Tips for Choosing Countertops for your Kitchen or Bath - Natural Stone vs Solid Surfaces

By Pavlina Papadopoulos of Pavlina Stone

When it comes to your remodeling or new construction project, choosing the right material for each area of your home is of integral importance. There are several elements to consider when choosing between natural stone or solid surface stone materials.

 

When exploring natural stone such as granite, marble, travertine, limestone, onyx or quartzite for use in you project consider the following benefits.

  • Natural stone surfaces offer the best appearance available. A large part of the benefit here is that every individual piece of stone is different from any other, ensuring that you will have a 100% unique and timeless look that will dramatically impact the aesthetics of your home or business.
  • Another major benefit is the high level of perceived value that natural stone brings to the table. People understand and appreciate the way natural stone looks, and whenever it is installed it carries a connotation of luxury and elegance that people will most definitely notice. In many cases, installing natural stone finishes can even add substantially to the value of your home or property.
  • While solid surfaces often perform better with moisture and abrasion, natural stone is more resistant to scratches and burns. Combine this natural resistance with regular sealing and maintenance care, and the durability of natural stone surfaces can often match or exceed that of solid surfaces in all but the most heavily trafficked and used areas of your property.
PavlinaStone-Granite-bar-and-silestone--1

Custom White Torroncino Granite Bar and Unsui Silestone Countertops with Full Backsplash by Cosentino
Photo courtesy of Pavlina Stone Incorporated

Solid Surface materials have undergone a real Renaissance over the past several decades. While initially limited to a few branded products manufactured by a small handful of companies, these days there is a dazzling array of potential materials, styles, and designs that property owners can select from. When aesthetics are the key concern most people still select natural stone, but solid surfaces offer their own significant benefits as well and can often be the better overall choice depending on the type of project or surface you are considering installing.

Here are a few of those benefits:

  • Natural stone is porous, meaning that it can absorb liquids causing staining or other damage. No matter how well you seal a piece of natural stone, this remains a risk throughout the lifetime of the surface. On the other hand, solid surfaces are completely nonporous, meaning they are virtually impervious to staining, moisture damage, and other concerns which can negatively impact natural stone.
  • While the wonderful look of natural stone is held in high esteem by consumers, solid surfaces actually offer significantly more flexibility to your potential designs. Solid surface products aren’t limited to the colors or designs you find in nature – if you are interested in trying something completely unusual, solid surfaces are definitely the way to go.
  • One of the biggest advantages of solid surfaces is that they do not require sealing.

Each of these options has its benefits. If you want a truly unique one of a kind aesthetic look and are able to keep up with regular maintenance, natural stone may be the choice for you. If you desire more color options, and you do not have the time to keep up with maintenance solid surface may be a better choice.

Most importantly when choosing a natural stone or solid surface use a professional that has the experience, commitment to service and offers a variety of selections to perfectly meet your needs.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community. For information on this article, please contact Lorraine Hart. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA.

 

GHBA_RCThe Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry professionals. We are dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism within the industry, and public awareness of the Remodelers Council. We achieve this through education, certification and service to the membership, industry and the community. Members of the Remodelers Council give back to the Houston community by participating in an annual charity project. The Remodelers Council holds an annual Garage Sale at the September Texas Home and Garden Show with proceeds going to their local charity project. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA website.

2 Comments

  • Burt Silver says:

    Thanks for the tips on choosing countertops! My wife and I are planning a large kitchen remodel, and we want to make sure we choose countertops that are right for us. Thanks for mentioning that solid surface countertops don’t require sealing. That is really beneficial, we will have to give it some thought.

  • Frank Delaware says:

    My wife really wants to get new counters for our kitchen, and I was curious about how you would choose the right ones. I really like that you say that natural stone surfaces are usually the most visually appealing. It would be nice to get something that will tie the whole kitchen together.

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