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Choosing Your Kitchen Countertop

Thinking or just dreaming of new countertops for your kitchen? Countertops are a big deal! They have to hold up to the demands of your kitchen yet stay beautiful! I’ve included a few tips from our experience and I hope it helps in your decision- (or dream) making process! The home we purchased had a kitchen with beautiful Carrera marble countertops - that we were ripping out. I know! Sounds like a terrible waste. We were tearing down a wall, adding 10 feet of floor space and two islands so the countertops could not be reused. We had more "peace" with the tear out seeing that the 10 year old marble countertops did have etching and stains - which will positively happen if you are looking at a marble for your kitchen. If you are OK with the natural beauty of Marble and the natural imperfections that can happen, marble can still be for you. If you want perfection, keep marble out of the kitchen.

I’ve included a pic below of the marble still in our pantry area (with a big tan stain). The marble in our pantry has etching as well but could not be shown with my camera.

The Other Options

Granite - our last home was decked in gorgeous granite so to be honest we were on the prowl for something different. We wanted "whiter" options and there are very few options for granite in the lighter family. Granite is also a shinier, more polished look which goes great with traditional or modern, and you simply get the best value for your dollar. We wanted to pay a little more for a lighter look which is why we started looking at quartz/quartzite.

Quartz - this is man-made and rock-solid. Oh, how I wanted this maintenance-free countertop! Unfortunately, we did not have enough modern elements to pull this one off. We have a French country, farmhouse-feel and the quartz lacked the artistry that one often finds in natural stone. If you want clean, light and modern, quartz is for you.

Quartzite - this is natural stone and has the beauty of marble with the veins, texture and coloration. We planned to use the countertop surface as a backsplash too and we needed it to be art – quartzite does this! While quartzite had the beauty factor, there was confusion with the maintenance. I read numerous mixed reviews of it being as durable as granite to the extreme of it being as porous as marble. I was torn. I wanted beauty but did not want to have etched and stained quartzite like the marble. In the end, we chose a quartzite and I’ll share in my next blog the easy maintenance tips for quartzite.

Final Piece of Advice

When you know what type of surface you want, keep this very important TIP in mind if you are viewing an OUTDOOR showroom of slabs. Anything you view outdoors will be 10x darker in your kitchen! The sun will make anything look brighter – even in pics. I remember reading sooooo many articles on choosing countertops and NOONE relayed the fact that your countertop will appear much lighter outdoors than indoors! Happy countertop hunting! And stay tuned for my next post on the care of quartzite which is very helpful if you are leaning toward quartzite! Pics of the beautiful quartzite in my kitchen below.

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