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  • February

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    2019
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Granite that looks like marble

Granite that looks like marble

Kitchen Granite Countertops

You’ve chosen a lovely layout for your kitchen and you’re happy with how things are coming along but you still have to choose the kitchen countertops. You want to make the right decision because you’re probably not going to change them for a long time to come, perhaps never.

Countertops are such an important element of your kitchen considering all the time you spend there. You want something that is pretty, durable and functional. You don’t want a countertop that is high maintenance.

Carrying out research on the different types of kitchen countertops will ensure that you get the best price for the material you choose and you’ll know what your contractor is talking about when they advise you, thus enabling you to make an informed decision.

Based on popularity and durability, let’s take a look at marble, granite and quartz countertops.

Is There Really a Difference Between Marble, Granite and Quartz countertops?

Despite how similar these stones can look, they do differ, sometimes greatly. The table below highlights the features of these three stones.

Marble

Granite

Quartz

Man-made/ natural

Natural stone

Natural stone

Man made

Porosity

Porous

Porous

Non-porous

Sealing

Requires sealing every one to two years

Requires sealing every one to two years

Do not require sealing

Collects bacteria

Yes

Yes

No, because it’s not porous

Patterns

Unique because it’s a natural stone

Unique because it’s a natural stone

More uniform because it’s man-made but advances in technology are making them more unique

Color variety

Limited colors

Limited colors

Wider variety of colors

Pattern

Unique pattern

Unique pattern

Standardized pattern

Scratch resistance

Low

High

High

Heat resistant

Yes- high

Yes

Yes but not as resistant as the other two. Use trivets.

Maintenance

High

Low

Low

Durability

Softer than granite or quartz

High

High- has resin in it which makes it more flexible and less likely to break when being installed

Price

Starts at $

Starts at $ 

Starts at $

Why have Quartz Countertops become so Popular?

The extraction process is environmentally friendly

Gathering quartz is a green procedure. The process to extract marble and granite slabs is carbon intensive which is damaging to the environment. Quartz is a waste stone meaning it’s a byproduct of excavation works and it’s never the primary material being extracted.

Looks like marble but has better properties

As you’re searching for kitchen countertops that look like marble, when you key in your search, you might get the following suggestions: granite that looks like marble, granite that looks like Carrara Marble, granite that looks like Calacatta Marble, granite that looks like Calacatta Gold Marble.

Marble is a beautiful stone and lovely to show off and take striking pictures of but it’s higher maintenance and less durable. Contractors, home designers and home owners want something that looks like marble but is more durable and easier to maintain, hence the above searches.

What people don’t realize is that quartz countertops tend to be confused for granite that looks like marble. With advances in technology, quartz countertops can be manipulated to closely resemble marble countertops. They are pretty, have similar veins and patterns but they behave differently.

Quartz countertops are more durable, they’re scratch resistance and they have a wider variety of colors that you can choose from.

Carrara Marble is highly sought after because of how elegant it’s veining looks against its white background. There are several white quartz countertops that can be substituted for Carra marble. Carrara Marmi Quartz is one of them and can come in a light grey our white background with a gray patterning, mimicking Carrara Marble.

Calacatta Marble is more rare and more sought after than Carrara Marble. Though excavated in Carrara, in Italy, it was named in honor of Calcutta, India.

This stone had been used for castles and churches and is loved because the veining is very bold while the white background is crisp. Calcutta Gold Marble is a type of Calcatta Marble that is rarer than other types of marble and hence more expensive. Its elaborate veining makes it a picturesque countertop to use.

Silestone Calcutta Gold Quartz top  emulates the luxurious look of Calcutta Gold Marble but it doesn’t have the headache of maintenance and it’s durable.

It is non-porous

This means it doesn’t have to be resealed every one to two years which is an added expense. Being non-porous also makes it hygienic because it doesn’t collect bacteria.

It’s water resistant

Quartz, when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time, doesn’t do very well and so it’s not advised to use it for outdoor furnishings but since it’s water resistant, it’s great for not only the kitchen but also the bathroom.

Variety

There is a vast collection of colors and patterns to choose from because it is an engineered stone. This is reiterated often in a lot of articles on kitchen countertops because it’s true and such an important feature. You can get Aspen Latte and Aspen Mocha which both sound delicious.

