LESLIE: Laurie in Pennsylvania needs some help picking out a kitchen countertop material. What are you working on?
LAURIE: It’s not for me, actually. My daughter and my son-in-law have bought a house and they’re moving in in January and they want to remodel their kitchen. And they don’t know what kind of counter to get. Can you recommend anything? And I did hear you guys say last week there was an alternative to quartz.
LESLIE: There are. Now, countertops, of course, run the gamut of budgets. And it also depends on the quantity of countertop. I mean to me, when you think about the best of the best when it comes to a countertop is – I love granite. I also love marble. However, marble requires a lot more maintenance, a lot more sealing. It’s a much softer material then the granite. However, if you’ve got a lot of counter surface, granites and marbles can get very pricey because they’re priced by the linear foot. Sometimes they’re several hundred dollars per foot. The edges then cost extra money. So you’ve got to kind of figure it out that way.
I think the top of the line, though, is going to be a granite. Then you can have those quartz products. There’s Silestone, Zodiaq. And those are made from quartz. They’re a hard surface. It’s a solid surface. And they can look from anything – from a solid color to that same sort of speckled finish to a grainy appearance. And they’re going to be extra, extra durable, as well. But they’re going to be very similarly priced to a granite, as well.
Laminate is going to be sort of on the lower end pricewise. But laminates today come in so many different looks, if you will, that you can get something that looks like a granite, you can get a solid color, you can get a speckled finish, you can get a vein with a graining. There’s so much there but that’s going to be a different application.
And then, of course, there’s always tile. And tile’s an easy do-it-yourself project, as well, depending on the type of tile you pick. But there’s maintenance there, as well, because of the grout lines. So, you kind of have to think of what’s your initial upfront costs, how much countertop do you need, what would your costs or desire for maintenance be – do you want a lot, do you want a little – and then I think that’s sort of the area where you can start to go forward. People are also using concrete, which is affordable. Some people do it themselves, some people don’t. It’s a gorgeous finish but it’s a more modern, industrial look.