While many homeowners prefer granite butcher block countertops, due to their beauty and durability, quartz countertops are gaining in popularity due to other benefits they provide. Quartz surfaces are non-porous, as well as being highly chip-resistant and eliminating the need for sealants. In addition, these countertops are uniform in appearance, regardless of the size of the surface covered.
Creation of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are made from a combination of crushed quartz crystals and resin. After the quartz has been pulverized, it is combined with resin, and any other required materials, such as pigments. The resulting mix is placed in a mold the exact size and shape of butcher block countertops, which prevents any need for cutting or sealing.
Forming Granite Countertops
Granite surfaces are cut from a large piece of rock. The individual slices of granite must be pieced together to form a countertop, which can result in slight color mismatching between pieces. In addition, the pieces must be joined together, and covered with a sealant, which must be renewed every few years.
Durability of a Quartz Countertop
A quartz butcher block countertop is extremely durable and chip-resistant. The composition of the countertop makes it very hard, yet improves flexibility, which reduces breakage. In addition, the non-porous nature of molded quartz surfaces reduces potential staining, which maintains the appearance of quartz butcherblock countertops for many years. Molded quartz countertops are vulnerable to strong chemicals, such as those used to un-clog sink drains.
Properties of a Granite Countertop
A granite countertop, being made of rock, has a tendency to chip. In addition, due to the fact that it is a large, thin, and flat piece of stone, a break during installation could be catastrophic. Granite sealants make the surface more resistant to staining, but granite surfaces are much more likely to stain than a quartz countertop.
Germ-resistance of Quartz Countertops
The non-porous nature of molded quartz butcher block countertops makes them extremely bacteria and germ-resistant. Food preparation on a quartz countertop is sanitary, and safe due to these properties. In addition, a molded countertop is resistant to mold and mildew, which also improve the safety of a quartz butcher block countertop.
Granite Countertop Safety
Granite is a relatively non-porous material, but must be sealed in order to maintain a food-safe surface. The sealant, which is suitable for a food-preparation surface, is not permanent, and must be re-applied every few years.
Kitchen Countertop Options
Granite is currently the number one countertop choice for many people, and with good reason. It is a natural stone product that is not only beautiful, but heat, scratch, and dent-resistant as well. It is available in several colors and unique patterns.
Granite countertops increase the value of your home. In order to keep granite looking its best; it must be treated with care. Special cleaners and sealers made for granite should be used to maintain the beauty of your granite countertops. Ordinary household cleaners are too harsh and may damage the surface. Spills should be wiped away immediately to avoid staining.
The cost of granite can range from $30 to a $175 a square foot or more. While granite may be the most expensive countertop option, it can be the right choice for its beauty and durability.
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are another great countertop option. These countertops are made by combining natural quartz with epoxy resin binders to create a countertop material that does not need to be sealed, while still maintaining the look of natural stone.
Quartz countertops have the advantage of being non-porous, which makes them more hygienic. The available colors and patterns are much more uniform than granite, which makes it easier for buyers to know what they are getting. Quartz must also be cleaned following the directions of the manufacturer to avoid damaging the surface.
Quartz is a somewhat expensive product and can cost anywhere from $30 to $125 per square foot or more. Quartz can be the right choice if you are looking for a countertop with the look of stone, but with a more uniform color and a non-porous surface.
Solid surface countertops are a 100% human-made product. These countertops are a popular choice because the material is consistent throughout, which permits surface scratches to be easily repaired by a light sanding. Solid surface countertops are also the only countertop option that allows for an integrated, molded sink with no seams. With the added option of a built-in seamless backsplash, a watertight seal can be created.
They are also stain and scratch-resistant, durable, non-porous, and easy to clean, but they can still be damaged. Solid surface countertops can be discolored by heat, and may even crack after cooling down from a hot pan. It is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to keep your countertop looking its best.
Solid surface countertops can be your best choice if you are looking for a smooth, seamless surface that is non-porous and more affordable than granite or quartz at approximately $40 to $80 a square foot or more.
Laminate countertops come in a wide range of colors and patterns. They are also affordable, and easy to maintain. According to countertop.com, “laminate is made by saturating sheets of decorative and core paper with resins, then pressing them under high heat, fusing the layers into a single sheet.
Surprisingly, a sheet of laminate is only 18% plastic resin; the rest is paper!” This material is then bonded to a substrate, such as plywood to give it strength and substance. Laminate countertops are fairly easy to work with and can be installed by the homeowner. Laminate is inexpensive, ranging from $10 to $20 per square foot. This is a great countertop option for the homeowner who needs both durability and affordability.
These are just a few of the countertop options available. With so many choices, you are sure to find one that fits your needs.
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