If you’d love the look of new stone countertops for your Ottawa kitchen or bath, you’re probably debating quartz vs granite vs marble. You might not be sure how you’ll ever decide. Well, as with so many decisions in life, knowledge is key.
Each of these materials is attractive and would make a wonderful focal point for your kitchen, but there are other points to consider, as well. How much upkeep do they need? And how will they fit in with your kitchen renovation budget? Learn all about the characteristics of quartz vs granite vs marble.
Quartz is very trendy these days, and no wonder. This engineered “stone” countertop material is actually a blend, comprising about 90% ground natural quartz, by weight, which is coloured with added pigments and bound with polyresins. The mixture is moulded and heated to form a tough, stone-like substance. This process makes it non-porous and extremely hygienic.
Appearance: Quartz countertops will complement any home decorating style. They are available in an amazing range of colours, from basic white or grey to lively cherry or lime. You’ll even find faux granites and marbles! Their patterning is usually even and predictable.
Maintenance: Quartz countertops are generally low maintenance and never need sealing. Just wipe them with warm water mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap. Though quartz is quite stain resistant, if you encounter a persistent mark, use a glass cleaner on it.
However, a major drawback with quartz is its low resistance to thermal shock, due to its resin content. You will have to be vigilant never to place a hot pan directly on your quartz countertops. Otherwise, you could end up with an ugly scorch mark.
Granite has long been a favourite for elegant countertops (this kitchen upgrade is a strong selling point in upscale real estate descriptions). Durable granite is famously resistant – to heat, staining, scratching, and chemical damage.
Appearance: Each slab of granite is unique, with lovely natural variations in colour and patterning. In addition, it comes with your choice of finishes, either polished or honed (matte). Because it can last 50 years or more, be sure to select a granite countertop style that you love and can live happily with for a long time.
Maintenance: Use gentle, non-acidic and non-scratching cleansers on granite. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to get rid of stains (test on an inconspicuous area first).
Granite does have two negative qualities. It must be sealed annually to protect its beautiful appearance. In addition, granite is easily damaged by contact with acids, such as lemon juice or vinegar.
Marble countertops tend to be truly breathtaking and will give your bathroom or kitchen a luxurious feel, especially if you feature a waterfall edge.
Appearance: Known for its exquisite veining, marble becomes ever more beautiful with time, as it develops a subtle patina. You can be assured that your marble countertops will not look like a cookie-cutter version of your neighbours’; because marble is 100% natural stone, like granite, every slab is different.
Maintenance: Clean marble in the same way as granite (above).
Despite its charms, marble is high maintenance. Vulnerable to acid and abrasive substances, it is softer and more porous than granite and requires sealing several times a year.
Make The Right Choice
Now you have an idea of what to look for, beyond appearance alone. With this information in mind, your next step is a consultation with a qualified designer at Laurysen Kitchens. They will help you make the final decision that will work best for your home and your lifestyle.