Silestone has a collection of charcoal soapstone which is as gorgeous as it sounds (https://www.silestoneusa.com/gallery/), pearl jasmine, white storm (these names are pretty fantastic, right?) River Bed, Iron Ore, Forest Snow, Phoenix, Ironbark, and this isn’t even half of what’s on offer.

Because quartz countertops are engineered stones, you get to choose the hue, style- plain/veined/fine grain/coarse grain and the texture-polished/ sued/ volcano/ all, and see what it looks like before it’s made for you.

It’s low maintenance compared to natural stones

As explained previously, you don’t have to seal quartz periodically.

Also, natural stones are pretty demanding when it comes to maintenance. You have to know which cleaning products shouldn’t come into contact with them. They have to get waxed and coated to maintain their appearance.

Quartz on the other hand is low maintenance. All you have to do is wipe spills when they happen and use a kitchen cloth soaked in warm, soapy water. Simple, easily available soap detergents work just fine.

It’s durable

If you have kids or you’re constantly banging things in the kitchen and it would be wiser to get quartz kitchen countertops. Unlike marble which scratches and chips easily, quartz is more durable.

Important factors to consider when buying countertops

1) Set a budget

Knowing how much you want to spend on countertops will help you decide how much you’re willing to spend on the material that will fit the size of countertops that you want. Set a ceiling point so that you don’t exceed it and go over budget

Factor in that for rarer types of slabs, you will have to spend on the higher side and good quality countertops are pricier but worth it.

Sometimes there are costs that are not quoted with the price of the material such as transport and installation. Estimate how much you would need for additional costs and only use it for that.

Stick to the countertop budget so that you don’t eat into one of your other budgets. It’s ironic having beautiful countertops but eating noodles every day for 6 months in a beautiful kitchen because you went over budget.

2) Measure how much material you’ll need

 

Get your contractor to measure how much material you’ll need. If it’s a lot, you may want to choose cheaper countertops so that the estimation fits within your budget. Your contractor can do this for you.

3) Reselling the house

If you know that you’re going to resell the house eventually, then get a countertop that will appeal to many homeowners and not just a few. If you have no intention of selling then pick countertops that make your heart sing irrespective of how unique they are.

4) Appearance

Choose countertops that complement other parts of the kitchen such as the cabinets. Light countertops complement dark kitchen cabinets rather than matching them with dark kitchen countertops which would make the kitchen seem really dark.

The area that the kitchen countertops will be used is also a factor when choosing a color or design. For outside countertops you would want colors that are brought out by the sunlight and most likely darker colors that won’t be too bright on the eyes when they reflect the sunlight.

Knowing what style appeals to you should help you decide and don’t mix themes in a space. A modern kitchen with traditional countertops is a risky move. It would be preferable to have every aspect of one area, reflect the same theme.

5) Functionality

Are the countertops for a commercial space or for a home? Do you have young children? Will they come into contact with lots of water or not? Will the countertops be indoors or outdoors? Is their aesthetic appeal a priority or not?

The function of the countertops will help you decide what countertop would be most appropriate.

6) Get a good contractor

Do not skimp here. You’re only doing it once so do it right and pay a professional to do a good job. Doing it yourself could lead to expensive mistakes and you might have to get someone to redo them.

The place that you’re buying the countertops from should be able to recommend a good contractor for you to work with. You can also ask your friends for referrals. You need to know how reliable the contractors are, whether they’re honest, the quality of their work, whether they complete their work in time.

Once you have a list of a couple of names, set up interviews and see who’s a better fit based on qualifications and also who seems easier to get along with. You don’t want a gruff contractor that won’t accept any input from you.

You’re ready to choose a countertop

If you follow the advice in this article you’ll end up with something you love and worth every bang for your buck. Remember to choose something that will last. Material like marble, granite and quartz can last up to 50 years of more. You also want something that is beautiful to you and gives a nice ambience to your space.

You can visit our store and we’ll help you choose the best countertop for your needs. We have an array to choose from and a team that you can consult. We recommend that you call before coming so that we’re able to make the selection process smoother and thorough. We’re open from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM and Saturday from 10 AM to 5PM.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or call us.

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