Kitchen Countertop Agony: Granite, Marble or Quartz?
For years I’ve saving for a new countertop. Now the time approaches when I have to get real. Put in a lot of research and can’t decide. I am tired of the creamy quartz look as a trend but guess it is wise to look ahead for future resale.
Have any of you been happy with your stone countertops? If so which material/pattern did you choose?
|by Anonymous||reply 108||06/10/2021|
Remember when I was considered high-end?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/14/2021|
It’s coming to crunch decision time and I just cannot decide. Is it best to follow the trends in this case or go for the material I like best (which is granite)? I’m terrible with design and am scared I will make some bad taste choice. My kitchen is wood carcass, wood countertop, and wood floor, in warm golden-red tones. No I won’t be choosing Kashmir Gold or Red, just in case you’re wondering. Although if those two granites were not so out of fashion I probably would be thinking of them.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||06/04/2021|
I have QUARTZ because I liked the designs. It works fine. I'd prefer butcher block but don't like the maintenance issues.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||06/04/2021|
I like wood countertops, like how this guy did it himself...
|by Anonymous||reply 4||06/04/2021|
I've had granite for close to 30 years and have never had a problem with it. All those maintenance nightmare stories are BS. They're easy to clean and take care of and now they're pretty cheap
|by Anonymous||reply 6||06/04/2021|
Oh god that granite and stainless combo IMMEDIATELY dates your kitchen. It screams "zero personality" too, as regardless of the layout, they all somehow end up looking the same.
Anything but that tired mess.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||06/04/2021|
Here's some advice: pick what the fuck you like. It's your house.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||06/04/2021|
How about Angel Gabriel Blue? But make sure you contact your local Vicar to make sure it is religiously correct, dear.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||06/04/2021|
I own a kitchen/bathroom business. Look for quartzite, not quartz. They are two different materials.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||06/04/2021|
Right now I like the gray cabinets / marble counter combination. But I’m sure it will be dated soon.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||06/04/2021|
I was thinking of soapstone, but was discouraged by tales of stains and chips, plus the need to oil the stone annually, so I went with a dark gray granite that has a fine gray and black speckled pattern with bits of reflective material. It’s impregnable. I’m happy with it. I don’t like quartz because it looks fake to me. Marble is pretty, but impractical. It does trouble me a tiny bit that granite is considered “over,” but I’d rather do what I like than worry about what other people think.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||06/04/2021|
NEVER Marble. The upkeep is ridiculous.
I agree with R11. Quartzite is naturally occurring rock. Very durable. I think plastic is used to stick quart countertops and may be affected by heat.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||06/04/2021|
You want it to look good or actually cook in the kitchen? If the latter, granite is fine. I have a granite slab and it's nice to work on.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||06/04/2021|
Have a marble bathroom sink. Nightmare.
Got granite kitchen countertops just because they ended up being not that much more than Formica. No issues at all with them.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||06/04/2021|
I had soapstone counters growing up. They do require a bit more maintenance but I think they’re worth it.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||06/04/2021|
Granite is overused. Butcher block is nice but dated. Concrete is shit. It wears down to the webbing underneath eventually. The quartz composites are the best I have seen so far. I am a retired house cleaner and have experience with it all.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||06/04/2021|
Wood. Or porcelain tile. Or stainless steel.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||06/04/2021|
How come HGTV doesn't have show like this anymore? Last time I watched, they'd given the whole network over to the "Property Brothers" and those two real estate jerks.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||06/04/2021|
R20: "two real estate jerks" Gonna have to be a lot more specific that that.....
|by Anonymous||reply 21||06/04/2021|
Formica is still cool in my book. There are really excellent choices for color and patterns. I had a client use it and it was a hard sell. It looks fantastic and people they have over like it and quite surprised.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||06/04/2021|
R22 I have Formica countertops. You should have SEEN the looks I got at the Big Box home stores when I asked to see Formica samples. Needless to say I had to special order, but I love it.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||06/04/2021|
Stainless steel for me, to sanitize
|by Anonymous||reply 24||06/04/2021|
Why did formica go out of style? Does it stain/chip easily?
