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Chantilly, VA

25391 Pleasant Valley Rd.
Chantilly, VA 20152
Phone: (703) 259-9021

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Alexandria, VA

5655 General Washington Dr
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Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone: (703) 256-2199

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Fredericksburg, VA

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Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Phone: (540) 628-7535

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April 24, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Pros and Cons of Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

A kitchen countertop has to bear a lot of things – heat, water, stress, cuts, and scratches. Apart from that, it has to appear attractive and stylish. Above all, it has to blend in perfectly with the kitchen’s environment and for this very reason, choosing a perfect kitchen countertop material is no mean feat. You need to carefully evaluate all pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials before deciding.

You also need to put in a lot of planning and consideration while choosing the perfect kitchen countertop material that meets your expectations. If you don’t do so, you will end up making some common kitchen remodel mistakes and choose a countertop that will mismatch your otherwise beautifully designed kitchen. 

When it comes to choosing a countertop, you will be surprised to see the diverse range of materials available. The luxurious marble, the elegant granite, the trendy quartz, and the vibrant solid surface. With so many options, how can you choose the ideal countertop material for your kitchen, which is durable but aesthetic, stylish yet within your budget?

Your best bet is to know the pros and cons of the most popular kitchen countertop materials available in the market. You could then review them according to your needs, likeness, and most importantly, your budget and make the right decisions.

Here’s our list of most popular countertop materials with their pros and cons that will help you make the best choice. 

Marble

Marble is one of the most popular and elegant kitchen countertop materials. Luxurious and breathtakingly beautiful, marble’s veined patterns give it a classy appearance.

Natural stones have always been a popular kitchen countertop material, and marble holds the top position. However, its beauty comes at a price, which is, unfortunately, way beyond low to mid-range kitchen remodeling budget.

Although smooth and easy to clean, marble is relatively soft and highly porous, making it susceptible to stains and scratches. Marble also needs timely maintenance to keep its unique, lavish look intact.

If you have a taste for opulence and luxury and have no budget constraints, marble is the perfect countertop material for your dream kitchen remodel.

Cost: $15 to $200 per square foot

Pros

  • Smooth, elegant, and beautiful
  • Gives a unique and luxurious appearance to the kitchen
  • Hygienic and easy to clean

Cons

  • Highly porous and soft, which makes it prone to scratches and stains
  • Slabs are heavy, which requires experts intervention for installation
  • High maintenance needed from time to time

 

Granite

If you want the same grandeur as that of the marble but at a relatively lower price, granite is the material you should opt for. Also, a naturally occurring stone, granite matches the luxurious appeal of marble in some aspects. Its unique patterns and varied colors give it a distinct, classy look.

However, granite also shares the same drawbacks as marble. Hence, it becomes all the more important to look at the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials like granite while choosing a countertop. For instance,  it’s porous, soft, scratches, and stains quite easily. Although granite is hygienic and relatively easy to clean, you need to seal your granite countertops annually to ensure longevity.

Cost: $15 to $150 per square foot

Pros

  • Natural stone and relatively less expensive than marble
  • Each slab is slightly different, providing a unique appearance
  • Granite significantly increases the value of the property

Cons

  • Soft and porous require annual sealing
  • Very heavy and requires professional installation

Quartz

If you can’t afford the luxury of natural stones but still desire the same elegance, you should go with quartz. Among all the engineered countertop materials, quartz is closest to imitate the grace and elegance of natural stone.

Consisting of 95% quartz crystals and strengthened with resins, quartz is one of the strongest countertop materials. Similarly, since it is an engineered stone, quartz doesn’t have the flaws of the natural stone.

It is non-porous, tough, and you don’t need to seal it annually.  A quartz kitchen countertop’s strength, durability, and extensive range of colors and patterns make it a worthwhile alternative to natural stones.

