Selecting Countertop Material
At Granite Countertops Unlimited (GTC), we offer many countertops options – from a wide variety of natural stones to many different brands of man-made quartz stones. There are pros and cons of each different type of stone that you will need to consider when deciding on a stone, to ensure you pick the best stone to fit your needs and your design vision.
Natural Stone Countertops
Any natural stone can be used for kitchen countertops. Granite, quartzite, soapstone and marble are all popular kitchen countertop stones. Granite, quartzite and soapstone are more practical options for your kitchen, because they require less maintenance, but marble CAN be used with a certain finish and the right care.
Marble Kitchen Countertops
When using marble as a kitchen countertop we recommend you use a honed or leathered finish. A honed finish is a matte finish not shiny. Leathered is also a matte finish but has a slight raised texture. The honed or leathered finish is the easiest wearing finish. Either of these finishes don’t allow the stone to etch, as a polished finish could potentially do. Etching is a dull spot produced from acidic foods after leaving them on your countertop for a long period of time. Proper cleaning and maintenance such as wiping up a spill instead of letting it sit and being careful about sliding pots across your marble surface will help the longevity of your marble countertop.
Maintenance of Natural Stone
All natural stones require some sort of maintenance. (Please see our cleaners section under PLANNING for more information.)
If you want a maintenance-free countertop that requires no additional sealing then quartz countertops may be for you. Quartz is a man-made product, poured into slabs made of 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 10% resins, polymers and pigments. Quartz is stain resistant but not stain proof, you still need to be careful when leaving certain acidic juices, tea, coffee and wine on your countertop for long periods of time. Quartz is heat resistant to a certain degree but not heat proof. We recommend continuing to use proper heat mats under pots and pans.
GCU does not recommend using Travertine for kitchen countertops. You can use it on bathroom vanities or as flooring. Travertine has a high porosity level so it soaks up water and stains easily.
If you still are undecided or concerned about picking the right stone for your countertops please give us a call at (706) 283-8827 and we’ll be happy to answer further questions and help you make the best decision for your project.
For more information on granite, quartzite and soapstone countertops please see our Natural Stone section under Products.