IIRC the big selling point of granite was that you could put hot pots on it and cut things on it.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||06/04/2021|
i like quartz. I actually like ceramic tile too.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||06/04/2021|
My mom has ruined two Formica countertops by putting hot pots on it. One was a bit of an emergency, the other was pure absentmindedness.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||06/04/2021|
The people who brought into the brown granite phase, wow. Ceramic tile is so much better. I never really understood it.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||06/04/2021|
Who’s the ceramic tile queen? Nobody wants your germy grout.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||06/04/2021|
Formica is so outdated. you should live in a cave
|by Anonymous||reply 32||06/04/2021|
Granite looks alot like quarzite. How can anyone tell the difference?
|by Anonymous||reply 33||06/04/2021|
No, R25, with Formica, you don't need a cutting board - just cut on the Formica!
|by Anonymous||reply 34||06/04/2021|
Formica is the easiest to maintain, I think...and the easiet to repair. It's the cheapest option. They make some nice looking Formica now.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||06/04/2021|
If I had the money, soapstone is beautiful and looks great for an older look. I think it's a softer material and may not be as practical. If you want the dark look, you'll have to oil with mineral oil every few months. So there's that maintenance.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||06/04/2021|
r25, Because a handful of queens in NY/LA/Milan said so. Designers work on commission, why recommend Formica when they can get the client to pay 20 times as much?
|by Anonymous||reply 37||06/04/2021|
Formica looks cheap and dated. It chips, burns and peels. Granite is hardly any more money and lasts forever.
"Oh god that granite and stainless combo IMMEDIATELY dates your kitchen. It screams "zero personality"
Just try and buy appliances "off the rack" that aren't SS. You even have to special order white in many cases
|by Anonymous||reply 38||06/04/2021|
What are you all doing to your Formica? I’ve never had it burn, chip or stain. Take care of shit.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||06/04/2021|
I've also had formica for years, and never had a problem. Haven't you ever heard of a cutting board or hot pads?
|by Anonymous||reply 40||06/04/2021|
I hate that stainless steel is what's being offered without too many other options now.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||06/04/2021|
Laminate with metal edging.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||06/04/2021|
R 11 here
In fifteen years of doing counter tops, the only trouble I have had is with quartz. They talk about their wonderful warranty, however it is only a warranty against manufacturing defects.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||06/04/2021|
"What are you all doing to your Formica? I’ve never had it burn, chip or stain. Take care of shit. "
Laminate cracks, chips and peels with age no matter how well you take care of it
|by Anonymous||reply 44||06/04/2021|
I've had a soapstone kitchen sink and counters for nearly 15 years. They still look great. The first year I had them, I oiled them about every month or so (it's very easy). After that, they seemed to have absorbed their maximum capacity and now I very seldom oil them. However, if anything wet sets on them (a glass with condensation, splashes of water, a damp sponge, etc), it will leave a mark. For that reason, I keep an oiled rag in a plastic Baggie under my kitchen sink and when a mark happens, I just swipe it with the rag and it is gone. It's a little extra work but not a big deal. I've managed to chip the stone a few times but a black Sharpie solves that problem quickly. Anyway, I guess you could say soapstone is a little extra bother but to me, it is worth it because I like the look.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||06/04/2021|
Give or take a few years:
Formica = 1940's - 1960's
Tile with wide colored grout = 1970's
Granite, Granite, Granite = 1980's
Granite or Corian = 1990s
Fraus love fucking Granite = 2000's
Quartz = 2010's
Quartz or Concrete = 2020's
Marble = All through the ages in high end kitchens where you want to show off your wealth and it's obvious the kitchen is rarely used for anything other than making coffee or opening up take out.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||06/04/2021|
They have quarts now from Italy that looks really beautiful. Like marble with nice veining. It's a lot more durable than marble. The catch is, the good stuff from Italy is about the same price as marble. The cheap stuff from America or China looks like fake plastic laminate. The veins just don't look natural, they are repetitive and too uniform.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||06/04/2021|
After five years my quartz looks awesome. The only issues are where the fucking contractor chipped it installing appliances.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||06/04/2021|
People actually cut vegetables and meat directly on the countertop and don't use a cutting board? I've never heard of that. Seems like a fast way to mess up the countertop. Why not just buy a $2.00 cutting board from Walmart?
