Kitchens are often the hearts of our homes. When you’re remodeling your kitchen, you want to make decisions that you and your family can live with for the long term.
With that said, your kitchen countertop research should go beyond what looks the most visually appealing. Some countertops are beautiful, but are you able to keep up with the amount of re-sealing and maintenance they may need?
While there are many material options for countertops, three of the most common are granite, quartz, and corian. Read on to learn which material is the best for your kitchen, taking into account appearance, cost, maintenance, and durability!
Quartz countertops typically have a uniform, minimal appearance because they’re engineered. By mixing about 93 percent of different quartz crystal sizes with resin and pigment, these countertops are created.
While they have the look of stone like granite, the way they’re manufactured allows homeowners to more easily customize their design and fit their color scheme.
Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops are easier to clean spills and stains from because they’re non-porous. They don’t need to be sealed, polished, or reconditioned.
All quartz countertops need are a regular washing with mild soap and warm water in order to keep them clean and long-lasting. With the proper care, these countertops have a lifespan of 25 to 50 years.
On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, quartz is rated a 7, making it harder than granite. While they’re incredibly durable, they can still be damaged by force and aren’t chip proof. It’s also recommended to use hot pads when placing hot pots and pans onto its surface, as this material can be damaged by sudden temperature changes.
Quartz has the highest cost of between $1,500 to $5,500. This cost is warranted because while it has all the benefits of granite and corian, it has none of their drawbacks.
To save money you can do some of the preliminary work yourself. Since it’s heavier than other surfaces, a professional installer will need to inspect your kitchen to ensure it’s structurally sound.
Granite isn’t manufactured; it’s 100% natural stone that’s quarried from large blocks. Because it’s a natural stone, the design of these countertops will vary, making them unique and less minimal in appearance than quartz or corian.
They’re one of the most popular countertop materials because they can either be a subtle inclusion to your kitchen or a striking centerpiece. They come in a seemingly limitless variety of designs and colors.
Because it’s a completely natural stone, granite is porous and requires maintenance to prevent staining and damage. They need to be sealed once every few years and cleaned regularly to avoid harboring germs and bacteria.
If they’re properly maintained, these countertops should last 25 to 50 years.
Rated 6 out of 10 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, granite is slightly more prone to cracking and chipping if it’s not re-sealed regularly. However, it’s still a durable material that’s resistant to heat and other common kitchen elements.
Because it’s a natural stone, granite varies in price depending on its quality, thickness, and color selection. However, even including sealing its surface and installation, granite still costs less than quartz.
The average cost is between $2,000 and $4,000, and you can save even more money by purchasing the material from a wholesaler and doing some of the preliminary work yourself.
Corian is an engineered stone like quartz, but uses even less natural material during its manufacture. Developed in 1967, these countertops are created by pouring heated materials into molds that become solid sheets when cooled.
Because of their manufacturing process you’re able to customize their appearance easier than quartz or granite. They also have a nearly seamless joint, a more matte finish, and are softer to the touch.
Corian doesn’t require any major maintenance or sealing because its non-porous. However, it’s recommended to regularly clean them with warm water and mild soap to keep them free of food residue and germ-free, which increases its lifespan.
Corian isn’t a great choice if your kitchen is going to see a lot of traffic or be used often. It’s weaker than granite and quartz and more susceptible to scratches, chemical damage from strong cleaners, and scorch marks - it can only withstand temperatures up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the perfect choice for budget-conscious homeowners because it’s the cheapest compared to granite and quartz. Between $42 and $65 per square foot, most homeowners pay about $3,000.
It’s also a good choice for rooms that get less traffic or aren’t viewed as often by guests, such as half baths and laundry rooms.
Kitchen Countertop Research for Success
Hopefully this article has given you a better idea of what to expect when you’re trying to decide between a quartz kitchen countertop, granite, or corian. Some people vehemently stick with one material, claiming it’s the best.
It all depends on your budget, how much maintenance you’re able to keep up with, and what kind of aesthetic you have in mind and the amount of customizability you need.
Ready to get your kitchen renovation journey started? GVD Renovations provides experienced remodeling and installation services. Contact us today to schedule and complimentary in-home design consultation and estimate!