soapstone.

Which is better for countertops, quartz or soapstone?

This depends entirely on your needs. Quartz is a man-made product that’s scratch resistant and virtually maintenance-free. It comes in a range of patterns and colors, and can be made to resemble other natural forms of stone, like marble and granite.

Soapstone is a natural stone that also comes in a range of colors and patterns, but not as many patterns as quartz. Soapstone has a unique warmth and not replicated by quartz. People who want quartz are often attracted to its durability and flexibility, while people who want soapstone are attracted to the unpolished finish, elegant coloring and its natural beauty.

Can you put a hot pan on soapstone?

Yes, you can put a hot pan on soapstone. It’s always advisable to use a hot pad, but placing a hot pan directly on soapstone is unlikely to crack it.

What is the most maintenance-free countertop?

Quartz is regularly cited as the most maintenance-free countertop available. It does not need to be sealed or polished, and it is resistant to stains.

Is soapstone high maintenance?

No, soapstone is not high maintenance. Like any other type of countertop material, soapstone needs regular cleaning by a rag dampened with warm soapy water. Many homeowners also oil their soapstone periodically, giving it a dark patina that gets darker with time. This is more for looks than out of necessity.

What is the best countertop for your money?

Quartz and soapstone are both good quality products that make excellent countertops and have high value among home buyers. The best countertop for your money depends on your priorities. Do you want a low-maintenance countertop that will last a lifetime? Do you love the natural elegance and sophistication of soapstone? The best countertop for your money is a countertop that fits in your budget and will please you for years into the future.

Is soapstone cheaper than granite?

No, soapstone tends to cost at least as much as granite, and often costs slightly more. Some slabs of soapstone cost as much as some slabs of granite. To get the best deal for soapstone counters (or granite counters), shop around. Buy stone from a dealer that stands behind their product and provides good installation.

Is soapstone hard to maintain?

No, soapstone is not hard to maintain, especially compared to stone like marble, which will likely need to be resealed on a regular basis to prevent it from staining.

Can soapstone get wet?

Yes, soapstone can get wet without fear that water will damage it.

What are the pros and cons of soapstone countertops?

Pros:

  • Soapstone has a unique appearance, with a matte finish that stands apart from other types of stone.
  • Soapstone is an all-natural material.
  • Soapstone is durable and heat resistant.
  • Soapstone is a high-quality stone that increases the value of your kitchen.

Cons: 

  • Soapstone scratches easily and is not as durable as some other materials on the market (like quartz).
  • Soapstone can be more expensive than materials like quartz and granite.

Should soapstone be sealed?

Soapstone does not need to be sealed, but it can benefit from regular applications of oil.

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Remodel My Kitchen?

If you’re like most homeowners, your kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked rooms of your house. In fact, you likely use the room several times per day for cooking, cleaning and doing dishes. Your kids sit at the counters doing homework, your guests hang out in the kitchen as they watch you put the finishing touches on dinner.

With that kind of heavy, regular use, your kitchen will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. Without regular updates, your kitchen could become an eye sore, or non-functional. Knowing when and how to update can help you keep your home in good condition, and can even improve your quality of life. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common signs that your kitchen needs to be updated.

1. You Need More Storage Space

Maybe your pots and pans used to fit nicely in the cabinets. Lately, you’ve acquired more dishes and specialty cooking items. You’re starting to fill up your counters with clutter, because you’re running out of room in your cabinets.

This is a sign that it’s time to expand your kitchen and/or install new cabinets. Work with a contractor to choose the best cabinet configuration for you. If you need a larger kitchen altogether, work with your contractor to move a wall, install new flooring, expand your counter space and install counters to fit.

2. You Plan to Be in Your Home for a Long Time

A kitchen remodel isn’t cheap. Standard remodels, including new appliances, new flooring and new countertops cost between $10,000 and $40,000. However, if you’re committed to your home and plan to stay in your house for the next several years or decades, a remodel is worth the expense.

A good kitchen remodel can improve your quality of life by making your kitchen a more functional, beautiful place to spend time. Talk to a contractor to troubleshoot issues you’re having in the kitchen. Just a few smart changes can make your kitchen the room you’ve always wanted it to be.

