It is imperative to know that choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen or bathroom can be quite challenging. It is difficult to make a decision due to the number of factors to consider: aesthetics, diversity, durability, cost, and maintenance.
Sometimes, homeowners become perplexed on the particular countertop material to deploy, considering the varieties of natural stone countertop materials available in the market today as well as their contrasting features.
We have provided a natural stone countertop comparison guide below in order to ensure that homeowners do not make a terrible mistake when deciding and also to help them receive clarity by comparing and contrasting the features of the various natural countertop materials that are in the market today.
The natural stone countertop materials which are available in the market are numerous, and they include: granite, quartz, marble, quartzite, and soapstone. This guide will create a balance by presenting the pros and cons of each of these natural stone countertop material, so, every homeowner can explore the differences of the natural stone countertop materials and make the perfect choice at an affordable cost.
The granite countertop is a natural stone that comes in a variety of colors and patterns which provides lasting value for the users. They need sealing to prevent staining, although, some varieties do not require sealing.
- Granite countertops are heat resistant, and do not scorch.
- They are resistant to scratches, stains and harsh chemicals.
- They can be easily cleaned on a regular basis.
- They are available in various colors and patterns by different brands
- The edges tend to chip, hence, it will require repair by a professional mason.
- Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent staining.
Cost: The price varies depending on the granite type, size of the countertop and Sealing cost. Granite slab countertops typically cost $40 – $60 while the granite tile costs $5 – $15 per square foot. The cost incurred for the installation of the granite countertops is within $100 – $120 per square foot.
The quartz countertop is an engineered blend of natural quartz stone, polyester resin and pigments. It is an ideal choice for a busy kitchen. Sites like Marble offer a host of different varieties; they are a perfect beauty for your kitchen. Pros
- Quartz countertops are heat resistant
- They are resistant to scratches, spills and harsh chemicals.
- They can be easily cleaned on a regular basis.
- They are available in various colors and patterns by different brands.
- They melt in heat above 300°F, hence, trivets should be used to protect its surface.
- The edges tend to chip; and so, they require biannual repairs by professional masons. So, this is the importance of brand identity, so choose a store that has good reviews.
Cost: Taking out the fee for installation and setup, the usual price for purchasing a quartz countertop is around $75 for every square foot. It is important to note that the manufacturer as well as the brand are a major determinant of the cost of quartz countertops, quality also of remarkable influence.
For high quality, medium quality, and low quality types, one can find their prices per square foot around $70 to $75, $65 to $70, and $50 to $65 respectively. For purchasing, installation and other necessities such as fabricating, the final price per square foot can be expected to fall within $115 to $200.
The marble countertop is a natural stone that is often admired due to its timeless beauty and elegance. The diversity of marble is outstanding; they are available in various styles, patterns, textures, and colors. They naturally stay cool, therefore, marble is appropriate for a fully active kitchen where frying and cooking will be done on a regular basis.
- Marble countertops are resistant to cracks
- They are heat resistant.
- They are easy to clean on a daily basis.
- They are available in various styles, patterns, and colors.
- They are susceptible to scratches, stains, and harsh chemicals.
- They tend to scorch, hence, a trivet should be used to avoid surface damages.
- They are not a perfect choice for those that want a low maintenance countertop material due to their periodic sealing.
Cost: The cost incurred in purchasing a marble countertop ranges from $40 – $200 per square foot. While the average cost of installing a marble countertop ranges from $65 – $95 per square foot.
It is imperative to note that the variation in price is due to a lot of factors, such as, the type of countertop desired, the expertise of the mason and the kind of finishing required.
The quartzite countertop is produced by subjecting the naturally occurring metamorphic rock-stone to extreme heat and pressure. The surfaces of the countertop are usually sealed and polished to enhance its beauty and durability. They exist in various colors due to the presence of other minerals like Iron Oxide.
- Quartzite countertops are resistant to heat, and do not scorch.
- They are resistant to scratch and harsh chemicals.
- They are a low maintenance material and can be easily cleaned on a regularly basis.
- They are available in various colors and styles.
- They can easily be stained through spills.
- They require periodic sealing to prevent staining.
Cost: The price quote for this stone is usually around $60 but can be expected to shoot up to as high as $100 in some others. It’s such an intricate process to perform an exquisite installation of the quartzite as it involves a great deal of expertise and time.
Thus, the final cost of purchase and installation may fall within $85 to $200 per square foot as it rises proportionally with the complexity of the job.
The soapstone countertop is made from the natural stone, soapstone, and a high percentage of quartz to make it durable, so that it can be ideal as a kitchen countertop surface. It is a beautiful natural stone for a modern kitchen.
It is inert and non-porous, therefore, it doesn’t require sealing like some other natural stones. It is usually treated with mineral oil to achieve a dark, even appearance.
- Soapstone countertops are heat resistant, and do not scorch.
- They are not affected by harsh chemicals.
- It is prone to scratch and stain.
- They are not available in diverse colors.
- They are not easy to clean and maintain.
Cost: The price varies depending on the wood type, size of the countertop and custom features. Soapstone countertops typically cost $70 – $120 per square foot, excluding installation. The installation fee falls between $75 – $150 per square foot.
In conclusion, you can never go wrong with the above guide. We hope you make the right decision regarding the perfect natural stone countertop material.