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Too Many Choices? Which Countertop is Right for You?

August 03, 2016

Tagged as: Design Tips

Categories: The Guide  

new home kitchen island countertop

One of the best parts of building a new construction homes is the ability to choose. From the homesite, to the floorplan, to all of the exterior and interior fixtures, you can pick options that perfectly reflect your lifestyle and personality.  While all of these opportunities to choose are an incredible way to create your dream home, they can also seem like a daunting task.  Walking into a Builder’s design studio can be both inspiring and overwhelming. Having a broad sense of what options would work best for you (and your budget) going into your home design appointment can help you save both time and stress.  Below is a consumer-tested list compiled by Houselogic of durable countertop options that your builder will most likely include in their available options.  Consider these choices when thinking ahead of time about your kitchen.  You’ll want a kitchen counter that will work hard for you so keep these pros, cons and prices in mind.


1.  Quartz

Super durable and sleek-looking, crushed quartz is combined with resign to produce a natural/man-made counter that is stronger than natural stone. Quartz is available in solid colors or with a natural granite-style appearance.

Price: ($40 to $100 per square foot)
Pros: Quartz can withstand almost any kitchen activity such as knife cuts. Quartz will resist staining and bacteria without any sealing.
Cons: Quartz comes with a hefty price tag. It also doesn’t withstand heat as well as granite or crushed glass. Seams can visible, particularly if you select a lighter color.  Direct sunlight can also lead to discoloration over a period of time.


2.  Granite

Attractive in appearance and for future resale, granite is often tabbed as a kitchen “must have.”With stunning colors, you’re sure to find a shade of granite that compliments any style of kitchen.

Price: ($40 to $100 per square foot)
Pros: Granite is durable, resisting cracks and chipping.  It can also withstand heat should place a hot pot directly on it. Applying sealer annually will make granite stain-resistant.
Cons: Granite is not immune to blunt trauma, accidental pressure can chip an edge that will require you to polish it down. If not properly sealed, oil can seep into the stone and requires a poultice for removal. Granite is also prone to natural variation since it is not a man-made product. The representative slab of granite that you see on display might look very different from the piece installed in your new kitchen.


3.  Laminate

A combination of paper and plastic, laminate is available in nearly every color and pattern imaginable.

Price: ($10 to $40 per square foot)
Pros: You can’t beat the price and you’ll be able to find a style that mimics what you’re looking for perfectly (from wood to granite) or is the perfect shade to match your cabinets and walls.  Laminate is low-maintenance and stain-resistant. The options for edge finishes have improved vastly in recent years.
Cons: Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch.  Replacing it is also typically easier than repair it.  Laminate can also be a turn-off for potential buyers when you go to sell your home later on down the road. Per the National Association of Home Builders, 40% of prospective buyers would shy away from a home with laminate counters.


4.  Solid Surfacing

Often referred to by brand-name Corian, solid-surfacing is a manufactured countertop that combines acrylic, polyester resins and marble dust.

Price: ($35 to $100 per square foot)
Pros: Solid-surface counters are available in a variety of patterns and colors.  Since it is nonporous no special sealers or cleaners are required. Should solid-surface scratch, it is easy to sand out.  It can also be molded into seamless backsplashes or for an integrated sink bowl.  
Cons: Nearly as much as quartz or granite, it might lead buyers to question if it is truly comparable with the other two. Solid-surfaces can scratch and burn fairly easily. Its manufacture is also an energy-intensive process that uses non-renewable resources. These factors, combined with it being difficult to recycle, exclude it as a potential “green” choice.

Still not sure which style of countertop is right for you? Just ask your Builder’s Design Consultant! They are trained to help buyers through this process and can guide you to the appropriate choice that will be perfect for your new kitchen.


Thank you for reading and sharing our articles from The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide. Our business is to know Charleston, SC's new home construction, home builders, neighborhoods and homes so we may assist you as you take your new construction home journey. Our online resources are a complement to our magazine which is distributed FREE throughout the Lowcountry. Please take the time to explore our library of helpful tips, guides and insights. The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide is considered the most comprehensive and reliable resource to new home construction, builders, neighborhoods and homes throughout the Lowcountry.

Tagged as: Design Tips

Categories: The Guide  

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