|by Anonymous||reply 49||06/04/2021|
I believe the idea is you do your cutting next to the sink and then just wipe all the detritus into the sink, no cutting board to clean.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||06/04/2021|
I recently bought a house and the kitchen countertops are quartz, I think . The problem is they are black with some sparkles. They look sleek but I’d rather have whitish countertops. I’m considering quartzite
|by Anonymous||reply 51||06/04/2021|
Formica? Like the brown countertops I grew up with?
|by Anonymous||reply 52||06/04/2021|
Concrete and steel kitchens were in for a hot minute about a decade ago.
Now, everyone has white kitchens—I’m sure those will get old in the next few years too
|by Anonymous||reply 53||06/04/2021|
I have marble bathroom countertops—major pain in the ass. What’s the point now that there are great quartzite versions with the same look?
|by Anonymous||reply 54||06/04/2021|
Formica looked great in Mary Hartman's kitchen!
|by Anonymous||reply 55||06/04/2021|
This is a really well done overview of all the various countertop options with pros and cons of each.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||06/04/2021|
Polished concrete or wood. Granite is passé and Formica is middle class - you may as well be draining your pasta, OP!
|by Anonymous||reply 57||06/04/2021|
The Spruce article at R56 had good things to say about quartz- Silestone, Quartzite and all that.
What do you all think of it?
|by Anonymous||reply 58||06/04/2021|
Friends had new countertops installed a couple years ago. They went with poured concrete. When they told me what they were going to do I pictured something horrible, but it is probably the most gorgeous countertop I've ever seen. They had it stained in such a way it actually looks like natural stone and it is as glossy as marble or granite. And it wasn't cheap. I think it cost as much as a natural stone surface.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||06/04/2021|
Concrete is really nice, R59. I know a few people with it too.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||06/04/2021|
Silestone spokesmodel Cindy Crawford seems pretty adamant about which type of gay man those countertops are for.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||06/04/2021|
I've posted here before on my recently updated kitchen (after 25 years). Replaced old Wilsonart (like Formica) and butcher block countertops with quartzite.
I loved being able to bleach the old ones for the sake of disinfection; however, quartzite is non porous. Hence, it doesn't harbor pathogens. You just need a sudsy sponge or simple green for maintenance and cleaning. If you are really concerned, you can use a rubbing alcohol solution spray.
You cannot use stuff like Windex, scrubbing bubbles, or Kaboom on it. Absolutely no bleach. You cannot put a hot pot on it like you can do with granite.
It's gorgeous. Delights me every day. I never tire of it. It's a show stopper. As long as you follow the cleaning rules laid out above, it's indestructible.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||06/04/2021|
Consuela’ s gonna ruin it.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||06/04/2021|
Just to be clear, Quartzite is natural stone and Quartz is manmade?
R11 appreciate your input.
R62 I would like to experience your sense of delight with your quartz. What color is it? My wooden counters are fussy and unforgiving. They were installed by the previous owners in the early 90s in a spirit of whimsy from a previous era. I’ve tried to love them over the last 7 years I’ve been here and if I were a carpenter…well you know the rest.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||06/04/2021|
Hi OP. [R62] here. I chose this pattern. It is supposed to give the effect of Carrera marble. I don't find it does. The look of it installed is a neutral white. As you approach, the pattern is more pronounced, but still neutral.
Different finish levels are available. Mine is not the most highly polished but still reflects light beautifully.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||06/05/2021|
Is quartzite the new granite? Is granite really that passé? What would you use to be considered trendy now?
|by Anonymous||reply 67||06/05/2021|
^^Sorry forgot to say thanks for your contributions. I love granite but am tempted to go with a highly unfashionable pattern like the one with flashes of labradorite within a browny-black background. It’s like cooking with aurora borealis!
