Since the early 2000’s, granite countertops were the most popular type of kitchen and bathroom countertops. Granite is durable and easy to maintain and homeowner’s years ago thought the expense of this stone was well worth the price for the appealing look and the convenience of keeping it clean.
Since then, the price of granite tops have decreased and less expensive prefabricated options exist, plus other stones such as quartz, marble, travertine, onyx and even concrete countertops. Whether you are remodeling you kitchen and bathrooms or purchasing a new home, when you choose the material of the countertops you will have to know how to maintain it.
Granite – once considered a premium option - now comes standard in newly built homes. Granite is silica-based natural stone when manufactured for countertops gets a polished look. This stone is exceptionally durable had stands up to wine, lemon or other juices and many cleaners. You still have to keep up maintenance so the stone doesn’t cloud up or get hazy – plus hard water, like we have in Las Vegas, is not great for granite upkeep.
The best way to protect you granite countertops is to polish and seal it once or twice a year. This process can be done in about a half hour in a most kitchens. It is also recommended that all cleaners used on all types of stone surfaces are pH neutral and you use all pH neutral personal items that sit on your counters.
Quartz – is a very popular and is very durable. Quartz is an engineered stone and not a solid natural one. This stone is found in abundance in the earth’s crust and for counters is ground up and mixed with resins and binders to attain the unique speckled look it reflects. This surface can withstand lemon juice, red wine and other substances that can destroy counters. If you kitchen or bathroom gets extensive sun exposure this might not be the countertop for you as the sun can cause cracking and fading.
Marble – is a soft porous stone and requires a lot of maintenance. Marble is used in high-end homes and each counter has its own unique deep veined look. Different regions of the world have colors of marble that they are known for- Italy known for Carrara white, Purbeck brown from Great Britain and Swedish green to name a few.
Since marble is so soft it requires periodic restoration – workers will use a rotating grinder with diamonds to grind down the surface and polish it. You can use TuffSkin, a polyester-based film that is a peel and stick format that covers the surface and guaranteed against etching for two years- however can last longer.
Onyx – is also an extremely soft stone and requires regular sealing just like marble.
Travertine – is a smooth less vein limestone and is combined with cement. It also needs sealing as well as being disinfected on a regular basis.
Concrete – has become popular however they are very porous and crack since it has a calcium base. These counters are coated with an industrial sealer – these coating can be damaged by heat.
Soapstone – are an inexpensive stone countertop option. They are however prone to scratches and cracking. The scratches can be sanded out and cracking can be avoided with regular oiling.
Bottom Line- When remodeling countertops do your research before deciding what the right one for you is.
Keep in mind that whether you are interested in buying a home or selling a home, a Realtor should represent you– this person is working for your benefit and will help you navigate through the buying or selling process. I have thirteen years in New Home Sales and sixteen years in General Real Estate sales!
Thanks and make it a terrific day…………Robin