Cost: $15 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • Stunning and distinct appearance
  • Very durable
  • Resistant to heat, stains, and scratches
  • Wide range of colors, patterns, and designs available

Cons

  • Quartz does not offer much resistance to heat in comparison to natural stones
  • Quartz slabs are pretty heavy, making it difficult to DIY
  • You need to corner and round the edges; otherwise, they chip away easily

 

Solid Surface

You can think of solid surface as a lower variant of quartz. You get a seamless look and style of engineered but sans the durability when you compare solid surface vs quartz. Solid surface is a fusion of polyester, synthetic acrylics, and stone dust fortified with a bonding agent.

Quite flexible in terms of design, you can also mold solid surface countertop to almost any shape and dimension. Solid surface also offers a wide range of colors and designs with a much lower price tag which makes it a worthy kitchen countertop material. 

Cost: $20 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • The lower price tag makes it affordable
  • Looks are at par with quartz
  • With low maintenance, you can easily sand out minor bruises with a sandpaper
  • Flexibility in design and vivid color options.

Cons

  • Prone to scratches and bruises
  • The presence of resins and acrylic makes it susceptible to heat damage
  • Does not add any significant value to the property

 

Ceramic

One of the most affordable kitchen countertop materials, ceramic brings a flashy and sparkling finish to the kitchen. Even in the presence of more sophisticated synthetic alternatives like quartz and solid surface, this centuries-old material has not lost its sheen.

With recent advances in technology, ceramic tiles are now available in much more comprehensive designs and colors that could provide a stunning look to any kitchen. Besides being affordable, ceramic tiles are durable and offer high heat and scratch resistance.

Not very sturdy, though, ceramic tiles tend to break under stress. If you are a DIY lover with a limited budget, ceramic tiles can be a good, affordable countertop material. You can easily build a great kitchen countertop with ceramic tile without burning a hole in your pocket. 

Cost: $10 to $40 per square foot

Pros

  • Affordable countertop material
  • Lots of colors and design options available
  • Relatively easy to install, hence a good option for DIYers

Cons

  • Grouts are a significant drawback, hard to clean, and prone to stains
  • Ceramic tiles tend to break easily

April 19, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

An Ultimate Guide to Replacing Kitchen Countertops On a Budget

Replacing your kitchen countertops doesn’t need to cost a fortune. If you are looking for a way to improve the value and quality of your home but can only handle a single project, replacing kitchen countertops on a budget is the best way to go. 

New countertops are an easy upgrade, and you can either do it yourself or with the help of a professional. Moreover, you have different options for freshening up your kitchen surfaces. 

Today’s most popular countertop materials come in various styles, designs, sizes, and prices. This means you can give your kitchen a dramatic facelift without breaking the bank. 

Here are some most sought-after materials to choose from when replacing your kitchen countertop on a budget. 

Laminates

Laminate is one of the best materials when replacing your kitchen countertop on a budget. It is formed by a thin layer of plastic laminate material bonded to a core of particleboard.

Further, there are many manufacturers such as Formica and Wilsonart. There are also hundreds of color and style options available for you to choose from.

Price: $5 to $27 per square foot

Pros

  • Most affordable countertop material to date.
  • DIY is straightforward when you install pre-fabricated countertop sections.
  • Great variety is possible if you build a kitchen countertop using designer laminates. Moreover, hundreds of colors and patterns are available.

Cons

  • Laminates can peel up, scorch or chip easily.
  • Laminate countertops can feel void and lightweight in comparison to other materials.

 

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile countertops are made using individual clay-based tiles adhered over a cement board core using a thin-set mortar adhesive. 

For kitchen countertops, grout seams make tile a less ideal countertop material. Still, newer variants of ceramic and porcelain tiles are available in large sizes that can help minimize the number of seams and make things easier. 

Price: $8 to $28 per square foot

Pros

  • Comes second to laminate in terms of cost. 
  • Ceramic tile is easy for a DIYer to install. 
  • Contemporary porcelain tiles offer diverse design options such as natural wood, real stone, and many other materials.

Cons

  • Grout seams can be stained and are difficult to clean.
  • Ceramic tile is brittle and cracks easily. Moreover, the repair is complicated, and full replacement of damaged tile is required. 

