There are certain moments in life that make you feel like an honest-to-goodness, real-live adult. For me, one of the first was when all my silverware matched. Another was when I finally invested in a matching bedroom set. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of slipping a new set of sheets on a bed with a headboard and matching nightstands. I felt like I’d actually grown up.
My next “adult” goal is new kitchen countertops. Yep, I’m shooting big. The ones currently in our house are best described as cheap — and I’m talking good ol’ laminate with matching backsplash. It’s a far cry from almost anyone’s idea of an “adult” kitchen. Their only saving grace is the color: neutral brown. So, they’re not so much of an eyesore.
Because a new set of countertops is my next adult venture (and the project will be a fairly big decision), I’ve done my research. You want something that’s not just functional and durable but ties the entire room together.
Here’s what I’ve learned about some of the more popular options:
- Granite. Granite is a great natural stone that definitely gives your kitchen an upgrade. It’s pretty durable, taking heat and handling everyday wear-and-tear. But it’s not without some drawbacks. This particular stone is porous. If not sealed properly, it can lead to stains and bacterial growth. That said, most professionals can seal granite with ease, so don’t worry there. Just keep in mind that it will take maintenance.
- Quartz. Quartz has the look of natural stone with much less maintenance, giving granite a real run for its money. Made from one of the hardest materials on earth, quartz is beyond durable. It comes in a large variety of colors with great sparkles and veining, giving it the appearance of either granite or marble. And being nonporous, it’s scratch and stain resistant. That means no maintenance for you. I’m partial to Cambria quartz products because the craftsmanship, but you may decide to go with a different manufacturer.
- Marble. If you talk to a contractor about marble, he’ll ask you where you plan to place it in your home. Why? Marble has some setbacks, especially in a kitchen. It can handle heat just fine, but, similar to granite, it’s very porous. In fact, it’s even more so. It can be sealed, but even things like liquid makeup or nail polish remover can stain it in the bathroom. It also scratches very easily. Sharp knives, pots, and pans can take its toll on your countertops really quick. Keep the marble in your bathroom or fireplace.
I could easily turn this post into a 15-page article on all the countertop options, like zinc, copper, butchers block, laminate, soapstone, etc., but I’ll leave it at the top 3. When you choose to get new countertops, make sure you do your research and invest in quality. It truly makes all the difference.