You’re on the hunt for the perfect house, and having stone counters is one of your top priorities.
Stone counters, especially granite, remain one of the most desired features in a home. However, sometimes real estate photos leave a lot to be desired, and some listings don’t have any photos of the kitchen at all!
How can you tell if counters are genuine stone or a manmade knockoff like laminate?
When searching for homes, use a site that lets you filter by features. Many let you tick off “natural stone,” “granite,” or other stone options. Still, some listings end up incorrect or incomplete.
Perhaps the listing is by owner, or somehow the stone counters were overlooked when the listing was created. Also keep in mind that if it’s not clearly stated, or the lister didn’t check the correct box, the filter can sift out some real gems. It might be up to you to do a little reconnaissance work.
Stone Counters: Picture Perfect
You can tell a lot by photos, but some stone counter imitators have come a long way. Look for slabs without any grout lines or obvious seams.
Tile was a popular and cheap alternative a few decades ago, and many of us remember those telltale squares with dirty grout lines from our youth. Look for photos of slabs that are thick (laminate and tile are not) and look like reasonable natural stone colors.
Natural stone can come in a variety of colors and shapes, but the vast majority are a neutral color — often a relatively solid hue or with familiar swirls and features. If you find an outlandish color like red, pink or violet, or the countertops otherwise make a huge statement, it can still be a high-quality natural stone. And keep in mind that if it is, it’s a massive upgrade. It’s very likely that this type of stone will be clearly highlighted in the description.
Read Between the Lines
Any realtors worth their salt, or any homeowner who wants to sell at the best price, will make a point to highlight natural stone countertops. They know it’s a big incentive. Read the description closely and do a quick search for keywords like granite, stone, quartz and marble.
Quartz is quickly becoming a popular and even preferred stone counter option for many, thanks to its zero maintenance and proven durability. In fact, some home buyers are actively looking for quartz instead of granite, especially if their kitchen or bathroom is a high traffic area.
Still not certain? The best thing you can do is ask, but be careful about sharing your contact information on major real estate search sites. You might get inundated with calls from a number of hungry real estate agents.
For more advice and tips on the benefits of stone counters, contact Intermountain Stone & Marble, your local experts who know all the ins and outs of stone and can help you with a counter upgrade.