 

Modular Granite

Another best option for replacing kitchen countertops on a budget is modular granite. Modular granite occupies a space between solid surface slabs and granite tiles and are among the best stone countertop options.

Further, they can be described as large tiles pieced together to make a countertop. While modular granite is heavy, these pieces are still lighter than actual granite slabs, making them a decent option for DIYers. 

Price: $15 to $100 per square foot

Pros

  • Easy to DIY by homeowners. However, the most challenging part is lifting the slabs and moving them.
  • Inexpensive when compared to standard granite countertops. 

Cons

  • Modular granite countertops will have some seams making them different from solid slabs. 
  • Slabs are relatively thinner than solid slabs and can be cracked or broken.

 

Slate

Slate is also a natural stone that is quarried straight out from the earth, cut into slabs, and surfaced-grinded to a matte finish. Unsurprisingly, it is a good material for kitchen countertops because it is non-porous and resists stains. 

However, most people think of slate as a dark gray or black stone, but there are types of slate with shades of green or pink within them. Also, they have subtle veining but less dramatic than marble. 

Price: $20 to $60 per square foot

Pros

  • Slate is non-porous and stain-resistant.
  • Slate resists bacteria.
  • These countertops are hard and durable.
  • Relatively cheaper than granite, soapstone, or marble. 

Cons

  • Slate has a gritty, matte texture that may not appeal to everyone or may not suit every kitchen.
  • There are fewer color options available than other materials. 

 

Solid Surfacing

Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

Solid surface is an artificial material that was initially created as an alternative to granite. As a result, its design resembles granite and other natural stones. 

Further, it is made mostly from blends of synthetic acrylic and polyester materials, seldom with a small amount of natural stone dust mixed in. 

The material is held together with resins and shaped into slabs for use in countertops. Also, you can model the material into one-piece units with sinks integrated into the countertop. 

Price: $20 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • Solid-surface is among the most affordable countertop materials.
  • The looks of solid surface resemble that of granite and quartz.
  • You can sand out minor scratches or buff out with sandpaper. 
  • Thousands of colors and patterns are available, making solid surface a versatile material for kitchen design. 

Cons

  • Solid surface is prone to scorching and scratching. 
  • Earlier it was regarded as a high-end material, but now it is often seen as a cheaper alternative to natural or engineered stone. 

 

Quartz

When replacing kitchen countertops on a budget, quartz countertops are still one of the best choices. This material is composed of pulverized waste rock along with resins for hardness and binding. 

As a result, quartz countertops aren’t solid slabs of quartz mineral but are engineered stone countertops. Besides, quartz is quickly overcoming solid-surface as a convincing alternative to natural stone for countertops. 

Price: $15 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • Very beautiful and charming due to the inclusion of quartz crystals and other natural minerals.
  • Very durable and less susceptible to scratching than solid surface.
  • Endless colors and styles are available. 
  • Offers good resale value in a home.

Cons

  • Quartz countertops are extremely heavy.
  • Need professional installers, as there is no DIY option. 

 

Marble

Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

Marble is a natural stone countertop option that is always in high demand. Its unique appearance and veined patterns make it one of the most attractive stones. However, marble is comparatively soft and must be carefully and repeatedly sealed if you are buying marble for kitchen countertops. 

Similar to granite, marble countertop is available in three forms, i.e., solid slabs, modular marble, and marble tiles. Among these, solid slabs are the best choice for use as countertops. 

Price: $15 to $190 per square foot

Pros

  • The natural veining of marble makes it one of the most beautiful natural stone and countertop options.
  • Each marble countertop is unique. 

Cons

  • Marble is porous and can be easily stained if not sealed regularly with top-quality sealing products. 
  • Marble is a soft stone and can get scratched with knives and other sharp kitchen utensils. 

March 30, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Most Popular Countertops For Your Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel

Your kitchen countertops must be beautiful, functional, and durable. Now, if you are willing to match the cabinet and countertops, there are six most popular countertops you should consider for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling process. 

