kitchen island

Choosing the Right Countertop – Part II

In our last blog, “Choosing the Right Countertop – Part I,” we broke down several of the most common countertop options to consider when building or renovating your home.

In today’s blog, we’d like to finish simplifying the process of choosing the right countertop for your job. With so many options to choose from, you’ll want to select the one with the features, look, and cost that fit your budget. We hope this list helps you narrow those options down.

  • quartz countetopQuartz – While granite is the top choice for many professionals, quartz is a very close second. More durable than natural stone and requiring less maintenance, quartz is an engineered product consisting of quartz crystals mixed with resin and pigment. Although it comes in a large range of colors and patterns, it also can be pretty pricey and can have a manufactured look.
  • Recycled Glass/Terrazzo – If you’re going for the one-of-a-kind look, recycled glass or terrazzo is the way to go. They’re eco-friendly (they keep glass or marble out of landfills), and are resistant to heat, scratches and cuts. However, recycled glass/terrazzo countertops don’t perform as well against chips and stains, and can be quite expensive.
  • Soapstone – You may remember soapstone from your high school science lab. It does well resisting heat and stains, and although it is softer than other countertop options, most scratches can be sanded away and then touched up with mineral oil. Nicks, cuts, deep scratches and stains may be difficult or impossible to remove. As you add mineral oil it will darken the color of your soapstone, and if you like the high-gloss look you’ll need to apply it regularly or give it a heavy-duty sanding to return to the original look.
  • Solid Surface – If you like low maintenance, solid surfacing is the way to go. With a large palette of color and pattern options, you can match your kitchen or bath. You can also choose from more brands than just Corian (which is what most people first think of). While resistant to stains and chips, it can be susceptible to heat and scratches and can rival the cost of natural stone.
  • Stainless Steel – A more commercial look (and price), stainless steel is resistant to just about everything you can throw its way, including bacteria! As you can probably guess, there really isn’t a range of colors or patterns to choose from, and it can be quite noisy to work on.
  • Travertine – Travertine provides a similar look to marble, and is resistant to heat and cracks. It is very durable and is offered in a large array of designs. However, unless you have a kitchen or bath that doesn’t get much traffic, travertine might not be the best option, as it is better suited for a backsplash, shower, or sink. Spills can quickly lead to stains, and travertine requires special cleaning and maintenance.

As we conclude our two part series on choosing the right countertop, we hope we’ve provided you with enough information to make an informed choice. If you’d like to discuss these or other options in more detail when you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, give Norman Graham Builders a call at 717-656-7336. You can also reach us via email at