What type of countertop should I choose for my space?

January 29, 2017

There are many types of countertops to choose from: quartz, solid surface, soap stone, granite and laminate. What surface material you choose should depend on factors such as how you plan to use your countertop, your expectations for the surface and your budget. Use this countertop guide to help you narrow your selection:

  • Why choose Quartz?
    Quartz is a blend of quartz and resins that form a hard, durable surface. It has a very similar feel to granite. The colors and patterns that are created typically have little variation and provide a consistent appearance. In addition to its durability, quartz tops handle heat well and require little maintenance. Like granite, quartz may show visible seams. Quartz countertops begin at about $75 per square foot, measured and installed.
  • Why choose Solid Surface?
    Solid surface countertops (i.e., Corian) are typically acrylic products that are durable and very adaptable. There are hundreds of colors and a large variety of edge profiles to choose from. Solid surface countertops have moderate heat resistance and hard-to-find seams. And, while solid surface tops can scratch, they can also be repaired easily. The average starting price of solid surface countertops is $49 per square foot, measured and installed.
  • Why choose Soap Stone?
    Quarried like Granite and Marble, soap stone is soft to the touch yet far from absorbent. If it picks up a stain or discoloration, it is quite literally “just on the surface” and can be scrubbed or sanded off. Slates, marbles, most granites, limestones and travertines are absorbent. Soapstone is not. Even after 100 years of hard use, soapstone can be re-finished to a new state as though it was just installed. Soapstone is perfect for achieving a warm, old-fashioned, rustic, or Early-American look. It’s also versatile enough so that it can be used with modern designs. Upon installation of soapstone countertops, we recommend that the stone is sealed with mineral oil or stone sealer. The mineral oil and some light penetrating sealers will bring out a dark richness to the stone’s natural color and also work as a protective sealing layer. Mineral oil may be re-applied to the stone periodically.
  • Why choose Granite?
    As a natural stone, the beauty and feel of granite is hard to match.  It is very durable, it handles heat well, and, it offers almost 200 variations from which to choose. The cost of granite has decreased significantly over the last few years. The average starting price is about $50 per square foot, installed. It requires periodic sealing, depending on the granite selected, and may show visible seams.
  • Why choose Laminate?
    Laminate is the most popular material used for a countertop. It offers thousands of colors and a number of textured finishes. It wears fairly well and doesn’t require any sealing. Seams are visible, and typically, there is no way to repair damaged laminate. Laminate tops with a square edge start at about $20 per square foot, installed.