Homeowners vastly prefer countertops that are both stylish in appearance and resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. If they are cost-effective, then that is another highly appreciated virtue. 

Your requirements dictate the countertop you buy for your kitchen or bathroom at the end of the day. Today’s most popular countertops come in various types – from the most formal to highly casual, from practical to luxurious.

1. Granite

Granite countertops are among the most popular countertops among customers for a long time now. There is a good reason for their popularity as well. They are aesthetically beautiful, highly functional, and possess several desirable characteristics like resistance to scratches and heat.

Consequently, they are considered to be especially great options for kitchen countertops. Durable and heavy granite slabs are considered to be excellent countertop material in particular. Granite countertops are prepared using natural forming stone composites containing at least 20% quartz, alongside feldspar and mica. This makes them extremely hard – 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Granite is available in a wide range of patterns and colors and can be an exquisite blend of tradition and modernity, depending on the design you select. It is highly resistant to scratching and staining, as well as heat. It is very durable and can withstand the heavy stress of everyday use in your bathroom or kitchen.

However, granite is a porous material and can be damaged if water penetrates it. Thus, you need to maintain it and reseal your granite countertops periodically to last for a long time.

2. Marble

Marble is an absolute and one of the most popular countertops among homeowners for a long time. You often associate it with royalty and luxury through the ages and has been used in countless buildings and historical and archaeological significance structures.

Further, there aren’t many other natural countertop materials that can rival the sheer elegance and natural beauty of marble. It is stylish, waterproof, and highly resistant to heat. It is an excellent choice for both kitchen and bathroom countertops.

However, marble’s beauty does tend to clash with its somewhat softer and relatively less durable structure. It is even more porous than granite and is thus vulnerable to staining.

You will have to clean up liquid spills like coffee or tea immediately, to avoid damaging your marble countertop. You will also have to reseal your marble countertop every year, as in the case of granite. That said, if you value the unmatched look of marble, then it simply has no replacement.

3. Quartz

Quartz happens to be a man-made material, unlike granite or marble, which occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. It is an engineered stone and has a different process from natural stone countertops.

You manufacture quartz by combining about 90% of ground quartz with 8-10% polymers, pigments, and resins. The result is a rugged, extremely durable, and visually appealing synthetic countertop material composed mainly of natural stone components.

Quartz countertop is available in a much more comprehensive range of color combinations than other countertop materials. It is also non-porous and thus resists staining much more efficiently than other materials like marble, granite, and concrete.

You can place vessels containing coffee, tea, or juice upon your quartz countertop without worrying about them spilling over. Thus, buying quartz has become one of the most popular options in today’s market as well.

4. Tile

Due to its huge variety of style and color options, tile is one of today’s most popular countertops. It is versatile, cost-effective, and durable. There are many excellent options for you to choose from, such as porcelain tile, ceramic tile, and even glass tile.

Most of these tile countertop materials tend to be much less costly than engineered or natural stone. Tile is also among the most affordable countertop options. Today, you can see tile countertops growing in popularity for these reasons.

5. Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are synthetic in nature as well. These are created from a combination of various natural and man-made materials and are highly durable in nature. They are resistant to stains, heat, and microbial growth and you can use it efficiently in both kitchens and bathrooms.

Solid surface is available in a wide range of colors and styles, including ones that closely resemble natural stone in appearance. Compared to engineered and natural stone, though, they are quite economically priced. They are also eco-friendly materials and provide an excellent surface for preparing food and carrying out other activities in the kitchen.

6. Soapstone

Soapstone another natural stone that is usually dark gray in color with a silky smooth feel. Interestingly, soapstone has seen a recent resurgence as an alternative to granite.

Soapstone is common in old homes but you can also see it in modern homes as both countertop and sink material. With aging, soapstone takes on an antique patina that seems to be very attractive in some specific kitchen styles. 

In contrast to expectations, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is quite solid and resistant to stain. Nevertheless, it will scratch over time, but this can add to the stone’s aged patina. 

