Countertops are those horizontal flat working surfaces that we often use in kitchens, bathrooms, or lavatories. They are often built on cabinets underneath.
The countertops are intentionally designed working surfaces so they are modified or customized accordingly. For example, if a countertop is needed in a residential kitchen, the functional requirement would be different than that of a commercial kitchen or a lavatory.
Table of Contents
- Most Common Types Of Countertops
- 1. Quartz Countertops
- 2. Granite Countertops
- 3. Marble Countertops
- 4. Concrete Countertops
- Countertops Comparison Chart:
Most Common Types Of Countertops
According to functional requirement, interior taste or affordability factor, etc., versatility in the types of countertops exist. There are many types but the most common ones will be discussed here. The most common types are:
1. Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are ersatz stone countertops. Their composition involves 90% of a natural hard mineral named ground quartz along with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. All these elements build up a very hard granite-like surface.
The appearance of quartz varies based on how it is ground. The quartz which is not ground finely brings about a speckled look, while the quartz which is ground finely, will produce sheeny look.
Pros Of Quartz Countertops
- Attractive Appearance
- Strength & Durability
The appearance of quartz countertops is very beautiful. The look of fine ground quartz is luxurious. Moreover, quartz can be manufactured in various colors so you can choose the one that goes best with your interior.
Strength & Durability
The durability of quartz can stand in line with that of concrete and granite. However, quartz does not chip off or crack very easily. Along with this, its feel is still less hard than concrete and granite.
Quartz is a non-porous material. That is why it can be cleaned off easily. It is impossible for it to get permanently stained because no-spill can seep on the surface of it. So, other porous stones can hold stains while quartz does not allow any material to come inside it.
Because of the same quality of being non-porous, quartz has the material which does not permit germs to pass inside it. You do not have to worry about germs or bacteria to make their homes in the tiny invisible creeks of your quartz countertops.
This quality makes it the best option for kitchen countertops and other places where food is dealt with.
Cons Of Quartz Countertops
- A Faddy Appearance
The main concern which can bother is the cost of quartz. It is a little expensive and stands along with the prices of granite, marble, slate, and concrete. So, it does not give benefits when it comes to pricing.
A Faddy Appearance
Another concern that can come up is that it has a very faddy and trendy experience, which can be positive as well as negative at the same time. Although it all depends on the choice of the user still it can be bothersome for people who look for basicness and universality in the style.
One big con of quartz countertops is their inability to resist heat. It makes it a little unfit to be used at the places where hot pots or tools have to be used.
2. Granite Countertops
Granites are extracted directly from quarries in the raw form. It the solidified form of magma. The variance in the colors of granite is because of the compositional difference in the minerals.
The granites are then cut into workable slabs by the use of machinery. You can get them cut right according to the way you want but the granite countertops are also available in the precut shapes to be used as countertops.
Pros Of Granite Countertops
Granites are exceptionally beautiful in their appearance. It has universal appeal. There are more than 20 shades of granites that are easily available so you can choose according to your taste. Granites are so attractive that they stand out most illuminatingly.
A great pro of granite is the quality of being heat-resistant. So, it is best to be used at places where you have to place hot pots or other hot tools.
One of the most acclaimed perks of granite countertops is their strength. Its hardness makes it resistant to scratches. Because it is prone to wear & tear, hence, it is advisable that it should not be used as a working slab where sharp tools have to be used.
A properly sealed granite countertop is strongly resistant to stains. Even if some staining liquid is spilled over it, it would not be making its way inside the slab.
Cons Of Granite Countertops
- Resealing Routine
- Really Expensive
As granite is porous, it can be permeable for liquids, stains, and other seeping substances. A granite countertop has to be perfectly sealed in order to avoid such situations.
The granite countertop may require to be resealed every year in order to make it resistant to stains or other oozing substances which can be spilled over it.
Even though the strength and durability of granite is a greatly positive thing but still it should be noted that it is delicate in its nature. It can be easily broken if mishandled.
A big hindrance to the purchase of the granite countertops is their sky-high prices. They are extremely expensive to be bought, sealed, and installed. Moreover, they are high maintenance.
3. Marble Countertops
Marble is the first choice for many homeowners and contractors. There are hundreds of varieties in the type of marble. The main types of marble which are used greatly for residential countertops are Calcutta Marble. Talathello Marble, Emperador Marble, Carrara Marble, Black Marble, White Marble, Cream Marble, Red Marble, Pink Marble, Brown Marble, Yellow Marble, Green Marble, Statuary Marble, Milan Gray, Blue Marble, Travertine Marble, and Arabescato Marble, etc.
