More people are staying in the home they have these days and doing a bit of remodeling, rather than moving. Kitchens are one of the most popular rooms to remodel.
Nothing changes the look of a kitchen like new countertops, which are a great way to update. There are so many beautiful alternatives — granite, quartz, marble or quartzite.
Granite was a top seller for years, definitely an upgrade from Formica or laminate. It is a natural stone, mostly mined in Brazil, Italy, India and China. It’s almost always in “natural” colors — browns, tans, golds, some blacks and grays, and sometimes with flecks of other colors.
Quartz came along about 25 years ago. Quartz countertops are man-made from ground quartz rocks, resin and colors. It is exceedingly hard, does not stain as easily as granite and does not require as much maintenance as granite. It is, of course, more expensive than granite.
Marble has been the true luxury option for many years. It has the most beautiful whites for a white kitchen, but we like to say it’s for kitchens where there is no cooking being done. It is porous, so it stains easily, and is more expensive than granite and quartz. Most people opt for a quartz that looks like marble instead.
New on the scene is quartzite. It’s a naturally occurring rock formed from sandstone at very high temperatures deep underground. It has similar colors and veining to marble but has exceptional strength, density and hardness. Expect to pay accordingly for this precious and beautiful countertop.
Pro tip: Make the trip to look at the actual slabs, and choose yours. There can be quite a bit of variation from one slab to the next, especially with granite, marble and quartzite, so this step is important.
Already have stone countertops? Don’t forget to seal them on a yearly basis. When properly sealed, the surface of your countertop will be much easier to clean, and any risk of staining is reduced. Note: Most quartz products do not require sealing.
– Elisabeth Stubbs is one of the owners of Enhance Floors & More, one of Atlanta’s top-rated flooring dealers, located in Marietta.