Learn your choices in low maintenace kitchen countertops. Find out whether granite, quartz, concrete or fiberglass laminate countertops are easy to maintain and stain and moisture resistant.
LESLIE: Josh in South Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we help you with today?
JOSH: Well, I’ve just bought a house here and it’s got Formica countertops. And my fiancée and I were trying to decide on what to do about the countertops and I’ve been doing a lot of research and hearing a lot about the concrete kind of tops and we’re trying to get like the contemporary feng shui look in the house. And granite, as opposed to concrete or even – there’s another type; it’s like the fake – is it called quartz? Am I saying it right, quartz?
TOM: Yeah, quartz. There are different manufacturers of it. There’s – what is it, Zodiac is the Corian product and then Silestone is another product. But they’re all quartz.
JOSH: OK, well as far as the concrete – I mean what are the good and the bad things about it? I mean you don’t hear of a whole lot of people – from what I read, it started out west and you just don’t see it a lot hear in the south yet. I mean is it a good way to …
TOM: It’s a beautiful surface and it’s a lot of work to make, it’s a lot of work to maintain; but it is very, very gorgeous. What’s the guy’s name that wrote that book on it?
LESLIE: I can not …
TOM: [Fung Chang] (sp)? That’s it, [Fung Chang]; that’s right. Have you seen his writings?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yes.
JOSH: I have, I have and I’ve actually read of a few of his books and from what I see about granite, which one is more maintenance? Is granite pretty high maintenance as well or is it …?
TOM: Yes, and in fact, we know from having them ourselves and answering the same questions over and over again for many years that all of these products are not nearly as moisture-resistant and stain-resistant as good, old-fashioned fiberglass laminate. Having said that, believe it or not, my favorite countertop is Corian or one of the solid-surfacing materials because it is reasonably maintenance-resistant compared to the granites and the quartz out there.
LESLIE: There’s also, Josh – there’s a new green product called PaperStone and their website is PaperStoneProducts.com. And it actually can look exactly like concrete but it’s a totally eco-friendly, sustainable product; which is totally cutting edge and something that you’re looking for if you’re looking for a green product as well. Check out their website just to sort of see it in …
LESLIE: Just to sort of see it in an installed situation and learn a bit more about the product and you can even find a dealer there. But that could be an interesting choice.
And also, you can always just relaminate those countertops for a mildly inexpensive, do-it-yourself quick-fix.
JOSH: Right. OK, great. Well, I do appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Josh. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.