Natural stone is beautiful choice for granite countertops. Engineered stone, quartz and laminate all try to mimic the beauty of natural stone, but they do not even come close! Everyone has heard the expression that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” and this is very true when it comes to granite and marble countertops.
Granite and marble can be expensive, but doesn’t have to be. With the right stone selection, and reasonable choices for edge and design it can be more cost effective than Corian, and most engineered or quartz stone type products.
Its beauty is timeless, rich and transcends the ages. The resale value of your investment can be more rewarding than the imitators and this is evidenced by the large numbers of realtors that come here every day to spruce up a home to make it saleable.
Its durability is legendary. A home with natural stone accents is valued for its custom one of a kind attributes and recognized as not an off the shelf one size fits all approach to most products today.
Some will try to scare you with the scare tactic “You always have to seal it and maintain it with special products”.
The reality is this; once or twice a year you spray and wipe with “sealer” which is as difficult to apply as Windex (not very hard to do). Some stones never need to be resealed, ask your fabricator if your stone choice is porous or dense and your stone supplier will advise you as to what and how to apply. Once or twice a year is a worst case scenario for resealing frequency.
The upside of quartz is that it is consistent. It has no fissures, no veins, and very limited inclusions. It handles heat well and never needs to be sealed. Most manufacturers of quartz offer a warranty. If you like consistent coloring and look then quartz countertops make an excellent choice. Many of the manufacturers are offering colors that are getting much closer to a natural stone look without the downside. Quartz is very hard, therefore scratch resistant. It like granite can scratch and chip. It is my opinion that quartz is less scratch resistant, but is more prone to chipping. The very hardness that makes it more scratch resistant does make it more brittle and prone to chipping. Conversely, granite chips can be repaired more easily than quartz.