Selecting the right countertop for your custom home in Michigan is a matter of balancing taste and functionality. We’ve highlighted a few popular options below and detailed their benefits and drawbacks so that you can make the perfect choice for your new construction home in Michigan.
Granite countertops are among the most popular today, and for good reason. Granite is at once durable and beautiful, eco-friendly, stain resistant, easy to clean, and resistant to heat damage and scratches, but it does require proper maintenance.
Keep in mind, though, that poorly sealed granite may absorb harmful bacteria and stain easily. Though strong, granite will chip or break if heavy objects are dropped on it. Since it is a natural stone, color options are also limited to approximately twenty variations.
Quartz countertops, also called engineered stone countertops, are made almost wholly from naturally-occurring quartz. This quartz is then ground and held together with a polyester resin binder mixed with pigment. Because pigment can be added, quartz is an attractive option for home owners who want both a natural-looking stone and a wide range of color options.
Like granite, quartz is very durable. Unlike granite, it requires no sealing agent since the binder acts as a barrier to bacteria, stains, and scratches. Its seams are also less apparent than seams in natural stone materials. Because it is not one hundred percent natural, it is also more resistant to chips and breaks than natural stone.
On the down side, quartz is among the most expensive countertops. It is also less resistant to heat than granite. When exposed to sun over a long period of time, it can lose its original color and may eventually crack or warp.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone created when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The stone is mined and sawn into slabs which are later precisely cut to become countertops. The tops are polished and sealed for beauty and durability.
Quartzite is harder than quartz and granite, so it is quite durable. It also withstands heat very well, better than quartz. Where quartz has an advantage over quartzite is that it is less prone to denting and chipping because it is more flexible. Both countertop materials can be scratched by sharp objects, so a cutting board is recommended.
Quartzite is quite beautiful and often comes in shades of white to gray. It typically has rich striations resembling classic marble countertops. Quartz, however, is available in a much wider range of colors because pigment can be added.
Quartzite requires more maintenance than quartz. Quartzite countertops must be sealed before use and re-sealed one or two times per year. Without a proper seal, stains can penetrate into the stone. This is a weakness shared by all natural stone including granite and marble. When properly sealed, however, quartzite cleanup is easy.
Prices are similar for quartzite and quartz countertops. In other words, quartzite is among one of the more expensive countertop choices.
Marble is often considered one of the most elegant materials in use. Its timeless beauty never goes out of style, and its rich striations make surrounding cabinetry and flooring appear priceless. Marble is made of metamorphic rock, and its color and veining varies depending on location and grain size. Matte, leather, and polished finishing options also contribute to appearance variety.
Marble is perhaps the most beautiful countertop option and fits well with any style. It is durable, heat resistant, and develops an antique look overtime. Since marble is quarried from a wide range of geographical areas, each marble countertop slab is entirely unique.
Marble is, however, more easily stained if improperly sealed and if cleaning and annual resealing maintenance is neglected. It is also less resistant to acid. Marble also falls on the more expensive end of countertop choices.
What Is Most Important to You
When selecting a countertop material, determine which quality(s) in a countertop are most important to you. Consider the following qualities which can vary from material to material: maintenance, durability, cost and appearance. While the choices can seem overwhelming, the good news is that depending upon your lifestyle, budget, and taste, there is a countertop material to match every individual's needs and desires.