Countertop Comparison Chart: How to Choose the Right Material
When purchasing a new countertop for your kitchen or bath remodel, it’s important to align the right product and finish with your intended application.
From natural stone to manufactured quartz, there are many different options available for your new kitchen or bathroom countertops. So, selecting the right material can easily turn into an overwhelming task. To help you make the best decision for your household, we will provide an overview of the different categories of our countertop comparison chart that you should consider.
How to Choose the Right Countertop Material
Selecting the right material is an important decision, and it comes down to aligning the material with your family’s lifestyle. Countertops are for more than just preparing meals, after all. In an active household, especially one with children, countertops can receive wear and tear from extensive daily use, school projects, spills and other activities.
No matter your daily routine, frequency of use and design preferences, there’s a beautiful and functional countertop that’s right for you. To help figure it out, let’s explore our countertop comparison chart. This chart includes a number of features that are important to weigh.
Countertop Comparison Chart
Our countertop comparison chart includes four common countertop materials:
- Ultra Compact Surfacing (Dekton): A sophisticated blend of the raw materials used to produce the very latest in glass and porcelain as well as the highest quality quartz work.
- Quartz: A manufactured material that starts with 93% +/- natural quartz and is then combined with polymers and pigments for color and stability.
- Granite: An igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica and feldspar, found naturally.
- Solid Surface: A manufactured material made of acrylic resin or polyester resin (or a combination of the two).
In this blog, we will be focusing on those four materials. But there are other options out there, like soapstone, marble and quartzite. Learn more about these materials and how they might work for your household in this blog.
Here’s how ultra compact surfacing (Dekton), quartz, granite and solid surface do with each of the following features.
Scratch resistance means the material can handle minor scratches with easy repair and no long-term damage. For a busy household, this is paramount.
Dekton, quartz and granite are all excellent scratch resistant options.
Solid surface is not a stone. Therefore, it will show use marks more readily than some other materials. However, choice of color can help in this area. Lighter or mid-tone colors camouflage little scratches or blemishes much better than darker tones. But if you are still wary to use solid surface in a busy, high traffic area like the kitchen, try it for your bathroom remodel. Solid surface is especially known for its hygienic nature and cleaning ease.
Stain Resistance & Need to Seal
Materials can be either naturally stain resistant or manufactured or sealed with stain resistant qualities.
Dekton employs exclusive Sinterized Particle Technology, a high-tech process that mimics the metamorphic change that natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years—but at an accelerated pace. This process provides a uniquely high resistance to scratches and staining. Thus, earning Dekton a 5/5 for stain resistance on the countertop comparison chart.
However, quartz, granite and solid surface are close behind with similar stain resistant qualities. Quartz is particularly known for its stain resistance because it is manufactured with natural stone and resin, creating a non-porous (and stain resistant) material. Solid surface is also non-porous. No sealer is required for quartz or solid surface.
Meanwhile, granite does require sealant to prevent cooking oil, red wine, grease or other spills from potentially soaking into the stone over time and leaving stains. Generally, lighter color stones are more porous than darker ones, so they would require resealing more often.
It’s always a good idea to put a hot pad or trivet on any countertop material to minimize damage from heat and protect the longevity of the material, no matter how heat resistant the material might be.
Dekton and granite are both highly heat resistant materials, so you don’t have to worry as much about putting a hot plate down on the surface. But it is still recommended to protect your beautiful, new investment.
All of these materials have a range of durability, with granite being the most durable natural stone and solid surface the most durable manufactured material.
Granite is not easily chipped, but it’s not impervious to damage from a higher impact or an impact at just the right angle.
But because solid surface is just that – solid – and it is acrylic rather than stone, it has a higher impact strength when compared to many other materials.
Renewable & Repairable
Solid surface is the most renewable and repairable material in the countertop comparison chart. Due to its unique composition, it can be repaired, modified and buffed as needed.
Quartz and granite can be repaired if there are minor scratches and chips. For example, if you have a small chip in your quartz or granite countertop, a clear resin, acrylic adhesive or epoxy can fill it and blend into the surrounding stone.
Dekton is the least renewable and repairable. While damage can be repaired, it really depends on the extent of the damage. And some repairs might remain visible or imperfect. Damage from a heavy impact might require you to replace a section or entire slab.
Color & Pattern Consistency
The functional characteristics of countertop materials are important, but don’t forget to consider design qualities, too.
If you’re searching for a specific color and pattern consistency, Dekton, quartz and solid surface all deliver. This is because they are manufactured products that can imitate the look of natural stone.
Over the years, quartz color palettes have grown to include a complete range of unique solid and patterned colors.
Dekton, quartz and solid surface offer almost a limitless range of colors and tones.
But granite is a natural stone, which means what you see in nature is what you get. It does come in a wide variety of colors, but every slab is different.
Another important design element is a difficult to detect seam. Seams are created when two separate stone portions are joined together to create a larger countertop piece. Most kitchens contain at least one seam for a variety of reasons. For example, the slab might need to be cut to fit the shape of your kitchen. The size of the material itself. Or, access to the job site limits the size of a piece.
If cutting the slab is necessary, a good countertop fabricator will minimize any seams as much as possible. But if you really desire a completely seamless appearance, go for solid surface. Solid surface offers the most seamless appearance due to its composition and process of joining and finishing.
Lastly, price is an important factor to consider.
Because of Dekton’s high-tech process, it is typically one of the more expensive options. Granite, quartz and solid surface vary in pricing by color.
There are plenty of countertop materials available today to help you create the space of your dreams. When you’re using the countertop comparison chart as a guide to find the right product, be honest with your needs as you come up with the perfect material for your household.
And be sure to reach out to the professional sales staff at Eastern Surfaces if you have any questions. We can guide you through this exciting process from beginning to end! Get in touch or schedule a showroom visit to learn more.