Selecting and installing a new countertop is an important decision that will hopefully result in many years of good use and enjoyment in your home. That’s why it’s crucial to spend some time thoroughly researching and considering your options for the counter surface and composition, in order to find the countertop that’s perfect for you and your family.
There are multiple factors to weigh when selecting a new countertop. Obviously, the look of the material is a prime consideration for many, but there are other vital elements, too. The durability of the material, its cost and the required maintenance are all points to consider before you make that countertop buying decision.
Here are some factors to keep in mind:
1. Your lifestyle.
Take a long, hard look at how you live in and utilize your home when shopping for a new countertop. Homes with children, for example, will want to select a darker surface that is easier to clean and preserve from scuffs and stains.
2. Find your shade.
Don’t get too hung up on a specific material. If you like the look of one type, but it is impractical for your needs and lifestyle, there is likely a different material available in a similar color. The ever-popular granite, for example, is available in numerous hues, including blacks, whites, greens, corals and beiges. It is also available in two finishes: a polished finish, with a shiny look, sometimes darkened look; and a honed finish, which is soft and matte.
3. Consider the maintenance.
Stone countertops do require a certain degree of maintenance, depending on the material used, and that is another element to consider when making a buying decision. Non-granite natural stone, like marble, limestone and soapstone, are softer than granite and thus need gentle use and greater maintenance. All stone countertops must be sealed from time to time, in order to preserve waterproofing and stain resistance.
If you’re searching for super-durability and minimal maintenance, you may want to use an engineered stone countertop. They are sold in many colors—more than natural stone—they are highly durable and easy to maintain. The downside with this material is cost, which is roughly the same as granite.
4. Mind your budget.
Another key concern is the cost of the countertop, which can vary significantly based on which material you end up using. Costs for granite, for example, depend on factors like color, finish and origin of the stone. A granite that is readily available will likely cost less than a stone that needs to be imported from afar.
5. Walk the edge.
Most likely, you’ll go with a standard square edge for your countertop, but know that there are other options. Although more expensive, decorative edges like radius, bullnose, bevel, egg and ogee can add a custom look to your kitchen. The availability of different edges varies depending on the countertop material you choose.
6. Mix it up.
There’s no hard and fast rule mandating you need to use the same material throughout. You can also mix and match surfaces, such as using a different material on center islands, versus the rest of the countertops, to differentiate the space. Or, you can inset another material into a countertop for specific tasks, like butcher block for chopping and marble for baking.
7. Get up close and personal.
Before making a final decision, be sure to view and touch the materials in person. You may need to visit our showroom, or you may obtain samples to peruse at home. Either way, you’ll have a much better sense of what you’re ultimately buying.
Need help with your countertop purchasing decision? Call us at 518-584-2800 or contact us online and one of our countertop experts will be happy to assist you!