Choosing the perfect countertop surface for your Great Falls kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a lot of fun learning about the different materials and why they may or may not be the ideal choice. Many homeowners fall in love with – and are tempted to choose – a countertop based on appearance alone. But don’t forget about durability, maintenance, and affordability. They’re all important factors to consider when making your selection.
Selecting the Right Stone Countertops
Countertops are one of the most important materials to “get right” during a kitchen remodel. They’re one of the first things people notice when they enter the room, so you want them to be beautiful. But they also must be able to stand up to daily use. Before choosing, ask yourself these questions:
- How Often Will You Use the Surface? Do you prepare three meals a day, or are you a weekend cook? How your family will use the countertops influences your choice.
- What’s Your Budget? Besides its good looks, granite is a great stone choice if you want something that’s generally more affordable. Other natural stones will cost a bit more.
- What’s Your Style? Your kitchen’s style is a key factor in deciding which countertops work best. Traditional kitchens lend themselves towards a solid colored granite, while sophisticated or modern ones may use marble or slate.
Countertop Choices for Your Great Falls Kitchen Remodel
Of all the countertop materials you can buy, stone is the gold standard for both durability and character. No matter what your budget or style, the good news is there’s a material that’s sure to be just right for the look you want. Unaffected by water or hot pans, stone countertops will last as long as your house, and maybe even longer. Just a little routine preparation and care to ward off water marks, stains, and etching is all it takes. But even if damage like a chipped edge occurs, most stone counters can be restored by a professional.
Granite, Soapstone & Marble
Out of all your options, granite and soapstone are the most durable and will last the longest. Granite is a bit porous, so it needs to be periodically resealed; soapstone does not. Both can withstand heavy loads, but granite is more resistant to chipping. Keep in mind, though, that all stone is inflexible, so struck with enough force they will all crack, chip, or break. Both materials, however, can probably take whatever your family throws at them.
Granite is available in a variety of beautiful shades including blacks, greens, corals, beiges, and whites. No two pieces are exactly the same, and you can choose a polished, shiny finish or a soft, matte look. The cost of granite depends on a variety of factors, including color, finish, and origin of the stone. Marble is a very durable material, but not usually a great option for high-traffic kitchens. It, along with limestone and sandstone, is more porous than granite, so it stains more easily and is more prone to chips and scratches.
You may have heard about partially synthetic stone countertops like quartz and cultured marble. They typically have shorter lifespans than natural stone countertops, but still last a very long time if properly maintained. The resins they contain make them non-porous, but they’re also more susceptible to sun, heat, and household cleaner damage. If your budget allows for it, natural stone will likely save you money over the long run. Engineered stone countertops come in a wider variety of colors than natural stone, are more durable, and simple to maintain. However, they don’t really save you any money over granite, as both materials cost about the same.
Mix and Match
If you’re torn between two surfaces, consider mixing and matching. Some homeowners choose to do their countertops and island in two different materials. Others insert a second material into a countertop for specific tasks, like butcher block for chopping or marble for preparing crusts and pastries.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right stone countertop for your Great Falls kitchen remodel.