Kitchen Countertops – Ideal Surface and Look: Marble, Granite, Quartz or Porcelain?

kitchen countertop

If you are designing your perfect kitchen space the look and functionality of your countertop usually becomes the focus of your concern. It causes more doubts than any other kitchen renovation decision. And that is understandable – unlike any other kitchen surface it has to incorporate both – functionality and aesthetics and, more importantly, – it is, probably, the surface that you are looking at the most while you are at home – so it is better if it sets your mood right.

Lets go over the most popular kitchen countertop material choices and compare their features here and see what will the best choice for you in terms of design and function.

Granite countertops. Although there has been some decline in the use of granite for kitchen design, the type of granite that is really affected is only the lower end granite due to its busy and overpowering grain, although let’s admit, people who have installed it are not in a rush to replace it. Now, speaking of higher end granite, it is still the leader in the kitchen countertop design. And it is easy to see why: Offering beautiful natural grain and variation of color along with durability and non porous structure (that makes it not vulnerable to training from regular spills) it also is fading resistant, comes in wide slabs and is excellent for outdoor use which makes it ideal for use as a countertop. Unlike quartz it is more difficult to envision ho the actual stone pattern will work in your kitchen and how the direction of the grain will look at the seams, as there is no 2 slabs of granite alike. But you do not need to worry there, as with us you are not choosing the countertop from a small sample – you will get a chance to look at the actual slab it will be cut out from.

Quartz countertops. Once the manufacturers have come up with bigger variety of color options and stone looks, with some of them coming really close to the look of natural stone, Quartz has quickly climbed up in the market of kitchen countertops. Although it is an engineered material created by combining 90% of ground quarts (which is a natural mineral) with 8-10% of resins, polymers and resins it boasts durability, natural look and is extremely stain resistant. It does need any sealing or maintenance.

And it seems like there are no arguments against it except 2 – the limited width of the slab and sun resistance. If you are entertaining a lot working on creating that outdoor – indoor entertaining space – you will not be able to continue with quartz outdoors – it will not withstand the sun exposure and will fade. As a matter of fact it is also not recommended for kitchens where parts of the kitchen are exposed to bright light – you will see the difference pretty fast.
And of course, it goes without saying, if the width of the slab is not enough to cover your countertop the material is not suitable for your design.

Marble countertops. It seems like nothing beats marble in the beauty of its grain and the feel of the stone. It is an excellent choice for both traditional and contemporary look kitchen. But when you choose marble you have to understand that it is more demanding than other materials and has its limitations. Marble is sensitive to acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon, tomatoes, wine, as well as some household cleaners. It is more susceptible to scratching as well. But its natural beauty is often so much valued that our clients simply go for it and use sealants for countertop protection. It is also often used for your classic mix and match situation for kitchen areas where countertops are less likely to sustain damage.

Porcelain is not quite a new player in the countertop kitchen design but is drastically expanding its market share now, although most of clients know it better from bathroom design, and specifically love it integrated sink capability, which is not possible with any other material. Over the years this wonderful material has undergone impressive changes in its production technology and now comes in variety of colors and boasts introduction of natural stone & wood looking patterns, as well as wide variety of colors (solid black red or grey, dramatic metallics) that makes it a winner when it comes to contemporary kitchen design.

The porcelain suppliers now are able to manufacture it in slabs up to 10 x 5 feet allowing for oversized seamless kitchen island, and offering perfect solution for seamless smaller L -shape countertop. The material came back stronger, more durable and non porous – that makes it absolutely an ideal choice for a kitchen countertop in terms of its features. It is also loved by designers for the ability to coordinate with porcelain tiles for other kitchen surfaces.

In the modern kitchen countertop design there is enough materials both natural and manmade that are able to satisfy the most demanding decorator. But after doing your research and deciding on the actual material please stop by our showroom at 1490 Major Mackenzie Drive, Unit D3, Vaughan, Ontario, L6A 4H6 to see the amazing variety of possibilities and actual samples of materials that can be used for functional and useful countertops in your kitchen.