Countertops are the focal point for both kitchens and bathrooms. The eye is naturally drawn to the counter when you enter either of these rooms. With the seemingly endless possibilities for your countertops, we are here to help you understand the differences between natural stone countertops and man-made stone countertops.
What to Consider When Choosing a Countertop Material
When it comes to maintenance, cleanliness and aesthetics of your countertop material choice, the following considerations need to occur:
- Maintenance – It you know your family is spill and stain prone, opt for less porous stones. Red wine, oils and acidic fruits can easily stain poorly sealed man-made and natural stones.
- Cleanliness – Some natural and man-made stones are more likely to harbor bacteria than others. If you often cut on your countertops or have young children, it is in your best interest to go with a countertop that is less porous than others.
- Aesthetics – If you want to keep with traditional or contemporary styles, consider countertops that only come in a few colors. If you want to go bold, turn to countertops that have a range of colors.
Among all of the things to consider, the biggest decision is to figure out if you want a man-made stone countertop or a natural stone countertop. Natural stone brings beauty, class, and elegance into your home. Man-made stone allows different colors to be brought into your home that can’t be found in nature.
Available Countertop Choices
Let’s take a look at countertop materials:
- Granite Countertops – Granite is a natural stone that comes in a range of colors, so anyone can find a countertop that goes with their style. With stain- and heat-resistance qualities, it’s easy to maintain your countertop. Granite countertops do require a yearly seal to maintain its luster and anti-staining qualities.
- Marble Countertops – Like granite, marble is a natural stone, no two slabs are exactly the same. Your countertops will be unique. Marble countertops stain easily and cannot have acidic items laid on them, but it does bring in a modern, beautiful touch to your home, so many homeowners opt for this particular stone.
- Quartz Countertops – This man-made stone can be engineered in nearly any color, cut, and size. Quartz countertops have high anti-scratch qualities. While it can resist some heat, you should avoid placing any hot pans directly on the countertop.
- Soapstone Countertops – For those who want an antique feel in the home, soapstone countertops are the way to go. This strong natural stone does scratch easily, but it adds to the antique look and feel over time.
The debate for natural stone versus man-made stone is longstanding, and likely will continue for years to come. Natural stones are easier to clean and do not contain and unnatural materials. However, man-made stones are readily available and often more customization for homeowners.
Is Natural or Man-Made Better?
At the end of the day, there isn’t a right answer. It boils down to your personal tastes, preferences and needs. We offer a range of granite countertops, marble countertops, quartz countertops, and soapstone countertops to meet every style. Be sure to visit our showroom in Seabrook, NH and speak with one of our countertop professionals and view stone selections in person.