There are so many decisions involved in remodeling a kitchen. You’ll be selecting new cabinets, choosing a floor, and selecting appliances, just to name a few. Yet, the most impactful decision might very well be your countertops. We Like to think of your countertops as “the icing on the cake.” The options, styles, and colors available can be overwhelming, and this decision can often be the most challenging part of the project.
At Charleston Cabinets, we’ll guide you through the many countertop options. We will present the pros and cons associated with different countertops, and help you decide which is right for you, for your lifestyle, for your kitchen and bathroom. Then working through our preferred vendor relationships, we simplify the process of countertop selection. Helping our clients secure the necessary slabs needed for their project, often at very attractive price points. All along coordinating the scheduling of countertop templating & installation with the arrival of your new custom cabinetry.
Some Thoughts on Countertops
Granite is perhaps the most common go-to material for most kitchen remodels (although, as we’ll discuss, quartz is a close second and preferred by many people!) Granite is a natural stone and is incredibly durable. It is beautiful, difficult to damage, and will retain its value for years. If you love the look of natural stone, it’s hard to go wrong with granite.
Durable: Granite is a tough material that can stand up to accidental slashes, cuts, and impact.
Heat-Resistant: Granite is highly heat-resistant, which means you can put hot pans or trays on its surface without causing permanent damage.
Unique: No two pieces of granite are the same, which means your kitchen’s granite slab will truly be one-of-a-kind.
Not Invulnerable: Just because it’s solid doesn’t mean granite countertops can’t be chipped or cracked. Also, granite absorbs liquid, which means it can stain easily if not protected by sealing.
Requires Maintenance: Your granite countertops will regularly need to be resealed to protect them from stains and other forms of damage.
For years granite was the obvious choice for many homeowners. However, in recent years, quartz countertops have taken off. Unlike granite, which is cut from natural stone and then sealed, quartz is real stone that has been processed and sealed into a protective resin. As a result, quartz countertops can look like just about anything: they can take on patterns, colors, and looks just not found in natural stone.
Quartz and granite countertops are about even in terms of cost. You’ll need to look at the specific countertops in question since both often occupy the same average price points. They both also share a very similar durability. Quartz trades the heat resistance of granite for better moisture and leak resistance. Both are very solid and stand up well to everyday use.
Variety: Quartz countertops are available in far more colors and design variations than granite or marble, which means they work with more kitchen styles.
Maintenance-Free: Unlike granite, quartz countertops come sealed in a permanent resin and do not need to be regularly resealed.
Durable: While not invulnerable, quartz stands up to everyday wear-and-tear and is stain-resistant.
Not Heat-Resistant: Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops can be damaged or discolored by high heat. You’ll need to continue using hot pads and trivets when cooking or baking.
Manufactured: While granite and marble slabs convey the beauty of natural stone, quartz countertops have a manufactured, “finished” look. This appeals to some people, but certainly not for everyone.
Our final verdict? The choice between quartz and granite is more about your personal taste and your anticipated everyday use. If you’re looking for the strength and the natural beauty of stone, granite will probably be your best bet. On the other hand, if you want a more modern design, quartz may be the look for you.
Marble is a stone that adds a touch of class, elegance, and luxury to your home, known to many as the medium of choice for Renaissance sculptors. It has a timeless beauty, and by adding marble to your kitchen, you’re not just choosing a countertop. You’re making a statement.
However, buyer beware, this choice comes with some drawbacks. Along with its high-cost marble is also the least durable stone countertop. It just doesn’t stand up to everyday cooking and cleaning in a kitchen. Therefore we suggest it is best for bathroom vanities.
Luxury: Marble is considered the material of choice for luxury condos. It’s beautiful, and often is a true showstopper in any kitchen.
Price: Marble is one of the most expensive countertop materials you can buy.
Protection: Unlike granite and quartz, marble countertops are not scratch-resistant. You’ll need to take special care to guard your countertops against accidental damage.
Stains: Marble absorbs liquid more readily than other stone countertops.
Butcher block feels warm and inviting, though it has limitations. Like all wood, it absorbs liquid and stains easily, can be damaged by knife cuts, and is not heat-resistant. It works best as an accent piece where it won’t see heavy, everyday use.