Cost of Popular Countertops

Granite countertops are relatively expensive (between $80 to $200 per square foot), and so are marble countertops (between $125 to $250 per square foot).

On the other hand, countertop materials like quartz (between $60 to $100 per square foot), tile (between $30 to $50 per square foot), solid surface (between $30 to $80 per square foot), and soapstone (between $50 to $100 per square foot) are much more economically priced.

You should choose a material which is in accordance with your budget and preferences. Make sure you consider their properties and prices carefully and then make an informed decision.

March 28, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

What is the Cost of Kitchen Countertops in Chantilly?

A new countertop is perfect to upgrade your otherwise outdated kitchen. However, you should be aware of the cost of kitchen countertops in Chantilly before you begin choosing the perfect kitchen countertop.

On average, depending on the material, the cost of replacing and installing a new kitchen countertop can range anywhere between $1,500 to $4,500. However, if you prefer high-end designs, your budget can go up to $5,400 or even more.

In addition to the type of material you choose, the cost of kitchen countertops in Chantilly will depend on your location, the type of material, and the edge finish. Further, the labor costs will also add to the cost.

Average Cost of Kitchen Countertops in Chantilly

Once you have set the budget for your kitchen remodeling project in Chantilly, the next step is to understand the types of countertops that fit your budget. 

Here is an overview of the cost of kitchen countertops in Chantilly:

Marble

Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

Marble is beloved as a timeless and classic material, and it adds a note of luxury to any room. When you’re buying marble countertops, you have to remember that they do require proper care. However, if you are willing to take care of your marble countertops, they will maintain their elegant looks for the life of your home.

But the key is to follow the manufacturer guidelines for use, daily care, sealing, and cleaning. Besides, they are not recommended for high traffic areas or where young kids might not take the necessary precautions to prevent staining and chipping. 

  • Marble countertop cost in Chantilly: $75 to $250 per square foot
  • Maintainance cost: High

 

Granite

Granite has a rich beauty that no other countertop material can match. Further, it is a natural product with a timeless aura and appeal. While marble scares off a lot of homeowners, granite is welcomed enthusiastically. You can also find various colors of granite countertops to match your kitchen design easily.

With the rise in popularity, the costs of granite countertops have become more reasonable. Nevertheless, just like marble, though more flexible, you need to follow guidelines properly for taking care of granite. 

 

Quartz

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Sometimes referred to as engineered stone, quartz is a great kitchen countertop option. Quartz is a mixture of stone chips, resins, and pigments. Moreover, it is ideal for areas that experience high use on a daily basis.

You will find a wider variety of colors in quartz than any other natural stone. However, quartz cannot match the raw beauty of marble. Being an engineered stone, quartz is non-porous, stain, scratch, and chip-resistant. Further, it doesn’t require annual sealing. 

  • Quartz countertop cost in Chantilly: $55 to $155 per square foot
  • Maintainance cost: Low

 

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are available at a wide range of prices, and there are enough colors and styles to choose from. Besides, depending on the size, shape, and quality of the material, tile countertops can be both – affordable and pricey.

In addition, no material other than ceramic tile offers a more significant opportunity to customize your countertop. Consequently, there’s a countertop for every kitchen. Besides, it is durable, heat resistant, and relatively easy to take care of.

  • Ceramic tile countertop cost in Chantilly: $18 to $35 per square foot
  • Maintainance cost: Moderate

 

Solid Surface

Solid surface is among the top choices for affordable countertop materials. Moreover, they can easily imitate the look of concrete, marble, or any other stone. Similarly, solid surface kitchen countertops can also imitate quartz well.

You can find many patterns and color options to match the look and feel of your kitchen. Also, it creates a seamless look and is a beautiful alternative to granite countertops. Not to forget, solid surface countertops are durable and require less maintenance.

