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Kitchen Countertop Guide: How to Make the Best Decision on a Material

Selecting the right countertops for your kitchen build or renovation will pay off for years to come.


Choosing the right countertops for your kitchen build or renovation will pay off for years. As a property owner, you’ll love walking into your kitchen every day to make coffee or prepare dinner, soaking in the beautiful colors, light and cool touch of your countertops. It’s a big decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Builders and homeowners spend thousands of dollars on counters. Mistakes are costly and painful. With so much at stake, it’s critical that selection decisions are informed. People need to know what countertop materials will work the best for them. Many are surprised to hear that choosing a material isn’t only about how much they're prepared to spend. In general, yes, more money will get you a higher quality countertop. However, it’s not that simple.

Different kitchens call for different materials. There are factors in how they’re used that should decide whether you choose marble, granite, quartz, or some other material. Taking a quick inventory before you buy will lead you in the right direction and help ensure you’re happy with your decision for as long as you own your home. Here are some tips on how to make the best decision on a kitchen countertop material.

1. Plan for Expected Wear and Tear

Someone who lives alone and keeps his or her home in pristine condition doesn’t have to worry too much about countertop durability. Sure, they can buy exquisite rare natural stone that shines without worrying about stains or cracks from Marble, but it’ s likely they’ll stay on top of cleaning schedules and get regular sealant applied to protect their investment. They probably won’t be too distracted to cleanup any spills quickly that could damage the marble. A single parent with four kids at home and a full-time job might not be able to keep up. They likely will need a countertop that can take a regular beating and stand up to the daily spills, scratches and heat.

Spending a ton on countertops for this family would be a foolish decision they’d live to regret. They need something durable that can withstand heavy use. Before anyone buys countertops, they need to be honest with how the kitchen will be used and what kind of cleaning it will get. Don’t blow the budget if you don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to keep up with maintenance.

2. Timelines Matter

Everyone loves to think they’ll live in their new homes forever. When most people buy a house, they aren’t thinking about an exit. Resale value isn’t high on the priority list. The fact is, almost everyone in the United States will live in multiple houses during their lifetimes. Owners own multiple houses over the course of their lives as well. While it shouldn’t be a major concern for buyers, it should play into what kitchen countertop material is selected. If you plan on living in a home you buy while you finish school, or on temporary assignment, then it’s not very wises to splurge on countertops. It takes years to earn a return on the initial purchase and installation investment.

Don’t buy your dream material for your starter home. Be realistic about timelines so you’re ready to make the purchase when it’s right. If you buy a house you plan on living in for several years, then it will influence what kind of countertop is most appropriate. The longer you are going to live somewhere makes buying higher-end materials wiser.

3. How Specific Are Your Needs?

Homebuilders tend to make countertop material selection relatively easy. The homes are pre-planned, and there are a limited number of options for carpets, countertops, and other finishes. They’ve been selected by teams of designers with expertise. You go into a model home and walk through what’s available. They’re often lovely choices, made more affordable because property developers are able to negotiate prices down. However, specific tastes and custom designs make a huge difference. If anything is out of line with builders’ specifications, it often voids their ability to supply the countertops. Job requirements have a huge impact on what material is most suitable. If you have an oddly shaped kitchen, or you want some color that is not naturally occurring, then your staple granite or marble countertops may not do. Quartz is a great option because it is so flexible. The manmade material can be customized into a wider spectrum of colors and shapes that natural stone. Owners need to know exactly what they want to find a supplier who can fill the order.

4. It’s a Matter of Personal Style

When it all comes down, basically the countertop material you choose needs to be an expression of your personal and home style. Even though a certain countertop may be a commercial favorite, you’ll never regret going with what you are naturally drawn to. Don’t settle when it comes to your decision. The amount you’re investing, and the fact you’ll be looking at it day after day mean it’s a decision that should be made with careful thought.

Get something that will look great, won’t stretch you too far financially, and will be durable enough for whatever regular use means to you. Some homeowners are drawn to natural stone because they love the story it tells. They enjoy letting guests know that their granite color is from a specific region overseas. They like knowing that their countertops are unique. Other owners love the choices they get with something like quartz. Marble, after all, doesn’t come in matte black or sky blue.

The right countertop decision is one that is thought through and made with conviction. People spend too much time and money on their kitchens to settle. Make the right call and get the countertops of your dreams. There are a lot of resources out there to help educate and advise your decision. Choose the kitchen you’ll love waking up to every morning.



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