Wanting increased functionality in your kitchen or just looking to increase your home's resale value? New countertops are a great place to begin. Let's do some countertop comparisons.
Slab granite is used just as it is quarried from the earth. It is cut into slabs, honed and polished. Quartz is a 9:1 mixture of natural minerals and resins. This results in a stone-like surface. Solid surface is made with a 2:1 ratio of stone-like materials and man-made polymers. Waste granite, marble, and stone and industrial waste like glass, mirrors, ceramics, and silica are recycled to make a solid surface.
Origin and Brand
Quarries in India, China and Brazil are the primary suppliers of slab granite. Quartz (Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone) was first developed by Bretonstone in 1963. Solid surface (Corian, Avonite, Staron) was developed in 1967 as an alternative to laminate countertops.
Appearance and Feel
Slab granite is opulent. Its crystalline properties make it glisten, and each slab is unique. Quartz takes on a three-dimensional look that's rich but uniform. Seams are noticeable with slab granite and quartz but can be hidden quite well by a skilled installer. Both are smooth and can be honed to a gloss. Solid surface is homogenous and feels matte-like. While it can be buffed to a gloss, that's not recommended by manufacturers, due to its extreme vulnerability to scratches. Seams are almost invisible because the caulk color is matched to the solid surface color.
Of the three surface choices, slab granite is the only countertop material that must be sealed every 1-2 years. This prevents etching damage from acidic substances and general staining since slab granite is porous. Slab granite can crack, but it doesn't scorch or scratch easily. These scratches can, however, be sanded out. It is recommended that all surfaces be installed professionally, but it is feasible that a solid surface countertop could be self-installed with the right knowledge and tools.
Choose slab granite for a purely unique and elegant counter. Slab granite needs minimal maintenance but has the highest return on investment of all countertop materials, selling at around $60 per square foot installed. Choose quartz for a stone-like counter that is solid, fairly consistent in appearance and virtually maintenance-free. Quartz sells at around $50 per square foot installed. However, for a lower-priced countertop material with a uniform appearance, solid surface sells for about $40 per square foot installed. Granite tile is available and less expensive, but because grout lines harbor germs and are hard to clean, it is not usually the best choice.
Whatever your choice of material, our professionals will do the job right. Contact us at Kitchen Tune-Up and schedule a free in-home consultation! Also, ask us about our kitchen cabinet options.