Selecting the perfect countertop material for your St. Louis Metro area remodel can truly be a fun experience. Many homeowners fall in love with a material based on looks alone, but durability, ease of maintenance, and affordability are all important factors to be taken into consideration. Take the time to learn about different types of countertops before deciding, and you’ll be rewarded with years of service!
Different Types of Countertops
Countertops are one of the most important selections you make during a kitchen remodel. Along with your cabinets, they can be a beautiful focal point of the room. Ask these 3 questions when deciding which material might be best for you:
- How often do you use the surface? Do you prep three or more meals a day, or are you a weekend chef? How the countertops will be used can affect your choice.
- How much do you want to spend? Think about how much of your budget you want to invest in countertops.
- What’s your personal style? Your kitchen’s style is a key factor in selecting the right countertops. For example, traditional kitchens often look best with a solid-colored granite, while sophisticated or modern rooms may be better served by slate or marble.
Countertop Choices for Your St. Louis Metro Area Kitchen Remodel
The good news is, no matter what your budget or lifestyle, there’s a material that’s certain to be just right for your upcoming remodel.
Quartz and Cultured Marble
Partially synthetic stone countertops like quartz and cultured marble will, if properly maintained, last a very long time. They do tend to have a shorter lifespan than natural stone and, while they are non-porous, they are more affected by sun, heat, and household cleaners. They come in a wide variety of colors, are simpler to maintain, and usually more durable than natural stone. Their cost, however, is comparable to what you’d spend on a natural stone like granite, soapstone, or marble.
Granite, Soapstone & Marble
Because it is easily damaged or stained, our designers rarely recommend marble for high-traffic kitchen use. If you like marble, think about installing it in a powder room or other area where it won’t suffer the daily abuse kitchen counters often take. In the kitchen, you can choose a marble-look quartz that is more sustainable and cost effective.
Of all the above available options, soapstone and granite are the most durable. For Greater St. Louis area homeowners, granite is by far the most common choice in kitchen countertops. While it’s a bit porous and requires periodic resealing, it can withstand heavy workloads and is more resistant to chipping. Since all stone is inflexible, it will chip or crack if struck with enough force. Granite has proven to be able to take whatever is thrown at it. Soapstone, on the other hand, is actually softer than granite and can scratch much more easily, though scratches can be sanded out by a trained professional.
Granite is formed from a variety of minerals, with quartz making up the majority. In fact, it’s the quartz that is responsible for granite’s well-known resilience to impact and heat. It comes in a range of beautiful colors including blacks, whites, beiges, greens, and corals. Each piece is unique and you can choose a shiny, polished, or soft matte finish. What you’ll spend depends on the color and finish you choose, as well as the stone’s origin.
The bottom line: the popularity of granite for countertops reflects the many benefits it offers. It has a deep beauty that few other surfaces can match, and its timeless appeal can take your remodeled kitchen from so-so to stunning, making your countertops the centerpiece of the room. And since no two pieces are alike, your kitchen countertops are truly a one-of-a-kind design.
Concrete, Butcher Block and Laminate
Not the first material most homeowners think about, concrete countertops are a popular choice for those who want a handcrafted surface that offers complete customization. Color, finish, size and shape can all be designed and poured to your personal preference. Butcher block is trickier to maintain, attracts and harbors germs and, because of its very porous nature, must be sealed. Most homeowners use butcher block for a island or in a space like a butler’s pantry, where the soft surface is perfect for placing glasses and dishes without breaking them.
Economical laminate has undergone a lot of transformation over the last decade. Forget about the laminate you saw in your grandparents’ kitchen! Today’s laminate has fanciers edges and can be designed to resemble more expensive materials like granite, butcher block, and even stainless steel. The downside to laminate in the kitchen is its low heat tolerance, which requires the use of trivets or potholders on the counters. It is, however, a perfect material for laundry rooms.
At J.T. McDermott, we love hearing about the latest trends our clients have in mind. We are one of the only remodelers in the St. Louis Metro area with in-house designers, so don’t be shy about bringing your design ideas to us! To discover all there is to know about the different types of countertops available – and how to choose the best one for your remodel – contact us today to schedule a conversation.