Not all stone countertops are created equally — even if they are the same material. For example, granite comes from many places around the world, boasts different levels of quality and is cut into a variety of standardized thicknesses. Granite from regions where the stone is more beautiful can come with a higher price. The uniqueness of the slab (like if the granite has a lot of bright blue coloring aspects, which is rare) can also affect the cost. Of course, the thicker the stone, the more it will cost, too. You can snag fantastic deals on granite, however, by choosing remnants over custom-cut pieces or going with a thinner slab.
No matter what your budget, you need to understand the best tips for saving money and preserving your investment, because that’s exactly what stone countertops are: an investment. Whether marble, travertine, granite or quartz, these countertops can last a lifetime, but only if you treat them right and choose the best product for you.
Here are some must-know tips before you begin shopping:
- Different stones have different pros and cons: Granite is by far the most desirable of countertop materials, but quartz is much more durable, nonporous and heat resistant. If you only use your kitchen for show, you can go with a delicate stone. If you’re gearing up to audition for Chopped, you might need to go with one that’s thicker and tougher.
- Sealants are your friend: Every stone but quartz needs a sealant as soon as it’s installed. Stone is porous, eager to absorb debris, grease, bacteria and everything else it comes in contact with. Don’t assume your stone countertops come with a sealant — many don’t, and not all manufacturers are upfront about sealants. Always ask.
- Let your counters dictate flooring and cabinets: Kitchens and bathrooms have three main real estate areas: countertops, cabinets/vanities and flooring. Countertops and cabinets battle for the title of biggest investment, but if you really want quality countertops, then they should win. Choose your countertops first, then match or contrast your floors and cabinets to them.
- Maintenance is key: Cleaning your countertops with stone-friendly agents on a regular basis helps keep them free of bacteria, even if they are sealed. Plus, some sealants only last a few years, so make sure to schedule a re-sealing in a timely manner. Just like any natural product, stone needs a little pampering for a long shelf life.
Stone countertops certainly aren’t maintenance free, but they bring value and beauty to your home that’s unparalleled. Kitchens are dubbed the biggest ROI in your home, so give them the attention they deserve. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble today to start creating your dream home, featuring natural stone countertops.