3. Your Kitchen Is a Disaster After Every Meal

It’s common for kitchens to get messy after big meals, but if your kitchen is consistently a mess every time you cook, then you likely need more work space. Work with a contractor to expand your counter space or even your floor space. The more room you have to move around, cut up food, chop vegetables and more, the easier it will be to prepare delicious meals.

4. Your Countertops and Floors are Showing Their Age

Maybe your counters and floors were the height of fashion 20 years ago, but today they make your kitchen look old and dated. Installing new counters can make the room beautiful once again. Contact an expert to discuss installation and to view material samples before choosing the right countertops and flooring for you.

Custom Countertops – From Selection, to Measuring to Installation – Everything You Need to Know

Custom countertops add beauty and elegance to your kitchen. Installation is a multi-step process, starting with the selection of the material and ending with the installation process itself. Knowing what to expect can help you step-by-step as you choose the right stone, get quotes, and select your contractor.

Explore Your Options

Start the process of installing new countertops by choosing countertop material you like. Most homeowners gravitate toward natural stone because they love its durability, beauty, and longevity. Natural stone is also low-maintenance. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Granite was the go-to countertop material for many years. Homeowners love granite because it’s very hard, scratch-resistant, and available in a range of colors and patterns. Granite needs to be resealed periodically to increase its water resistance.
  • Marble is prized for its enduring beauty. This material comes in a range of colors but most homeowners are attracted to white and gray options. Compared to granite, marble is a softer stone that can scratch somewhat easily. It needs regular maintenance in order to maintain its appearance, and regular sealing to prevent it from absorbing liquid.
  • Quartz is the new kid on the block in the world of stone countertops, but it’s quickly surpassing granite in its popularity. Quartz is even stronger, longer-lasting and more durable than granite. Best of all, it does not require regular sealing to continue looking its best.

Measure

Most homeowners need to know how much they can expect to spend on their new countertops, and in order to know that, they must first take measurements. Measuring counters is easy and yet not entirely intuitive. Some tips:

  • Measure twice to ensure accuracy.
  • Draw a diagram of your kitchen including drawings of the counters, then record the measurements on the diagram for easy reference later.
  • Make the diagram to-scale, if possible.
  • Include your sink and cooktop in the countertop square footage.

To get the square footage of your counters, measure the length and the depth. Multiply the length by the depth, and then divide by 144. Keep this number handy for your conversations with stone contractors, as this will become important information when you’re placing an order or getting estimates.

Select a Contractor

Select the right contractor to install your countertops. Start by contacting at least three contractors, to compare their prices and their product. Communication is important when considering contractors. Ask each contractor questions to get a sense for how that contractor communicates. They should answer all your questions to your complete satisfaction.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Portfolio. Take a look at their previous work to get a sense for their style and quality.
  • References. Contact at least two references before signing a contract with any contractor.
  • Contract. Read the contract well before signing and don’t sign unless you’re comfortable with the terms.

How to Choose Your Countertop Stone – Pros and Cons of Stone Types

How to Choose Your Countertop Stone – Pros and Cons of Stone Types

A lot goes into the selection of your countertops, and it’s not all about the way the countertops look. Each material performs in its own way. As a consumer, it’s important to know the various materials inside and out, so you can choose the material that suits your needs. In this post, we’ll review three of the top-selling countertop types: granite, marble and quartz. With this information, you can decide what kind of countertop is (and isn’t) right for you.

Granite

Granite was the most coveted stone countertop material for years. Its natural beauty and durability come together to create a long-lasting, elegant countertop material for modern kitchens.

Pros

  • Lifetime investment – Granite lasts for decades, with proper maintenance.
  • Color and patterns  Granite comes available in almost any color you might want, though the most common counters are available in neutral colors like gray, black and brown.
  • Limited maintenance – Maintain your granite by wiping it down with a damp dishrag; reseal it occasionally to improve its water resistance.

