How to Choose the Right Countertop

August 15, 2016  |  home renovation, inspiration, kitchen
How to Choose the Right Countertop

When it comes to countertops, there are many different options. Three of the big options include granite, quartz, and marble. There are pros and cons to each surface so it’s smart to read up on the equalities of each before selecting a countertop material.


Granite is a natural stone. It comes from igneous rock. In case you need a refresher in third grade earth science, that’s the type of rock that forms from the cooling of magma deep inside the earth. Granite has an infinite amount of color variation, which gives each slab a unique appearance. It is vital to pick slabs quarried from the same location for this reason. One of the clear advantages of granite is its ability to withstand heat from hot pans or ceramic hair straighteners. It is easy to clean if sealed correctly; however, black granite is sure to show water spots. Granite is also a porous stone, so if it is not sealed correctly it can stain easily. The surface can also harbor bacteria if poorly sealed. The biggest downfall to granite is that the corners or edges can chip or break if knocked upon too much.


Quartz is an engineered product. Because of this, quartz countertops can be produced in a variety of custom colors. Quartz is a natural material found in the earth’s crust, but quartz countertops are about 93 percent quartz and 7 percent binder and color. It’s one of the toughest countertop options available. Quartz can be made to have a matte finish or a luster. The countertops can also be textured to feel like granite or made to feel glossy like highly polished stone. Advantages to quartz include its almost unlimited palette options and its durability. Quartz is nonporous so it is resistant to staining and bacteria. It is easy to clean with a damp cloth. It is hard to damage. Another positive to quartz is how seamless it appears between slabs. The downfalls of quartz include its manmade, unnatural look and its tendency to fade in direct sunlight over a long period of time.


Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock. These rock types are kind formed through the change of igneous and sedimentary rock. “Non-foliated refers to the way the crystals in marble have no preferential alignment. This is what gives marble such a beautiful striation. Marble has many variations based on the minerals it is comprised of and where it is harvested. Marble is beautiful, but it is porous. This means, like granite, it will stain unless sealed properly. It can also bread bacteria like granite. Marble countertops have three typical finishes: honed or matte, leather, and polished. These finishes all polish the stone to varying degrees of smoothness.


At Amy Youngblood Interiors, we believe there is no right or wrong countertop option. It’s all about what works for you! Hopefully this sheds some light on the differences between three popular countertop options.