Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Greenbrook Design, managing day to day operations, marketing, sourcing product and keeping the showroom beautifully designed. Stacey also does interior design & home styling for a select number of clients. Find out more about Stacey here.
Countertops are often underappreciated and underrated in design. They are the true workhorses of any space as they are used regularly and withstand so much. We chop, pound, kneed, spill, and more all over these smooth surfaces yet they manage to keep going day after day. Unfortunately they are not meant to last forever, experts say you should consider replacing them every 10 to 15 years especially if there are wear and tear signs such as stubborn stains, chips, or cracks. Find a detailed list of reasons here on why you should replace your countertops. When it comes to shopping for countertops, it is important to ask certain questions that can help you determine which one is right for you. To make it easy we have compiled a list of the top five countertop questions with our best answers.
Which countertop is easiest to maintain?
This is an important quality to consider in your next countertop purchase since no one wants to spend more time cleaning than necessary, especially when you have little ones to care for. It is always an essential question to ask your designer or when you visit your local dealer to pick out your new slab. When it comes to countertops, quartz will give you a beautiful look and is one of the easiest to maintain. It does not stain and because it is non-porous. There is an added bonus to the non-porous aspect, this will minimize the amount of germs present in the kitchen and can give you a peace of mind for your family’s health. Countertops made from granite, while always a stunning look, do need to be sealed on a regular basis. Quartz is a great choice for those who don’t wish to spend hours trying to keep their countertops clean and maintained. For more comparisons you can read an article from FloForm as they share information between several countertop materials.
Which countertop is the most durable?
When you make a decision that involves spending money on a large investment, durability is something that matters. The goal of any home renovation is to create a space that is functional and perfectly suited to your family’s needs and it is not something that is done every other year. Choosing a new countertop involves selecting a material that is going to last and stand up to the everyday usage. When looking for a countertop that is both elegant and durable, Granite is the number one choice though natural is not the only option available now. Engineered granite is making a statement in the design world as it possesses all the desirable qualities of natural stone but with a few added bonuses such as extra durability. Granite whether engineered or natural can withstand high temperatures meaning it can resist burn marks. It is also able to withstand scratches and dents meaning it can endure easily. It is also a good option for those with health concerns since it can resist bacteria growth. It is worth mentioning that quartz has also been named a top performer when it comes to durability since it is a man made material. Both are good choices, the decision will come down to what is best suited for your family. This is where an experienced designer can be of help when trying to narrow down your best option.
Where to put countertop seams?
A new countertop can perform wonders in transforming your bathroom or kitchen into a space that looks brand new. The solid surface can make everything amazing and give you the added prep space you have been wanting. When you look at countertops it seems seamless, as if it is just one big piece but that is just the work of a good fabricator and the cuts they make. The placement of your countertop seams is an important one and should be given good thought. A large kitchen island can mean multiple pieces that need to be done in such a way as to make it look like one and prevent issues of dirt building up if the seams are not done correctly. Some things to keep in mind when selecting your countertop is the size of the slab. To minimize the amount of seams try to find one that can cover a large portion of the intended area. Places that should be avoided for seam placement include the sink as it will create a weak spot due to minimal support. Darker colored slabs can make it easier to hide seams and having the seams near a natural breakpoint can help as well.
Which countertop is heat resistant?
Kitchen countertops will be exposed to a lot of heat especially from those who love to cook on a regular basis. Heat resistant countertops are an important aspect to consider when selecting your new look and will make cooking easier since you are not worried about setting something hot down like a pot or pan. Granite again tends to come out on top, the natural stone can handle a hot item with ease instead of having to place a trivet or hot pad first. This tolerance to heat comes from the fact that granite is formed under a tremendous amount of high temperature paired with high pressure. Having the ability to simply enjoy cooking in the kitchen without worrying if there is a hot pad nearby is a great bonus to a new countertop. Countertops are meant to act as a large prep space where you can spread out and express your creativity with ease. It is also beneficial in the bathroom as well if you use heated appliances such as a curling iron on a regular basis. This should be one of the top questions you ask your designer when selecting your countertop material.
What countertop goes with white kitchens?
Color is an important factor when choosing new countertops, they are meant to last a long time and are not easily replaced every other year so this decision matters. White kitchens remain a popular choice for cabinet colors as they pair well with other colors and blend with just about every style including traditional and minimalism. While there is no truly right answer since your home is a reflection of you and should be enjoyed, designers caution against using all one color. Contrast is a beautiful element of design and is meant to give visual interest as well as depth to a space. Dark countertops look absolutely stunning against white cabinets both in the kitchen and bathroom. They can also compliment a darker island such as blue and even red and provide contrast to the white perimeter. If you are not fond of the dark color scheme you can opt for a soft gray or even off white countertop which allows you to stay in the lighter realm but avoid blending everything together. Countertops come in such a wide array of colors today, there will be an option that is perfect for you and your tastes.
Top countertop questions
What countertop you choose matters, it should never be thrown together or made at the last minute. It takes up a large part of your kitchen, can make a big impact, and is one area of the space that draws the eye. This is why we love having many samples available for our clients to see when they visit the showroom. It is always best to look for yourself, never decide on your countertop based on a picture. Take the time to visit the slab yard yourself or see a physical sample so you can look at it in the light. If you are looking for a new countertop we invite you to come visit us at our showroom located in Shelby, NC. We would love to help you pick out your new favorite piece.