The marble countertops make the best working surfaces for the kitchen, bathrooms, offices, and fireplace surroundings, etc.
Pros Of Marble Countertops
- Pleasant Looking
Marble never goes out of demand because of its high aesthetic look. The innumerable choices are present under the umbrella of the marble countertops category. You can choose the best one according to your taste, trend, or interior.
Marble countertops are heat-resistant and can be used safely as a working slab where the hot pots and tools have to be handled. That is why they are used greatly in the surroundings of fireplaces.
Cons Of Marble Countertops
- Porous Material
- Frail Material
Marble countertops are porous in nature so if not sealed, they can be unreliable. They can easily catch stains then. So, marble has to be sealed and maintained properly in order to use it in the best way.
Marble is a delicate material so the marble countertops are delicate in nature. It makes them unfit for the places where heavy work is done. As they can be easily prone to wear & tear.
4. Concrete Countertops
These trendy and ornate countertops are widely used and are increasing in their popularity all the time. They are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and also in outdoor areas. They are composite material that is easily poured and molded into whatever shape you require.
Let’s have a look at their pros and cons.
Pros Of Concrete Countertops
Concrete countertops are exceptionally beautiful. That is why it is the first choice of many homeowners and contractors because you can make any shade out of them with pigment and get the desired results that can match the interior.
The skilled artistic contractors and designers embed tiles, stones, glass, and other materials in the countertops to make them a customized and personalized countertop.
Concrete is very strong and tough. It can easily resist wear & tear. It can be used without any worry in kitchens, bathrooms, and even in outdoor places.
Cons Of Concrete Countertops
A problem that people who want to use concrete countertops can face is their expensiveness. You have to pay a great amount to get the amazing benefits of concrete countertops.
Concrete countertops are high-maintenance. They need to be sealed regularly in the span of 1-3 years. If not sealed, they can easily become prey to stains and cracks.
All the countertop types have their pros and cons and can be judged on the merits of physicality, affordability, strength, material type, and resistance. You can make the best decision by doing a proper customized needs analysis. Every need and demand are unique so you have to personally analyze each and every aspect and then reach a final conclusion.
Countertops Comparison Chart:
Prices With Installations
Concrete can be available in $70-$150 per square foot including the installation of the countertops.
Granite can cost on average $55 to $100 per square foot depending on the sizes, styles, colors, and patterns.
Quartz is available for $65 to &100 per square foot including the average installation costs for $40.
Marble countertops are available from $100 to $400 per square foot with the costs of installation.
Concrete countertops are available in a wide range of colors, styles and different shapes that you can choose according to your requirements.
Granite has different varieties of natural shapes, patterns, colors, and styles.
Quartz is also available in many colors but there are fewer choices for natural patterns than granite stones.
Marble is available in a variety of colors, smooth surfaces, and patterns.
Concrete countertops are durable but it requires a seal to make it protective which is not as such durable. The seal can be stained to contain bacteria that are not easy to maintain.
Granite countertops are very hard in texture and it can resist scratches. Besides that, it is very heat resistant so you can out your hot pans directly without any danger.
Whereas, quartz countertops cannot resist heat like granite stone. Plus, it cannot be scratched easily but it takes professionals for the repair of quartz.
Marble is heat resistant but it can be easily scratched and affected by acids such as coffee, alcohol, and cleaning products.
Cautions For Countertops
Concrete countertops are required to be sealed when they are properly installed and you should wax the countertops monthly to keep the surface clean and appealing.
Granite countertops are required to seal twice a year and you should only use specific soap and water to clean the surface. Otherwise using acids can dull the appearance of your concrete countertops.
Quartz countertops do not require to be sealed and you can use glass cleaner along with soap and water to clean the surfaces.
Marble can be sealed twice a year if you are vigilant about the spills on countertops. You can also use simple spray products for cleaning of marble countertops.
Longevity Of Countertops
If you keep the concrete sealed and after custom shapes and edges of countertops, it can last for a longer period. But it requires regular maintenance to keep the look new.
Granite also requires easy maintenance to keep the look fresh. However, they are hard and solid-colored in styles and they last for life.
Quartz countertops are versatile as they are natural stones so they don’t require much maintenance and they also last longer.
Marble can be scratched so it becomes hard to maintain the appearance and it can get dull quickly if you don’t take care of the maintenance.
Any of the above-mentioned countertops can be chosen for the kitchen or bathroom depending on the features. Now it's up to the people’s budget and the requirement to choose the one that suits their pockets and requirements.
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