R67 ahhh that is the question! I’d like to know the answer for sure. A kitchen expert on this thread said (and I assume this is the natural stone) quartzite is the IT material for the near future.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||06/06/2021|
I am thinking of terrazzo with metal edging. There's a craftsman that does it around here, but I don't know if it's a good idea.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||06/06/2021|
R18 is silly, thinking that a surface can be "dated." Colors can be dated, but not a fundamental working surface.
But R18 also is not silly - quartz is great. Attractive, a fair price, can handle temperatures of 302 degrees F, has a good coolness for baking, is easy to maintain, has lots of choices.
I've heard it can chip, so don't take a hammer to it. Don't lay a hot pizza stone on it. Clean with soap and water (I've heard it can lose its shine with strong cleaners with bleach.) But I've had it in a test kitchen for 10 years, with thousands of all kinds of food preps and a variety of workers. No issues.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||06/06/2021|
My countertops are maple. Hard as a rock. Beautiful. And every few years, I hit them with a sander and oil them. Good as new!
|by Anonymous||reply 72||06/06/2021|
Is it a big job sanding them? I’ve wondered about doing that to my wooden counters. They seem to have some sort of shiny coating on them which has worn down in spots. The former owner said she oiled it, but if it was lacquered or whatever then oiling wouldn’t make sense. It doesn’t like water or heat, so a strange material for a well-used kitchen.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||06/06/2021|
R64, yes, Quartize is natural stone.
While quartz is also natural stone, quartz countertops are made by basically gluing together thousands of quartz pieces.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||06/06/2021|
I used to have granite and it was great.... you could do anything to it. Hot pot, no problem. Cutting on it, no problem. But now I have quartz. A hot pot will cause it to dull/cloud/haze. A knife will leave a scratch... kind of annoying. I'd go back to granite in a heartbeat. In a nice speckled black - it shows nothing.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||06/06/2021|
I recently did my kitchen and got porcelain counter tops from Italy (I am in the UK). They are beautiful and bombproof. Not sure if there's a similar product in the US.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||06/06/2021|
R38, only if you are filiming a porno in your kitchen.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||06/06/2021|
R76–are those porcelain tiles, or does the material come in slabs like natural stone?
|by Anonymous||reply 78||06/06/2021|
My remodel designer pushed me to get granite but I insisted on quartz and I'm glad I did. It's very low maintenance, looks great, and doesn't remind me of a grave marker.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||06/06/2021|
[quote]I used to have granite and it was great.... you could do anything to it. Hot pot, no problem. Cutting on it, no problem. But now I have quartz. A hot pot will cause it to dull/cloud/haze. A knife will leave a scratch... kind of annoying.
You don't have to use cutting boards or trivets on granite? Yes, you DO have to use them with quartz. It's basically resin with stone chips in it, and the resin will fracture or melt if you abuse it like that.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||06/06/2021|
[R62] here. Apologies for the dead link. I've linked to an article that features the style I selected. Lots of photos. Discusses the challenge of choosing between styles. Even if you only want white, there many choices. Get the largest samples you can to see how each looks in the light, and to help choose finishes and fixtures.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||06/06/2021|
[quote]Is it a big job sanding them?
I don't do it often. If some sort of blemish appears, it is easy enough rub it out with sand paper and then oil it. Food grade mineral oil is the only finish they have and all they will ever need. But, every few years, a hand sander and an afternoon makes them look new again. For about... $2.00.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||06/06/2021|
R78, it comes as a large slab. I have a pretty large island and that's one whole slab and then they templated the rest of the countertops and backsplash (splashback in the UK) and cut it out of two remaining slabs. I have only one seam in the entirety of the flat surfaces.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||06/08/2021|
I had no idea granite was so deeply unfashionable. I do a great deal of cooking, and am terminally clumsy and absent minded. I have granite. It looks great, never stains, chips or burns. No maintenance apart from a jolly good polish every now and again. I don’t cut directly on it but do roll out pastry on it. Works fabulously for that too.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||06/08/2021|
I finally like quartz. It was installed in the house we bought and I was not initially into it but now I like it. Durable, low key, easy to clean. Also modern looking.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||06/08/2021|
Marble for me. It’s the chef’s job to deal with it. If he complains I’ll fire him.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||06/08/2021|
Marble is too porous so make poor counter material. Granite is mildly radioactive so there's that. Quartz might be intersting.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||06/08/2021|
Palm fronds, at the end of the day.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||06/08/2021|
Who the F are you people cunning right on a granite surface? It's the worst thing you could do to a decent knife. It damages the blade. I guess you all don't really cook or your idea of good knifes are ones you pick up at Walmart.
