Granite countertops might be the most distinguished material currently used. Polished granite slabs and granite tiles are both available. Slabs have the edge in elegance; tiles bring an Old World or country feel to the kitchen. Both are gorgeous.
• Pros: Rich, luxurious look, natural stone, durability and scratch-resistance
• Cons: Expensive, hard, require regular sealing and can chip (though chip repair can be DIY and very effective)
. Granite Price Range: $95-$225 per square foot.
Lava countertops are unique, a conversation starter for sure. The look is classy and unique, polished to a sparkling gleam. Lava countertops feature a glazed surface available in many colors, and their appearance works with designs ranging from traditional to retro to contemporary to modern.
• Pros: Uncommon, strong, pretty and resistant to heat
• Cons: Very expensive, hard to refinish (though they last many decades)
Lava Stone Price Range: $250-$300 per square foot
Marble countertops boast traditional beauty that is unsurpassed. The stone comes in a range of hues including lovely pinks, greens and neutral tones.
• Pros: Stunning good looks
• Cons: Not commonly used in kitchens due to probability of staining and need to seal properly and often.
Marble Price Range: $64. $93.00 per square foot.
Quartz countertops are another elegant choice. This engineered material is pigmented in many colors, each one polished to a bright surface. Quartz is a good choice in traditional kitchens but looks good in contemporary space too.
• Pros: Strong, color options, easy to clean, doesn’t require sealing, resists scratches
• Cons: Costly, not very resistant to heat
Quartz Price Range: $105-$187 per square foot.
Soapstone is natural stone material that has been used for centuries in countertops. It’s milky appearance gives it a rustic feel when compared with the urbane and elegant look of granite or slate.
• Pros: Fabulous natural grey color, smooth matte feel, resistant to etching from acids, somewhat resistant to stains, scratches can be easily sanded or oiled away, not as harmful to the environment as other quarried stones.
• Cons: Needs regular maintenance, may crack, chip and scratch, color may darken..
Soapstone Price Range: $70 -$120 per square foot.
Travertine countertops are favored as flooring tiles, Italy and Turkey wall covering, kitchen countertops, and bathroom vanities since thousands of years. Travertine is available in polished, matte, brushed or tumbled finishes.
• Pros: Travertine countertops are smooth and porous natural stone that has a rich and creamy hue. Travertine kitchen & bath countertops are very durable and can also be used for exterior and interior decorations. They are resistant to heat and moisture. Travertine countertops are very sturdy like marble countertops. They do not crack when handled even with a little care.Travertine has a creamy appeal that gives a warm touch to kitchen and bathrooms. Travertine kitchen and bathroom countertops are very durable and last longer than most other materials.
• Cons: Travertine Countertops are highly reactive to acids, such as: orange juice, and lime juice. Even a minor spillage will lead to staining. It is not a good idea to install travertine kitchen countertops if you do heavy cooking in your kitchen. Many home owners do not install travertine kitchen countertops if they are to be used excessively. Most people decide to install travertine for its aesthetic appeal in the use of kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. If you do decide to go with travertine for your kitchen countertops, it is highly recommended that you use special products to clean and maintain your travertine countertops. Travertine is quite soft and easily prone to scratches.
Travertine Price Range: $50 -$170 per square foot.
Slate countertops unlike granite, marble and concrete, slate is non-porous. This means that it cleans up very easily and does not have a tendency to harbor bacteria. It won’t absorb liquids, so you won’t get any staining from juice, tomato products, oil, cleaners, etc., since they can’t penetrate the surface.
• Pros: The hardness and durability of slate is also very appealing in the kitchen or bathroom. It won’t easily chip or scratch, and it stands up very well to heat. Hot pans or hair tools won’t mar the surface.
• Cons: Some may find the sheer sheen of slate too boring to behold, while some would appreciate its sober countenance. When using slate for countertops, have its edges rounded, and smoothed beforehand. Chances are that the corners of the counter may chip. At first, a slight flip-off may not be visible to the naked eye; however, any further deterioration may be considered abominable for its appearance. Abrasive cleaners can cause damage to this material; hence, they should be avoided as far as possible. Even though the material is resistant to acid and stains, it is recommended you seal the countertops
Slate Price Range: $100-$200 per square foot
Dave Silva, GC
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