Whether you’re preparing for a small-scale kitchen update or a major renovation project, choosing countertops can be a major decision. While it can be tempting to choose countertops on looks alone, it’s important to consider factors such as price, maintenance, and durability. The following guide can help you navigate the process of choosing stone countertops.
Choosing the right material
Consider your family’s needs when choosing the right stone countertops.
“If [they] have three kids and they’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the countertops every day, they might not want to go with that white granite,” says Jeff Cannata, past president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.
There are a number of different choices when it comes to stone countertops.
- Granite: Granite countertops have long been the gold standard for classic elegance and durability. However, they also have a higher price tag than other stones and require periodic maintenance.
- Quartz: Quartz, also known as engineered stone, is considered granite’s “bulletproof” counterpart. Available in colors from bright white to jet black – and everything in between, quartz has a more contemporary look than natural stones.
- Other natural stones: Marble, limestone, and soapstone are just a few examples of other natural stones that can be used for countertops. Because these stones are softer and often require gentler care, make sure to review the pros and cons before committing to a specific material.
Picking the right color
Once you find the right stone, it’s time to pick the perfect color! Make sure to bring paint swatches and cabinet colors to the showroom when looking at countertop colors; this can help you better match the colors and undertones of your kitchen. Whether you want contrasting or complementary countertop colors, the following are some of the most popular countertop and cabinet color choices.
- White cabinets: pure white, cream, grey, or dark blue stone
- Light to medium cabinets, such as oak: contrasting black stone
- Neutral: medium-brown cabinets, such as maple: grey, beige, or white stone
- Dark brown cabinets: green or blue stone
- Cherry cabinets: dark emerald green or white stone
The final steps
After choosing your new stone countertops, get ready for the installation process. From start to finish, the installation of natural stone can sometimes take up to two to three weeks; exact measurements are needed, old countertops must be taken off, sinks and cooktops need to be removed, and water and gas should be shut off. Expect the final installation to take four to eight hours for an average sized kitchen. Once the dust has settled, enjoy your new durable, beautiful countertops that can be enjoyed for generations to come!