Today’s top two upscale countertop options, granite, and quartz, are competitively priced with one another. Granite and quartz are quite different materials, one being a natural stone and another being an engineered composite made to resemble the natural stone.
This guide covers unique properties, pros and cons, looks, maintenance requirements, durability aspects, and pricing considerations for each option.
Granite countertops cost between $75 and $150 per square foot installed. The cost is largely based on whether you choose tiles or slabs. When going with a full-sized granite slab, its thickness, size (length and width), color pattern and degree of flawlessness or lack of imperfections will affect the overall price on a per sq. ft. basis.
Quartz countertop costs range from about $95 to $160 per square foot installed and engineered stone slabs are used.
In this guide, we’re exploring countertops and solid surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms.
Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can not only be exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. After all, there is such a wide variety of materials to consider, along with their thickness, benefits and drawbacks, colors, costs, and other options.
It’s not at all surprising that many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of choices and options. In fact, many people who have already been through the process of installing a new countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily attest that it’s not at all an easy choice! 😉
Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials and installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.
If you have not faced any major remodeling decisions before, then you should know that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you.
Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! 🙂 — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.
In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.
For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.
Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom.
Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens.
If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus inevitably resulting in some seams.
Unique – One of a Kind!
Water resistant (when sealed)
Variety of colors and patterns
Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation
Price: Granite has an average material cost of $75 to $150 per square foot installed, depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150 to $250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $6,500 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.
Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.
Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.
Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily.
Quartz is a nonporous pre-engineered material containing approximately 93% crushed quartz and resin, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!
More flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
Available in glossy and matte finishes
Stain and crack resistant
Wide range of colors
Not heat resistant
Price: $90 to $160 per square foot instealled. It will cost you in the range of $3,600 to $6,400 for an average 40 square feet pre-engineered quartz surface installed.
Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.
Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.
Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles.
For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany, or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, you can finish the wood surface with a waterproof varnish. For an eco-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.
Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.
While the thought of using a butcher’s block countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.
Works with all designs
Gentle on glasses and dishes
Requires special care
Must be kept dry
Not scratch and dent resistant
Price: $85 to $150 per square foot installed
Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, but new designs are also helping laminate make a huge comeback.
Kitchen remodeling is perhaps one of the most rewarding remodeling decisions you can make, especially if you’ve just purchased your home recently and your kitchen looks like it is still 1950s! 🙂 Or perhaps, it has been ages since a last major remodel in your kitchen. In this guide we will explore some creative kitchen remodel ideas you can do yourself on a budget or with the help a handy home improvement friend.
Walls and Ceilings
Simply repainting your old walls and ceilings can dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen. I recommend that you hire a professional interior painter to apply new paint to the walls and ceiling in your kitchen. This can be done even if you have wall tiles installed in your kitchen. A professional interior painter will know the right type of primer and paint that will adhere to your tiles. You may also consider refinishing your old windows and door trim in your kitchen to give it a nice face lift and a feeling that your kitchen is brand new again.
Professionally repainting your kitchen walls, ceiling, and trim, will probably cost you around $1,500.00, which is a great deal when it is done professionally. You can really have your kitchen transformed and renewed by doing just this one simple step! 🙂 If you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, then go ahead and paint those old kitchen walls by yourself or with a friend. You will be able to save some money, and with proper organization, you should finish this project in a day,
Floors – Resurface or Replace?
Brand new floors including linoleum, porcelain tiles, or commercial grade flooring laminate tiles can be installed, if the old kitchen floors are no longer in an acceptable condition.
If the old kitchen floors are still in a somewhat decent shape, then you can simply give your old floors a face lift by deep cleaning them first, and giving them a high shine, after.
Replacing Old Appliances and Installing a Range Hood
Another important aspect of remodeling your kitchen is replacing the old appliances, with newer, more energy efficient, and more suitable ones. You will want to consider your overall kitchen design and performance of new kitchen appliances when shopping for the right stove, dishwasher, etc.
You can find a wide array of energy efficient appliances at Lowe’s, Home Depot or your local home improvement store. If you are doing a high-end remodel in your kitchen, then it is recommended that you install a suitable kitchen hood over your new cooking range.
If there is currently no range hood installed in your kitchen, then it may be necessary for you to hire a specialist to properly mount and install your new kitchen range hood including taking care of any necessary duct work for venting out the kitchen vapors collected by the range hood.
Resurfacing Old Cabinets
New kitchen cabinets can be very costly and can easily run several thousand dollars. You can definitely go for it “all the way” If money is not an issue. however, if you are working within a tight budget, then you can save a few grands by resurfacing your existing kitchen cabinets.
Take a trip to the local Lowe’s or Home Depot and look for Rust-Oleum’s cabinet and countertop restoration kit. I have personally used this product in my own kitchen renovation project, and I must say that I was really quite impressed with the quality of the finished product. I was able to give my old kitchen cabinets a new look for under a hundred dollars.