Choosing the right solid stone countertops depends on your budget, the way you’ll use your countertops, and, of course, your style. When selecting countertops for a new kitchen, you’ll have to consider not only the aesthetic you’re looking for in your kitchen but also how much wear and tear your countertop will need to handle. Let’s go into these categories a bit further and help you narrow down the perfect material for your new kitchen countertops.
Size of Solid Stone Countertops
The first determining factor for choosing a countertop material is the size of your project. If you have a small kitchen you might be able to use a little bit of a high end product to make the most of your budget. Even something available in a limited quantity — like a granite orphan or remnant — could accommodate your moderate countertop size.
If you have a large kitchen, you’ll want to put more planning into your choice. Likely you’ll need more than one slab to complete the job, so you’ll choose a stone that has a pattern you can easily match. Marble, granite, and quartz all have attractive options with neutral or coordinating colors.
A design option you might consider is a kitchen island that contrasts with the rest of the countertop material. Choose something mild and blendable for the majority of your countertops and then select a complementing material that draws the eye to the center of your kitchen to use for the island. This might give you more flexibility when choosing the right stone, and it will also make your new kitchen project unique.
Use of Stone Countertops
Your lifestyle will heavily affect your countertop choice. Depending on the way you use your kitchen, you may need a different type of stone.
Do you have a busy lifestyle that centers around the kitchen? Does your family use countertops often for cooking, baking or art projects? You might want a material that is more durable. Granite is one of the toughest stones and its resistance to heat makes it perfect for cooking. Quartz would be another great option as it is scratch and stain resistant.
Maybe cooking isn’t in your wheelhouse, and you use the kitchen more often for entertaining. You might be looking for an attractive countertop material that will impress your guests. Marble has a very exclusive and luxurious look and feel and makes a stunning countertop. It requires some care because it can etch or stain. Soapstone is also a beautiful natural surface. Its classic look adds value to your home and can tie a room together seamlessly. Soapstone is great for lightly used kitchens because with heavy wear it can dent or scratch.
Solid Stone Countertop Style
Your choice of countertops for a new kitchen says a lot about you and your style. Do you prefer a unique stone with singular and unrepeatable patterns? Do you want a similar color palette for the entire room? Do you want your countertops to reflect a more classic or contemporary look? Your choice of solid stone countertops will depend on the aesthetic of your kitchen and home.
Different stone types are more suited for various styles. Let’s take a closer look at marble, granite, quartz and soapstone.
Marble is characterized by bright whites and creams with contrasting veins. Most marble is light-colored but there are also variations of marble that feature vivid colors such as green, pink or deep black, depending on the stone’s interaction with other minerals. The flowing patterns in marble were formed from the shifting limestone layers as the earth heated and molded them.
Marble is perfect for traditional applications. It looks expensive and feels lavish. While it does require a little more care to keep it looking flawless, marble will hold its value and instantly upgrade your kitchen’s style.
What makes granite unique is the natural diversity of minerals that alter its overall shade and appearance. Granite’s composition can cause it to vary from dark to light, and it can be difficult to match multiple slabs with so much variation. Its best uses are in modern kitchens with sleek lines. Dark granite makes an exceptional and unique focal point in a bright kitchen space.
Granite has a classic look and is highly sought after. It increases your home’s value if cared for diligently.
Quartz countertops are made using a blend of natural stone and resins to form a very hard and versatile material. It’s great for modern or traditional applications. Paired with dark cabinets, a bright quartz surface adds light and contrast to a kitchen. Or, for a more classic look, some quartz can imitate the look of marble without matching the price. Quartz countertops can be manufactured in almost any shade and are easy to match with multiple slabs.
Quartzite also makes a great countertop material. Unlike quartz, which is an engineered material, quartzite is a natural stone which has variations in pattern and color. It’s comparable to granite in strength but has the brilliance of quartz.
Soapstone has a dark surface which is usually a shade of blue, green or gray. It also has veins similar to marble throughout the surface of the stone which add dimension and variance. Soapstone is the perfect application for a farmhouse aesthetic and combines the dark and handsome look with added heat and stain resistance. Soapstone is also an environmentally-friendly option because it can be completely recycled, unlike other common countertop materials.
Budget-Friendly Countertops For a New Kitchen
For small kitchens or creative layouts, some stone types are particularly cost-effective. Orphans and remnants are often available in limited quantities and at discounted prices. You can have countertops for your new kitchen that are completely unique and easy on your wallet.
Solid Stone Orphans
Orphans are small amounts of a natural stone — usually a single slab — that feature a special pattern or particular color that make them difficult to match with other slabs. They are exceptional pieces chosen for their exotic appearance but can only be used in certain applications. An orphan is perfect for a project that only requires one slab, like a small kitchen or contrasting island. Because of the difficulty to combine them with other pieces, they are usually offered at a lower rate than other slabs.
Granite or Quartz Remnants
Remnants are solid stone pieces that are left over after a job is completed. Rather than being thrown away, these pieces can be repurposed for smaller projects. Remnants are often highly discounted but still exhibit the beauty and integrity of the original slab. Browse through the remnant store at a stone supplier to see if they have a remnant version of your dream countertops.
Choosing Your Solid Stone Countertops
When it’s time to choose the countertops for your new kitchen, you should consider the way your lifestyle as well as personal taste will affect your decision. If you’re still undecided, it never hurts to talk to experts who can help you make the final call.
Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or planning the kitchen for your new home, Kowalski Granite & Quartz has the solid stone option that’s perfect for you. Choose from beautiful granite, quartz, and marble options perfect for any style or investment level. For more information about our current offerings, reach out to us online or give us a call at (616) 842-1951.
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