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The Best Countertop

Tampa area Granite Countertops

The Best Countertop

Well, here we are the Monday after Thanksgiving break. We hope everyone had a great holiday!

We had a busy, morninng today! Joe Roberts, from Roberts Imagery was in to do a video and photo shoot of Sharon and me as well as the showroom. He really did a great job making sure we had a great time and got some quality shots as well! I can’t wait to show you all the results! We should have them up by next week as well as the unveiling of the newStoneSaver.net.

A great question was presented to me over the holiday about which type of solid surface is “best” when choosing a counter top? As with most things the answer is, “It depends on what you’re going to use it for.” I’ll give you the basic things to consider when choosing the type of counter top that will best suit your lifestyle:

  • Granite is often selected for it’s versatility and naturally occuring patterns which are referred to as “movement.” It can be used inside, or outside and is very durable. It can withstand temperatures far higher than anything you’re going to pull out of the oven. It also comes in hundreds of naturally occuring colors. It comes sealed from the factory and most natural stone cleaners now have a sealer built in so you don’t have that additional step. You may choose to use a different surface for your counter top if you want to avoid something too busy in pattern or you want something that is very white or blue or other colos that either granite does not come in or would be far to expensive. Depending on the color you select, granite is generally less expensive than quartz and comparable in price to marble. (More to come on the topic of price in a future blog.)
JuparanaBordeaux
Juparana Bordeaux Granite

Marble is prized for it movement and you are likely to see the color white carrera in almost any home design magazine. It has become a very popular color for designers to use because you can pair any color with it and the contrast of an all white kitchen with a few hints of color is stunning and very on par with today’s minimalist approach to design. Marble also comes in a variety of colors, but does have it’s downfalls. It has the tendency to etch if anything acidic comes in to contact with it. Etching put simply, is where the shine has come off the marble and you now have a dull spot. This is why I wouldn’t recommend it in a childrens bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere you may spill something acidic. This doesn’t mean I always follow the rules as I have rainforest green marble in my bathroom and I am a spiller of many things, especially red wine. The reason why I chose this particular surface is because it is a darker color and it has so much movement that if and when it does etch I will be able to live with it. So consider this if you decide on marble, “Will you consider any etching character, or a blemish?” If you answered blemish, you may want to choose something else.

white carrera

 

  • Quartz is a great material if you want something that has a consistent pattern or very white or something that isn’t busy. Quartz countertops go by many brand names such as HanStone, CaesarStone, SileStone, Cambria, and Zodiac and have lots of colors to choose from. The quartz crystals in the finalized product are a naturally occuring mineral and the majority of the counter top is quartz, with only 7% of the counter top coming from resins and pigments to bind it all together into a solid surface. The drawbacks from using quartz are that it can’t take a tremendous amount of heat. It will only withstand temperatures of 300F degrees, which if you think about it anything you put in the oven is usually going to be at least 350F degrees. You can still use it in the kitchen, but be sure to always use a trivet under any hot pans, crock pots, toaster ovens or anything that gets hot. Another thing to consider is that it is not UV protected so it should not be used outside as it will fade wherever the sun hits it.
Silestone-Ebony-Pearl-Color-300x300

You should follow the following rules no matter which hard surface you choose. We often get requests to make cutting boards out of the left over pieces which we discourage it because even though some of the surfaces will likely not scratch, it sure is tough on your knives! You’ll also have to put something soft under it so the board doesn’t scratch the top, and they are surprisingly heavy! (It is a rock after all.) The countertops should not be cleaned with bleach or any type of harsh abrasive  Comet or Soft Scrub. It’s just like anything you are willing to spend money on. It’s probably going to take a little more care than the inexpensive alternative. After having owned granite and marble tops myself, I don’t spend any more time cleaning them than I did with formica. I just purchased cleansers that are safe to use on them, and I have to be careful to hide the bleach when my mother-in-law visits 🙂

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