Material Selection Guide for Kitchen Counters

Not sure which is the best material for your kitchen counters? This guide is here to help when selecting a slab.
Jun 4th

Choosing the right slab for your project has to be based on more than just aesthetics, this article will break down all the benefits of each material selection along with some considerations you will want to keep in mind.

Marble

Who doesn't love the look of marble? The veining that appears in marble is reminiscent of the finest artists paintbrush strokes making it a work of art that anyone would want to display but there are other considerations to keep in mind if marble is the material you want to select.

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The first consideration is staining, marble is very susceptible to acid and will stain, we recommend using an environmentally friendly sealant at least twice a year. The good news is that a sealant is not a costly expense, here is one from Green Building Supply for only $26.90. You'll also want to clean your marble with pH neutral cleansers.

The next thing you'll want to keep in mind if you're considering marble for your project is scratches. Unfortunately, a sealant will not be enough to protect your material from objects dropping on or scratching across your counters. Sometimes a honed finish will mask tiny scratches but really the best way to defend against this is to avoid it happening.

The last thing you'll also want to consider before purchasing your marble slab is heat, while technically marble is heat resistant this does not mean you can rest a hot pan directly on your counter. When marble is described as heat resistant that means it stays cool in high temperatures not that it is impervious to a hot object.

There is a big plus side to using marble however and that is property value, people love the look of marble if you can keep up with the maintenance it will add value to your home, and who doesn't love that? Still nervous, we understand if marble seems daunting especially in a high traffic area, perhaps you can use it in a backsplash or another room and get a marble look for your counters with a different stone.

Quartz

Quartz is a great option if you are after a marble look with less maintenance but it does have it's own considerations, let's discuss. First, what is Quartz? Quartz is a man-made "engineered stone," formed by ground quartz, resins, polymers, and pigments. Its appearance will depend on how the quartz is ground, for example, a coarsely ground quartz will have reflective flecks throughout and a more finely ground quartz will result in a smoother look. You can find Quartz slabs that are a solid color, have a sparkle throughout or that resemble marble with veining across making it a very flexible option style-wise.

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The reputation Quartz has is that it is a super material and can hold up to anything, that isn't always the case. There are some things you will want to consider when choosing Quartz for your slab material. The first is sunlight, Quartz can discolor when exposed to UV rays over time, this is due to the resin used in its manufacturing. If you have lots of windows that flood your kitchen with natural light this shouldn't deter you from using Quartz because your typical double pane window will block a portion of the UV rays however if you wish to be extra cautious perhaps close the blinds for an hour or two when the sun is at its strongest, midday. The darker the color of Quartz counters the quicker the fading seems to happen in direct UV rays. Quartz is definitely not the right material if you are planning to do an outdoor kitchen or bar.

Overall Quartz is a fantastic material to choose in indoor kitchens because it is resistant to staining, however, if you do have a wine spill please avoid using a cleaner with bleach, bleach has shown to discolor quartz so we would recommend a gentler cleanser when cleaning your counters otherwise you can rest easy when selecting Quartz for your kitchen slab.

Granite

Granite is the original super stone material, it is a very hard material that holds up against stains and heat and is always a safe bet when picking a countertop. It is so tough you can actually place a hot pan on the surface and not worry about any damage! While granite is a very tough material and considered scratch resistant it is not scratch-proof, so still take care around these counters.

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The best part to a Granite Slab? It requires minimum maintenance, a sealer every 2 or 3 years should be enough to make this purchase last a lifetime.

Concrete

Love a concrete counter look but are a little apprehensive about having concrete poured and cured in your home? Try browsing some of our concrete slabs, for the same look with a lot less hassle.

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Concrete is definitely not for everyone, if the idea of visible signs of wear is offputting to you we would suggest you consider a different material. Concrete will scratch and stain so we suggest a sealer every year, if you are going for a polished concrete look you may also want to consider applying a wax to your counters.

If you think the small scratches overtime only adds to a material's beauty then concrete is definitely a material you will want to consider. It can very flexibly fit into several design aesthetics and add an unexpected element to your room.

Quartzite

Quartzite is a natural stone and is not another name for Quartz. Quartzite is formed when sandstone is under intense heat and pressure making it a very resilient material. It is so resilient in fact it is stronger than granite when it comes to resisting heat and scratches however it is susceptible to etching, which is imperfections caused by acidic substances.

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To guard against etching we recommend sealing your Quartzite once a year as well as cleaning up any spills as soon as they happen with gentle dish soap never bleach.

No matter which way you are leaning for your kitchen counter the best thing you can do is just understand the material you will be living with and how best to care for it, any purchase can be maintained with the right due diligence and care it really just comes down to preference and how much maintenance your willing to sign up for.

For any other questions regarding your slab selection and purchase please feel free to contact us at info@stonetrash.com