Cons

  • Porous – Granite is naturally absorbent and can stain if not properly sealed.
  • Lack of uniformity – Because granite is a natural stone, there may be a lack of uniformity in the patterns, especially from one slab to another.
  • Limited slab size – Longer counters may need to be made up of multiple combined slabs, leaving a seam between slabs.

Marble

Marble has long been associated with wealth and beauty. Often seen in pristine shades of white and gray, marble has a luminescence that some homeowners are drawn to. This is a stone for homeowners seeking a particular aesthetic that you can only find in marble.

Pros

  • Longevity – Properly maintained marble can last for decades, just like granite.
  • Beauty – Marble is most commonly available in shades of white and gray that match modern kitchens and bathrooms perfectly.
  • Value – Marble is associated with wealth and can be very impressive to home buyers, which could translate to a higher resale value when the time comes to sell your home.

Cons

  • Soft – Unlike granite and quartz, marble is easily etched and scratched.
  • Iron deposits – Some marble contains iron deposits and can turn yellow or brown with time when exposed to water; proper sealing can protect it.
  • Maintenance  Marble requires regular sealing to prevent staining and other types of damage.

Quartz

Quartz has replaced granite as the most desirable countertop material found in modern homes! It’s long-lasting and even lower maintenance than granite.

Pros

  • Low-maintenance – Quartz is a man-made countertop material that is non-porous, so it doesn’t stain or require sealing.
  • Variety of color – Because it’s man-made, quartz is available in nearly all colors and patterns, and can be made to look like marble or granite if desired.
  • Uniformity – Quartz is made to be uniform, with consistent colors and patterns.

Cons

  • Cost – Quartz can be one of the more costly types of materials. Work with your stone dealer/installer to explore options and find a product that fits your budget.
  • Seams still visible – Although quartz is man-made, larger slabs may still have a seam between slabs.
  • It’s not natural stone – If you’re seeking a totally natural countertop stone, explore marble or granite options.

 

Countertop Trends to Keep an Eye Out for in 2020

For years, kitchen countertop trends remained largely unchanged, with granite as the king of the kitchen. In recent months, trends have shifted. New materials and new applications for those materials have surfaced in interior design catalogs and on home decor websites. If you’re a homeowner redesigning your kitchen in 2020, knowing the latest trends can help you transform an old, dated kitchen into the stunning centerpiece of your home.

Dress It Up with Quartz

Quartz is taking the lead as the preferred material for kitchen countertops. Why quartz?

  • It’s hard as rock – harder in fact. Quartz is harder than granite, so it’s less susceptible to chipping and cracking.
  • It doesn’t stain. Whereas granite and marble is porous, quartz is not, so it can’t absorb liquids in the way natural stone does.
  • It comes in all the colors and patterns. Quartz can be made to imitate any other type of stone, including marble and granite.
  • Its coloring is more consistent and predictable. Quartz is a man-made stone, so it doesn’t have the natural un-predictable variations you find in natural stone.

Homeowners everywhere are making the switch to quartz. It varies in cost and quality, just like other types of countertop materials, so talk to your countertop dealer to find the right kind of quartz for your kitchen remodel.

Make a Splash with a Countertop Waterfall

This is a new concept making an appearance in high-end kitchens. Waterfall countertops usually take the form of an island, with a vertical wall of matching countertop material on either side of the counter, forming an elegant box of stone. Countertop waterfalls can be costly, but they’re also striking in appearance. Work with your countertop supplier to design your own countertop waterfall. Choose the material carefully, as it will become one of the dominating features in your kitchen.

Get Matchy-Matchy With Countertop and Backsplash

Are you in love with your countertop material? Want to see more of it? If so, you probably relate to homeowners who have recently started installing countertops with backsplash made from matching material. This matchy-matchy design creates continuity in the kitchen, and there’s another advantage as well: solid stone backsplashes are easy to clean.

Whereas tile backsplashes tend to stain in the grout and crevices between tiles, granite slabs have no such crevices. As one large, smooth surface, stone slab backsplashes are exceptionally easy to clean and easy to maintain. Slab backsplashes also require less sealing than the matching countertop because they’re not as often exposed to acidic liquids that could etch the surface. Buy your stone counters and backsplash from a reputable dealer to ensure quality.