Hello, everyone! So, today I’d like to talk a little bit about countertop materials. There’s the always-cool Quartz, the greatness that is Granite, the lovely-though-inexpensive Laminate, and the beautiful Butcher Block. Each are lovely, but they definitely have different characteristics about them that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll sort through those subtle differences and compare them!
Countertop Materials: Quartz
Ah, Quartz. This man-made engineered stone is formed by a combination of ground quartz, which is a natural hard mineral, and polymers and pigments. This mixture performs a very tough, very hard surface, and the visuals are beautiful:
Durability: EXTRA. DURABLE. Some of us are pretty tough in the kitchen, like yours truly, and accidents tend to happen more of than not. Quartz is very forgiving in that short of beating a blender to it a couple hundred times, you’ll be free of cracks, scratches or dents. It’s also extremely heat resistant. This is the most durable of all countertop materials. It’s also antibacterial which is a huge bonus.
Looks: Quartz sports a very glossy sheen to its surface in most cases, which you’ll find extremely attractive. It can also be found in a matte finish. It’s rich, luxurious, and compliments any setting that it’s in.
Colors: Because it’s manmade, there is every color under the sun available. Nearly every color that this countertop has to offer will amaze you. We carry some awesome colors like Cool Naranja (Bright Orange) or natural colors like Pacific, featured below.
Price: At Builders Surplus, we carry the finest brands of countertops, including Silestone, Cambria and VICOSTONE. Right now, you can get this gorgeous countertop material for as low as $50-$120 per square foot, depending on the brand and color you choose.
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Countertop Materials: Granite
Granite may possibly be my favorite countertop material, and one of the reasons is that you can use this surface like it IS an actual rock. It’s very durable and very beautiful. However, it does require a little extra maintenance as far as sealing goes. It’s a porous stone, so it can be stained if it’s not sealed properly.
Durability: Seriously, rock solid. It’s Superman strong. However, it’s not quite as durable as quartz. It’s pretty heat and scratch resistant, so that’s a huge plus.
Looks: Granite shows the grains in the stone. They appear as specks or veins that blend in with the consistency of the entire slab, and because of this, there can be a variety of colors displayed in one countertop. I personally love this trait.
Colors: Like I just mentioned, each slab is a little different with the grain and consistency. Granite is formed by igneous rock, so it also gives you that feel, that texture that’s really sought after in kitchen designs. In store, we carry the likes of Verde Butterfly or Black Crystal. However, we carry many more custom granite colors so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for!
Price: We have a plethora of beautiful pieces, all at a very nice price. For example, at Builders Surplus, you can get this countertop material FULLY INSTALLED starting at just $39.99 per square foot! Prices will vary depending on the color you choose.
Countertop Materials: Laminate
Now, there are some that won’t bother with laminate because they deem it “too cheap,” but I can assure you that the material we carry is everything but. The attractiveness of Laminate is definitly there, but at an affordable price. But, what’s wrong for a paying little and receiving a lot, right? It’s like we said, “it is the perfect balance between budget and style.”
Durability: It goes without saying that Laminate isn’t nearly as durable as Quartz or Granite, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to crack if you set a soda can on top of it. They’re made from layers and layers of particleboard to create a complete, solid surface. It’s not very heat resistant, though, so beware.
Looks: The cool thing about Laminate is that they can be made to imitate other, more elaborate countertop materials, specifically granite, wood or even stainless steel. Pretty neat if you ask me. They won’t have the glossy finish that most of the natural stone will have, but it will still have a nice gleam to it.
Colors: Once again, we have a variety of colors. We carry several options in stock and then we also have a plethora of colors available for custom order. You can definitly get any look you’re searching for in one way or another. I’ll say this, though, this countertop material definitely tends to have a more of a solid color base than other materials, simply because of its genetic makeup.
Price: Definitely an affordable piece of countertop. Perfect for fitting in to any type of budget, the price point tends to be a defining feature. Especially when it comes to full remodels. This countertop material typically ranges from $10-$20 per square foot.
Countertop Materials: Butcher Block
Of the list, this is my second favorite. This countertop material is available as a custom order option, and boy let me tell ya, it’s awesome. Ever watch those cooking shows where a chef is just slicing-and-dicing on what looks like the biggest cutting board you’ve ever seen in your life? Welcome to the Butcher Block, a cook’s pride and joy.
Durability: Now, it is wood, so keep that in mind. Unless you like the look of a used cutting board, and some do, you should still consider using a cutting board to prepare your meals. But still, it’s tough and the longevity is pretty impressive, but you have to take care of it.
Looks: It’s wood, you know what I mean? It’s that classic, timeless appearance that literally fits with any style. But it definitely compliments the traditional, rustic, and country-village looks, giving off that warm, soothing feeling.
Colors: Wood is porous, so if you order this countertop material in an unfinished style, you can always stain it to the color of your liking before applying a sealer. However, most butcher block countertops will already come with a stain and sealer on them. They may required to be resealed over the years. Note: You’re going to want apply a sealer on this. You don’t want Tuesday’s spaghetti sauce to be a defining feature.
Price: Like I mentioned before, this is available as a custom order product, but typically these countertops tend to range from $50-100 per square foot. It’s definitely worth the price in my opinion.
Well, there you have it! A comparison of the top countertop materials and their pros and cons. However, if you have any other questions related to countertop materials, don’t hesitate to let us know. As a leading countertop material provider in Louisville and Cincinnati, we’re always here to help!