Choosing a countertop for your remodeling project can be an exciting, yet overwhelming experience with all of the possibilities. Whenever I meet with a new client, I like to find out about their lifestyle to help determine the best choice.
Do you have a perfectionist nature? Does imperfection bother you, or do you like a patina? Do you like everything to look uniform and smooth, or do you want natural variation?
Two popular materials we use are engineered and natural stone. Engineered stone are quartz composites have brand names like Cambria, Silestone and Caesarstone.
We love those brands (Cambria, Silestone and Caesarstone) for the consistency factor. If you want a high performance solution that will last over time with a consistent finish, these are great choices. If you view an example of this in our design studio, it will look the same in your home, unlike granite or natural stone which has a ton of variation. This smooth white island top pictured below is Caesarstone.
Can’t decide? We used a honed granite on the perimeter and a Cambria on the island.
Is natural stone a fit for you? Granite has tons of variety and options. We love granite for its durability and all of the unique patterns it comes in. The best way to select natural stone is to view the actual slab before installation.
Granite can be very colorful and wildly patterned, or subdued like the honed Suede brown granite we used on this kitchen.
2 other popular natural stone choices are soapstone and marble. I personally love the look of natural marble . I like watching things patina and age over time. I love how it adds character and dimension. However, marble is very soft, absorbs spills and tends to mark easily. This will show wear and tear, fingerprints and oil spots. Soapstone is a natural stone that is extremely non porous and durable. This is a great choice for bringing in that natural beauty with a hearty nature. It works well in an older home, like in this Southwest Minneapolis kitchen remodel.
We also love the look of concrete. We recently created this custom top for a bathroom vanity. The look is very warm and unique.
Finally, most of the options you need to chose a finish – honed or polished, and an edge profile, all details that makes a big impact. We factor in all of the details to create a totally custom look.
Last but not least, let’s give a little love to laminate. Anyone who grew up with a Formica countertop can attest to the durability of the product. That’s what makes this such a great choice for workhouse areas like mud rooms, pantry and laundry rooms. We recently installed this top in a hardworking hobby room. There are a ton of new colors and styles to choose from. Even Jonathan Adler has joined the party with some groovy options.
Need more help? Apartment Therapy’s has a great guide to choosing countertops as well.