  • Solid surface countertop cost in Chantilly: $35 to $ 90 per square foot
  • Maintainance cost: Low

 

March 4, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Countertop Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Today, the sheer variety of countertops available in the market is overwhelming. Thus, it can be tough to select a countertop for your kitchen or bathroom. There are many important factors for you to consider when choosing one. This is where a detailed countertop buying guide can help you out.

None of the countertops you find in the market are going to be completely perfect. All of them are going to feature a combination of both pros and cons. Instead of looking for the perfect kitchen countertop, you should seek one which healthily balances both these aspects.

For that, you need certain features of the countertop, such as the quality of the countertop material, its durability, the cost of the countertop itself plus installation charges, and how well it goes with the rest of your space.

If you find the task of choosing the perfect kitchen counter difficult, don’t worry. That’s what this guide is for. We have listed all the necessary facts and details in this countertop buying guide to make countertop buying a smooth and seamless experience for you.

What Should You Look For In A Countertop Material? 

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

When it comes to buying a kitchen countertop near you, you have many choices in this countertop buying guide with varying colors, patterns, and materials. Certain materials like granite, concrete, marble, limestone, and stainless steel are now popular in bathrooms and kitchens.

Although bathrooms are subjected to relatively less mechanical stresses than kitchens, you should still choose countertop materials that are more resistant to chipping and staining.

Consider Adequately Large Samples

Tiny samples are not a good representation of the material in question. They can give you a misleading impression of what it looks like in your space. A slab’s veining patterns and color can vary throughout its mass.

Consequently, you should try to bring home larger samples and see how they fit into your kitchen or bathroom. Also, following the countertop buying process, do not forget to ask about the warranty of the product you’ve purchased.

Pay Attention to the Sink

You can use a top-mounted sink with pretty much any countertop material. On the other hand, an under-mounted sink is installed beneath the countertop. Therefore, it is better suited for waterproof materials like quartz, stone, solid surfacing, stainless steel, and concrete.

You can readily use certain materials like stainless steel and solid surfacing for both the kitchen countertop and the sink. That will produce a smooth and uniform look.

Handle Measurements Carefully

Make sure that your fabricator takes accurate and detailed measurements. The contract and estimate should feature the material’s finish and thickness, fees for cutouts for the faucet, cooktop, and the sink, and additional fees for the removal of your old countertops, backsplash, and edge treatment.

Learn How to Save Money

By spending wisely and knowing where you can save money, you can experience a wallet-friendly kitchen countertop buying process. For that, keep an eye out for sales and know where to use different kinds of material.

For instance, you can use costly material on salient areas like the kitchen island and cheaper material on the perimeter.

When it comes to smaller areas like your bathroom counter, pastry slab, or island, you can consider buying remnants. Similarly, you should know about the different kinds of edges as well.

For instance, rounded edges tend to be safer and cheaper than squared edges. Similarly, bull-nosed and beveled edges are trendy but expensive.

Types of Countertop Materials

Every countertop material you will come across in this countertop buying guide has its unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, granite is an age-old choice for countertops, while quartz is more versatile.

Interestingly, quartz is easier to maintain and resembles concrete, granite, and marble in appearance. It is also relatively easier to maintain compared to other materials. Given below are some of the best countertop materials for you to install in your kitchen or bathroom.

Quartz

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Quartz is a manmade engineered stone composed of a mixture of pigments, resins, and stone chips. It is available in a variety of patterns and colors that closely resemble natural stone. It is waterproof, resistant to stains, and does not require resealing.

Quartz can withstand mechanical trauma inflicted by spills, knives, hot vessels, and much more. Thus, it is a great choice for places that you use regularly.

However, quartz can sometimes have very uniform patterns that give it an artificial look. You should go for random patterns while buying quartz countertops that resemble natural stone more closely. Also, its corners and edges are prone to chipping and can only be repaired by professionals. Rounded edges are much sturdier and resistant to damage.

Granite

Buying granite countertops has been one of the topmost choices for a long time. It is resistant to all kinds of mechanical stress and can be employed in areas that you use frequently. You can install an under-mounted sink on granite countertops as well. Granite slabs are especially known for their quality of individual uniqueness.

