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A Guide to Different Countertop Materials

Countertops—the primary work surface in any kitchen—come in a variety of materials that are either natural stone or engineered. Natural stone countertops are made from materials that occur naturally from the earth. Engineered materials are man-made, consisting of many different products and chemicals. Both types of countertops offer certain advantages but also have drawbacks. Our expert design team at Alps Craftsman help understand the expected type of use for a countertop and then help guide the design for said room to the best-suited countertop material. 

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stone countertops—known for their beauty and durability—come in various types of stone, including granite, marble, and quartzite. These beautiful stones, created from either lava, limestone, or sandstone, are removed from the earth in large chunks and then cut into individual slabs for use in making countertops. 

Granite is the most popular type of natural stone countertop. It is a hard, durable, and heat-resistant material that comes in many different colors and patterns depending on when and where the lava cooled. These slabs come in many different colors and patterns, allowing buyers of all price points to find a great-looking color. The busier patterns often found in granite allow for any repairs to be less inconspicuous than in engineered countertop materials. 

Marble is another popular natural stone countertop. It has an elegant look that can add a touch of sophistication. However, marble can be easily scratched or stained. We recommend only using marble for bathroom vanities or other spaces in the home that don’t get as much wear and tear as a kitchen.

Quartzite is a quickly growing type of natural stone countertop that is known for its dramatic designs in slabs due to its different formation and mineral composition than granite. It is a hard, durable material that is resistant to scratching and chipping. 

Engineered Countertops

Engineered countertops come in a variety of materials,  the most popular of which is quartz. Quartz slabs are created by mixing ground quartz from the earth with different pigments, chemicals, and resin to create a mixture that is then poured into large molds and baked at a very high temperature to harden. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, plus are very durable and don’t need to be sealed since they are non-porous. However, as is the case with all man-made countertops, they are not heat resistant, which causes problems for some homeowners. 

Another type of engineered countertop, acrylic solid-surface countertops, is made from a mixture of acrylic and resin, offering a seamless, modern look. They are also very durable and easy to maintain.

Laminate countertops and slabs made of recycled materials are other engineered countertop materials. Both of these man-made products offer unique options for homeowners who are looking for either a very cost-effective option or are looking for a green solution for their home.

Pros and Cons

Both natural stone and engineered countertops have their advantages and disadvantages. Natural stone countertops are beautiful and durable but require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. They can also be expensive, especially if you choose a rare or exotic stone.

Engineered countertops can be more affordable than natural stone and require less maintenance. They also come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it easy to find one that matches your kitchen decor. However, they are not as heat-resistant as natural stone and show repairs more visibly than natural stone if the situation arises.

Shop Stunning Countertops from Alps Craftsman

If you are looking for high-quality countertops, Alps Craftsman is the right choice for you. They offer a wide range of natural stone and engineered countertops that will suit your style and budget. Their experienced team will work with you to find the perfect countertop for your kitchen and ensure that it is installed correctly. So why wait? Contact Alps Craftsman today and start enjoying your new countertops.

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