The time has come to remodel the kitchen, and you have developed a game plan that includes adding a countertop. You have performed extensive research to come up with the answer to the question “What is the best kitchen countertop material: Engineered stone or natural stone.
Naturally, it is natural stone.
Now, we are down to selecting the right natural stone for constructing your brand new kitchen countertop. You have several options with granite, marble, limestone, and soapstone heading the list of natural stone options.
Let’s review why natural stone makes the ideal material for a kitchen countertop, before we explain the five factors to think about when choosing a natural stone countertop.
Benefits of Installing a Natural Stone Countertop
Comparing natural stone to engineered countertops is really not a fair comparison. Here is why natural stone easily outpaces engineered stone as the best kitchen countertop material.
With so much attention paid to enhancing the quality of the environment, you can do your part by going with a natural stone kitchen countertop. Many types of engineered stone possess harmful plastics and chemicals, while natural stones such as slate do not contribute to the buildup of greenhouse gases. Moreover, natural stone never leaves any eco-unfriendly pieces behind.
Long Lasting Durability
If you plan to use the new kitchen countertop for preparing meals, you cannot go wrong by installing a natural stone countertop. Natural stones resist the damage caused by strong impacts like pounding chicken breasts and slicing vegetables. You never have to worry about scratches diminishing the appearance of your new countertop, as well as repair damage caused by prolonged exposure to heat and moisture. Natural stones such as granite are some of the toughest materials to use for any kitchen remodel.
Unlike most types of engineered stone, natural stone is extremely resistant to the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses. Sealing natural stone countertops further prevent the production of germs. You do not need to use a strong disinfectant to ensure your family dines in a healthy kitchen environment. All you need is to clean the countertop after every meal.
Outside of sealing, you do not have to spend much time maintaining natural stone kitchen countertops. Just a wipe with a damp cloth soaked with standard dish soap should clean the surface of any natural stone countertop. Sealing is a maintenance task that can be a project that lasts for years at a time.
Increase in Home Value
When a prospective homebuyer walks into your kitchen, the natural stone countertop will be the design focal point. You can expect the installation of a natural stone kitchen countertop to increase the value of your home, with most prospective homebuyers having no problem paying the extra price.
How to Choose a Natural Stone Countertop
When considering the addition of a natural stone countertop, what factors come into play to help you reach the right decision? You should first consider the design dynamics of the kitchen, and then figure out the primary function of the new natural stone kitchen countertop.
1) Kitchen Design Dynamics
Caela Manninen, who is the Showroom Representative for Welch Tile & Marble, says the design dynamics of your kitchen should play a significant role in the type of natural stone to use for building a kitchen countertop. What is the color scheme of your kitchen? What materials are used to manufacture the kitchen appliances? Does sunlight influence the design dynamics of the kitchen? These are just a few questions to ask before moving on to the second factor to think about when choosing a natural stone countertop.
How to you plan to use the new natural stone kitchen countertop? Will it be primarily used as a dining area to entertain guests? Will you embed a stove or a range to turn the countertop into the main cooking area of the kitchen? Do you plan to use the new natural stone countertop for food prepping, such as creating stocks for soups and sauces? Along with design dynamics, the primary function of your new natural stone kitchen top are the two most important factors to consider when choosing a natural stone countertop. For more information about natural stone kitchen countertops, we recommend visiting slabmarket.
3) How Much Cleaning Will You Need to Do?
As we mentioned, most natural stone countertops require a simple wipe with a damp, soapy washcloth. However, natural stones like slate and limestone require a little extra effort because of the layers of sedimentary rock. If you plan to do most of your food prepping on a natural stone countertop, then maybe granite or marble should be the options for constructing the countertop.
4) Are You Willing to Perform Frequent Sealing?
Manninen has sound advice when it comes to the amount of sealing you will have to perform for a natural stone countertop. “Find an often used area of your countertop, and place a small drop of water there,” she said in a recent interview. “Leave it for 15 minutes, and when you come back if it’s still there, your sealer is good. If it’s been absorbed, it’s time to reseal.” You have to be willing to commit time for resealing certain types of natural stone countertops. Otherwise, you run the risk of the natural stone slowly degrading and thus, delivering inferior quality.
5) How Much Can You Afford?
As priced per slab, natural stone costs more than the price of engineered stone. In addition, there is a wide range of prices for natural stone countertops. You can expect to pay more for natural stones such as marble and granite. Marble enhances the visual appeal of a kitchen countertop, while the rugged durability of granite makes it perfect for a frequently used countertop for preparing food. You also must consider how the cost of installing a new natural stone countertop affects the home improvement budget.
Every one of the five factors to think about when choosing a natural stone countertop requires a thorough analysis to decide on the right natural countertop for your kitchen.