article image When should you replace your kitchen countertops?  You know it’s time for a change when your countertops are damaged beyond repair, when they’re difficult to maintain, or when you hate your kitchen the way it is.


Regardless of your reason for installing new countertops, there are many types of countertops to choose from in Cumming. The current trend is toward natural stones.  These 4 stones, along with quartz, an engineered material, represent 5 of the most popular options:


1.       Granite

2.       Marble

3.       Soapstone

4.       Quartzite

5.       Quartz


There are pros and cons to each, as well as personal preferences to consider, but all of these options are popular because of the quality and durability of the material.


Granite

Pros: Granite has been very popular. It's strong, durable, and heat resistant.  It offers a high-end look that adds value.

Cons: It is porous and must be sealed twice a year, otherwise wine, juice or oil can create a stain that may be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed, porous material can harbor bacteria. Also, although it's difficult, it is possible to crack or chip granite.


Marble

Pros:  Marble brings polished elegance to a kitchen.  The surface is smooth and cool which makes it ideal for baking and rolling dough. It stands up well to hot pans.


Cons: Marble is more porous than granite and needs sealed regularly to prevent staining. Marble can chip if you a drop a heavy item. Sharp knives can scratch the surface. Special care must be taken with anything acidic to prevent etching.


Soapstone

Pros: Soapstone has a beautiful natural grey color and a smooth, matte feel. Scratches can be sanded or oiled away. It is durable and doesn't require yearly sealing. In fact, it's almost maintenance free.  Regular applications of mineral oil will help disguise surface scratches, add sheen, and deepen the stone's color over time.


Cons: Because soapstone is fairly soft, avoid cutting directly on it. Be careful not to drop heavy objects on it, because it can chip. You are going to have fewer colors and designs choices.


Quartzite

article image Pros: Quartzite is a naturally strong, durable, heat-resistant stone with a look similar to marble, but requires less maintenance and doesn't fade. When treated properly it will outlast everything else in your home.

Cons: Quartzite has limited colors.  It must be sealed once or twice a year. Like other natural stones, it is possible to chip or crack the surface if heavy items are dropped on it.


Quartz

Pros: Quartz is practically maintenance free.  It is a non-porous material that is stain, acid, scratch, heat, and impact resistant. Quartz doesn't need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. A wide range of colors and patterns are available. Quartz is catching up with granite and becoming one of the most popular choices in kitchen design.


Cons: Quartz is not a natural material, but cost is similar to the higher-end natural materials. Seams on engineered stone countertops are sometimes noticeable (similar to granite countertops).


Kitchens have changed a lot since the days of standard laminate countertops. Think about your kitchen work habits, your budget, and your personal preferences. You have many great materials to choose from in Cumming.