Kitchen countertops are one of the basic elements of kitchen remodeling. They occupy a lot of the visual space and add significant value to your home depending on your choice of material. They are multipurpose as well, so they are highly functional. You need to choose the material that best reflects your design, lifestyle and kitchen use.
Appearance is certainly an important factor when choosing kitchen countertops, but other factors come into play. One of these is the value added to the home. This will depend on the characteristics of the different materials available to you. We will be assessing the value added for different kitchen countertops.
Show me the money
An assessment of the value added to the home starts with the initial investment. Some of the materials under consideration are quite expensive, so it would be a moot point if your budget will not allow for their purchase. You need to figure out if you have the money to choose these materials for your kitchen, whether as part of your remodeling budget or for simply replacing your countertops.
The material, fabrication, and installation will dictate the cost of your countertops. Backsplashes and kitchen islands will also come into play. You should allow for some flexibility in your budget.
That said, choosing more cheaper options for your countertops might be counterproductive. You might be able to afford them, but they will not add any value to your home. Most of these cheaper materials will not last for very long, and would not impress anyone. You would be better off putting off your remodel or upgrade until you have the budget for the countertops that will fit your personal tastes and lifestyle.
The practical choice is to stick to tried and tested materials for durability and low maintenance. Kitchen countertops should be hardwearing yet beautiful, so your materials have to be resistant to damage from common stresses found in the kitchen. The following facts about popular materials for kitchen countertops will help in assessing the value added to your home.
Granite is one of the top picks for kitchen countertops. This durable natural stone is available in a wide range of beautiful colors and patterns that most people find very attractive in the kitchen.
The best thing about granite, however, is it is resistant to heat and scratches. It can handle up to 600 degrees Celsius and you can cut directly on it with a knife without damaging the stone. Granite is also food safe and low maintenance, so it is ideal for hardworking kitchens.
The going rate per square foot for granite countertops is between $39 and $200, depending on the slab you choose. Some types of granite are not commonly available, which raises the price. This is not a reflection on the durability of less expensive stones, however. You can safely choose the lowest priced granite slabs for kitchen countertops without worrying about the physical quality of the stone.
The one thing that might make you reconsider granite is its porosity. It is not particularly porous, and some granite slabs available commercially are not porous at all. However, granite has some level of porosity in general, so you should seal it to prevent stains.
Most people love the look of marble for their countertops, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, and some think that it must be very expensive. That is no actually the case. Marble is comparable to granite in cost, so this will not be a deciding factor if you are choosing between marble and granite.
Like granite, marble is a natural stone, although of a different type. It is not as durable as granite, although it is not soft at all. It can last for many years with reasonable care without damage, and it develops a distinctive patina over time, which many people find very attractive.
The most recognizable type of marble is white, but the price range is quite wide. The cheapest and most expensive types of marble are white, and the cost can be anywhere between $40 and $250 per square foot. It is available in other colors such as black, pink, blue, and yellow, but these are not as popular as white. Marble is durable regardless of color or price.
Marble countertops are ideal for kitchens that do not get much use. While it is highly resistant to heat, it is not resistant to scratches, stains or etches. You must keep all types of acid away as it is mostly calcium carbonate, which reacts with acid. Marble is also relatively porous, so regular resealing may be necessary. You might want to consider using marble for pastry tables and backsplashes, and use granite or quartz for the countertops.
Quartz is a manmade stone introduced in the 1970s as an alternative to granite and marble. It has gained quite a following over the years, and is currently the most popular material for kitchen countertops. Hundreds of models are available from various brands, but homeowners commonly select designs that mimic the look of granite or marble.
The reason for the popularity of quartz is its availability and consistency. Since it is an engineered product, you can order any model at any time in any quantity from authorized distributors. Additionally, slabs of a certain model are identical, so it is much easier to match slabs for a seamless look.
Quartz countertops are durable, although it is not heat resistant. As long as you use trivets for hot pits and pans and keep it away from direct sunlight, you should be fine. It is also relatively expensive, starting at $55 per square foot. However, top brands offer warranties for their products, so that is an important factor in adding value to the home.
Solid surface is another manmade product that enjoys some popularity with designers and homeowners for kitchen countertops, mostly because it is more affordable than quartz. It is durable, but you can cut it with an ordinary rotary saw. It is the ideal material for DIY improvement projects for this reason, and it is readily available.
Solid surface is non-porous like quartz, so it is resistant to stains. You can also easily repair minor damage such as scratches. You can expect to pay between $35 and $85 per square foot, depending on the brand. Most people recognize the brand name Corian for solid surface, but other brands are also available.
The problem with solid surface is it is not heat resistant. Since it is a compound of two parts natural materials and one part resin, heat can cause physical changes to the material. In most cases, this will appear as a permanent discoloration. It might even crack if the temperature is high enough. For most people, that is a deal breaker.
Assessing the value added for different kitchen countertops is one way to help you decide on the best material for your kitchen countertops. You can consult with an experience countertop specialist for more details on the materials discussed here.
KNC Granite services Washington DC, many areas in Maryland (Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville) and Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington). We have a large array of granite and marble slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland. We
If you prefer quartz countertops, we can also help. We also carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone,
Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
We do not only supply top quality natural and engineered stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote for your granite countertops!