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The Kitchen Counter Challenge

Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: The New York Times

Choosing a kitchen countertop can be an exciting process. Not only will it establish a beautiful-looking kitchen with clean lines and a sleek finish, but picking the right natural stone for your kitchen will make it that much easier to put those fantastic inner chef skills to work.

Your choice of a natural stone kitchen countertop should make your life easier in the long run. Not only will you have a chic and stylish kitchen area, but choosing the right stone will make care and maintenance in your kitchen a breeze.

So why does the countertop cause so much consternation? It’s flat. Its job is simple: to provide a clean, even surface for food preparation and serving. Really, how difficult could it be to choose the right one?

It turns out, going to a good natural stone provider will make your life simpler, saving you time and money.

Start with the budget: Depending on the material, your counter could represent a considerable part of your budget. Then there’s the appearance: In the contemporary kitchen the counter is a defining feature that telegraphs personality.

Are you a reserved minimalist who prefers an absolute white marble, or a more adventurous type who goes for wildly wavy Fusion quartzite?

And what about maintenance? Some materials will stain and scratch more easily than others, which will bother some people more than others.

And last but not least, there are the finishes and the way the material is fabricated into a countertop, with a particular finish, edge detail and seams, the look of a kitchen can change drastically.

So first things first, understand the materials. Counters can be made from a variety of materials, and there are advantages and disadvantages to all of them. Among the most popular at the moment are dolomite and quartzite.

Dolomite is not only high-end surface visually stunning, its hard texture makes it very resistant to scratches. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, is budget friendly, durable, and widely available. That is why dolomite has become a favorite for kitchens in America.

Quartzite is for those who love the look of marble but want something with a little more resistance. This natural stone countertop is created strong with the ability to resist chips, heat, scratches, and other damage. Quartzite is a durable choice that can contains veining that closely resembles the luxe appearance of marble.

Granite is incredibly hard and durable, which is why it’s such a popular building material. It is extremely resistant to knife scratches, chipping, and acid erosion. So, it can pretty much withstand anything you can throw at it, and it’ll stay beautiful for ages (litearlly!) to come.

Marble is used in palaces across the world, and is world renowned for its rich appearance and the luxurious style it can bring to any room. Marble is calcium carbonate, and acids eat that calcium carbonate, which creates etching, so is also relatively easy to scratches and stains, so it requires a little more maintenance than other stone countertops. Sealing and regular maintenance a must to keep it looking pristine.

If you still can’t decide, choose several! There is no rule that says you must use a single material for all of your counters. Architects and designers often mix it up by using one material for the majority of the counters, a different material for the island, and yet another for the backsplash.

“Very often, we pick a nice-looking stone for the kitchen island, because that’s where people will sit and touch the marble. Then, on the back counter, where we have the sink, dishwasher, stovetop, more grease and dirty dishes, we choose a more durable material, like quartzite” says West Chin, an architect from New York. In an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he designed a kitchen with a Statuary marble island and a Corian counter along the wall behind it. For another apartment, in the Flatiron district, he designed an island with a concrete top, then installed black granite counters by the range and sink, and a backsplash of white Statuary marble. For nervous homeowners, he said, “the backsplash is often the best place to put marble, because it’s hard to spill on a vertical surface.”

If you still have questions, come pay us a visit at our warehouse/showroom and our stone specialist team will gladly assist you!

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