Help Choosing the Best Countertop for Your Home
Building a new home or renovating an existing one can be exciting and daunting at the same time. There are so many decisions to make and details to consider. Not to mention the unlimited number of options out there. This is especially true when undergoing a kitchen and/or bathroom renovation or facelift. Countertops become a focal point of these spaces and are one of the most used surfaces in your home.
We can help you explore the characteristics of the different materials available. Riverbend will guide you in choosing the right colour, pattern, and finish, as well as ensure you select the right material for your lifestyle.
The three primary materials used for countertops in today’s design world are granite, quartz and laminate. A summary of the characteristics of each option can help get you on the right track so you can make an informed decision with no regrets.
The unique colours and patterns of granite can make any home exude luxury. Each slab of granite has its own special details. Created by Mother Nature, granite offers a distinctive aesthetic and can become the masterpiece of your space.
Characteristics of Granite:
- Natural: Made up of quartz and feldspar, granite is created through slow crystallization of magma below the Earth’s surface. The different minerals present in granite give each slab its colouration and pattern. Granite is mined from quarries all around the world. Granite is durable and hard to scratch. The material is strong enough to bear significant weight and looks beautiful when polished.
- Maintenance: Granite requires regular maintenance especially where food is present. It must be sealed to resist contamination.
- Unique: Each slab of granite has a unique range of colour and pattern. You will want to make a visit to the fabricator’s warehouse to select your slab because of the variation from a sample piece to the actual portion you will be using.
There is truly no substitution for the beauty of granite. To ensure granite is the right material for your home, talk to a specialist.
Quartz is a very popular alternative to natural stones. Many quartz selections are designed to replicate the look of granite or marble without the maintenance. Quartz allows for control over colour and pattern making the design process a bit easier since what you see is what you get.
Characteristics of Quartz:
- Variety: From simple and sleek to bold and colourful, Quartz countertops mimic the look and feel of natural stone to compliment any décor. The latest collections of quartz colours offer truly unique designs. Other collections focus on natural elements such as oxidized steel, untreated wood, and raw concrete for that warm and cozy aesthetic. Simpler collections are available to complement the overall design without becoming the focus.
- Quality: Quartz is a manufactured stone comprised of a high content of ground natural quartz bonded together with high-quality resins, polymers, and pigments. Not all quartz is created equal so make sure you do your research on the composition of the one you are looking at. Good quality quartz contains 90 – 95% quartz and is naturally stain and scratch resistant. Quality quartz is also resistant to heat, cold and common household chemicals. Some lesser quality quartz contains higher levels of resin and polymers with lower levels of actual quartz. Lesser quality options can create a headache down the road as they can be susceptible to yellowing, staining, scratching, and scorching.
- No Maintenance: Quartz is an impervious material, guaranteed not to stain and does not need sealing. If you like to entertain, you no longer need to worry about food contamination or red wine stains. Quartz is great for families and busy homes so you can enjoy living in your house without worry. Whether installed as kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities or a bench in a custom shower, quartz is designed to last a lifetime.
Quartz has become the leader in countertop material offering the beauty of stone without the maintenance.
Laminate (AKA Arborite)
Laminate countertops have come a long way over the years with patterns reminiscent of natural stone and finishes with a multitude of textures. Laminate is a great way to update your space while keeping your costs down. With a wide selection of patterns and colours, laminate can be used on flat surfaces, vertical surfaces and even has “writable” options similar to a whiteboard concept.
Characteristics of Laminate:
- Cost: Not all projects are conducive to the costs involved with natural stone or quartz. Laminate is an economical solution that allows you to create the look and feel of stone at half the cost. If you are working with a tight budget or on a project for a rental property, laminate could be just what you are looking for.
- Patterns and Finishes: Laminate manufacturers use state of the art high-resolution imaging to replicate the look of quartz, stone and wood. With a multitude of surface finishes including, matte, textured and granite finishes, laminate can be used for that high-end look. An array of decorative edge finishes can really trick people into believing it’s the real thing.
- Caring for laminate countertops is simple with a quick wipe down, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Laminate is not intended for cutting on or placing hot pots or pans on, doing this can scratch and scorch your countertop. Care should also be taken when sliding objects as this can scratch the surface. Be sure to have seams placed away from sources of water, such as sink areas and dishwashers to avoid water damage.
Laminate is the perfect choice to keep your project on budget. It offers beautiful patterns and gives you the look you’ve been dreaming about.
Our team at Riverbend Interiors Floor’s & Decor are here to help your new build or renovation go as smoothly as possible. Stop by our showroom and check out the plethora of choices available for you to see and feel.