The only thing you should be cutting on is an end grain wood cutting board. If not end grain, at least wood. If not wood at least plastic, although even plastic will dull your knife but 100 times better than cutting on stone or granite.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||06/09/2021|
White marble. I sit on the surface every month with my curse. It’s now RED!
|by Anonymous||reply 91||06/09/2021|
Edge grain cutting board. Not end grain. And thick enough so that it does not warp.
WAAAAAAY too much glued joinery in an end grain cutting board. And all those end cuts absorb a lot of oil, just putting more stress on the glued joints.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||06/09/2021|
Edge grain dulls your knifes faster than end grain R92.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||06/09/2021|
[quote] I have Formica countertops. You should have SEEN the looks I got at the Big Box home stores when I asked to see Formica samples. Needless to say I had to special order, but I love it.
I'm curious. Is this a very MCM look, or is it a contemporary look?
Like linoleum for floors, it seems to be making a comeback.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||06/09/2021|
[quote] Consuela’s gonna ruin it.
Damn it, Conseula! Tu perra tonta!
|by Anonymous||reply 95||06/09/2021|
R93, do you have data to back that up? America's Test Kitchen consistently tests and recommends a teak edge grain cutting board. But go get yourself a knife sharpener. Go to eBay. A good electric knife sharpener won't set you back much at all.
End grain boards are cheaper to make. They are a way to use up bits and pieces of wood that are otherwise too small to use. But they have many, many, more glue joints and are not as solid or durable as end grain. IF your end grain board is really softer, it will also be more absorbent. That's not a plus.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||06/09/2021|
End grain boards are more expensive to make than edge grain R96.
|by Anonymous||reply 97||06/09/2021|
OPs buttocks are like a rock hard countertop.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||06/09/2021|
I have quartz and am pleased with my decision. I knew going in that I would need to use a trivet fot hot pots. But marble, though beautiful requires maintenance and can stain, while the quartz does not.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||06/09/2021|
Lowe’s and HD have whole displays of laminate samples in their stores, so I guess someone must be buying it.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||06/09/2021|
They don't call it Formica anymore. I believe the update is called "Wilsonart."
|by Anonymous||reply 101||06/09/2021|
A kitchen should be stainless steel everything. The lady of the house never visits the kitchen, she orders from the chef’s proposals for the week. An open plan “kitchen” is like having a toilet 🚽 in your living room. Never!
|by Anonymous||reply 102||06/09/2021|
[quote]An open plan “kitchen” is like having a toilet 🚽 in your living room.
Yes. A very, very, greasy toilet.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||06/09/2021|
I have green granite with light green/grey "chunks" and black specks and I love it. It's a pretty unique color and not too dark for my tiny kitchen and white appliances.
I took a chunk to a different store than where I bought it to see if they had something similar and the guy almost fell over the counter because it was "rare."
If I ever move I am taking the big piece with me to use for an island.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||06/09/2021|
[quote] Edge grain cutting board. Not end grain. And thick enough so that it does not warp. WAAAAAAY too much glued joinery
That's BS in your own mind. Most profession knife makers will tell you END grain is easier on the knife because it's like slicking into a stack of straws from the top vs trying to slice through them lengthwise. The glue is insignificant. The glue runs in the same direction as the wood so again, so the same concept still applies it's easier to cut through thin layers instead flat ones on top of each other.
That's why end grain is the most expensive of all, it's the best surface to cut on and the most labor intensive to make.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||06/10/2021|
Not exactly advice, but I thought OP might enjoy this interesting video from Vox called "How granite countertops took over American kitchens."
|by Anonymous||reply 106||06/10/2021|
Granite is great--it's just been so overdone that they're out of fashion. Other than that, they work and look great.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||06/10/2021|