HGTV shows make shopping for counter tops look so easy. They bring out a few choices for the homeowner to choose, there is a little back and forth between the homeowners, and then its a done deal. Real life is nothing like this.
Walking into a granite store is overwhelming. The first time we went shopping for counters, we picked out this beautiful cream and brown stone. However, when we got home I started to have regrets. I couldn’t pick the backsplash to match and I couldn’t imagine it in the new kitchen. I made my mom go back so we could pick out a different top. Walking back through the isles I kept more of an open mind. We went slower and tried to imagine each stone in the new kitchen. We finally settled on a beautiful black granite.
Here is what I have learned about counter tops through this process!
Butcher block gives any home a warm and homey feel. It is a great working and food prep surface and it has a natural anti-bacterial surface. Butcher block is also a budget friendly choice! The upkeep on this choice is more than others and has to be sanded down and sealed.
Concrete can give a kitchen a fantastic look! You can give it a completely custom look with the stain and texture of your choice! Concrete does need to be sealed to help prevent some chips, scratches, and stains; however, it does damage relatively easily. It is also heat resistant.
Granite is a natural stone where no two pieces look alike. There are different grades depending on how rare the stone is and the colors within. It is an extremely durable stone that is hard to damage and cut. You can take pans out of the oven and put them directly on the counter top, no need to dig for the pot holder. Definitely wipe up all stains quickly to prevent stains and regular sealing is needed to help protect it! The great thing about granite is that there are so many varieties and looks you can create.
Marble is a timeless stone and gives a high-end look to any kitchen. Regular sealing is required to help keep stains out of this porous material. It also can get scratched and nicked easily, but these can be buffed out with care. There is some variation within the white and cream helps to hide stains. If you are a baker, this is the material for you because it stays cool which is perfect for making pastries.
Quartz is a man-made stone that has a very uniform look that is meant to mimic stone. It is a durable and tough material that does not get damaged, and it is a crack and stain resistant and non-porous material. It is a low maintenance material that does not need to be resealed, as other natural stones do. It is not heat resistant which is an important difference.
Soapstone is my favorite stone! I was swayed away from the material because it is damaged easily and some stains cannot be removed. The stone deepens in color with age, so it must be considered when choosing this material and whether you can handle the change. Soapstone is a great stone for baking as well! These stones are heat resistant and are usually found in the gray family.
Stainless steel gives any kitchen a great industrial look! This material is easy to clean making it extremely hygienic and has almost no upkeep. The only reason I could not have stainless steel counter tops is because of these fingerprints that would easily show-up. I would be cleaning these constantly.