Like quartz, granite countertops’ corners and edges are vulnerable to chipping and need professional assistance for repair. Also, you need to seal granite countertops regularly to prevent staining.

Recycled Glass

As its name suggests, you produce recycled glass by recycling pieces of shattered glass and turning them into a countertop. The resulting product is a unique combination of style and strength.

If you ground the glass finely, it can look a lot like solid surfacing as well. Recycled glass countertops are highly resistant to scratches, cuts, and other mechanical trauma.

Nevertheless, certain varieties can potentially get cracked due to excessive heat. Thus, you should avoid placing hot objects upon them. They can also get stained or chipped at times.

Laminate

Laminates are prepared from layers of fabric and paper with an infusion of resin over composition wood. Laminates are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. They are highly resistant to stains, heat, and forceful impact. Moreover, they are mostly unharmed by the action of abrasive pads.

Therefore, they are great choices for places with a lot of use but very little abuse. They are economically priced and easy to maintain. Although laminates occasionally show seams, there are ways of avoiding them, such as post-forming.

However, water can potentially penetrate laminates through seams or between the backsplash and countertop. This greatly weakens the countertop. Also, laminate is greatly prone to scratching, and more or less impossible to repair. When it comes to concealing imperfections, flat finishes are a much better option than textured finishes.

Solid Surfacing

Photo by Christa Grover on Unsplash

Solid surface countertops are made of acrylic or polyester resins, along with mineral fillers. The material can closely resemble quartz, marble, concrete, and various other kinds of stone in appearance. The solid surface is quite resistant to heat and mechanical impacts.

Minor damages can be repaired quite conveniently. Since solid surface countertops are waterproof, you can use an under-mounted sink with them. You can efficiently use them while picking kitchen backsplashes, sinks, and counters. However, a solid surface countertop tends to get cut and scratched easily.

Butcher Block

Butcher block countertops are affordable and multipurpose surfaces prepared from solid hardwood. They are well-known for adding warmth to the kitchen. The most common wood used here is maple.

However, other woods like teak are popular choices as well. They are a great choice for preparing food, and quite easy to install and repair. Nonetheless, you can damage them easily due to mechanical stresses and impacts. Hence, you will have to treat them periodically using beeswax or mineral oil.

Although an oil finish usually resists heat better, the stains tend to spread and become nearly impossible to remove. If there are variations in the humidity levels at your home, you can damage the wood as well. Consequently, a butcher block is not a good option for using near a sink or dishwasher.

That said, butcher block is fairly easy to restore even after you subject it to several years of damage. You simply need to sand out any gouges or nicks upon it.

Marble

Photo by Watermark Designs on Unsplash

Marble has been another classic choice for countertops among homeowners and designers since times immemorial. Its elegance and beauty result from the way it was created – when a piece of dolomite or limestone was subjected to extreme pressure and heat.

These extreme conditions can result in distinctive veining in the rock, which is a characteristic feature of marble. Marble has a truly regal and stately look to it and will certainly take the aesthetics of your bathroom or kitchen to a whole new level.

Cost of Kitchen Countertops

Probably the most important factor of this countertop buying guide is the cost of kitchen countertops. For instance, marble is ultra-luxurious, though it is expensive. Marble countertop costs range between $75 to $250 per square foot.

On the other hand, granite countertops cost around $45 to $200 per square foot. As discussed earlier, quartz or engineered stone is a beautiful countertop material, and it ranges between $55 to $155 per square foot. 

Other countertop costs are discussed below [All units are based on price per square foot]: 

  • Recycled Glass countertops: $50 to $125
  • Wood or Butcher block: $55 to $200
  • Laminate Countertops: $15 to $40 
  • Solid Surfacing: $27 to $200

February 19, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Marble Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re considering buying marble for your new kitchen countertop, you’ve made a great choice. Marble will add immense value and beauty to your home. It is luxurious, durable, and unique. However, before you decide, you should refer to this marble buying guide to learn as much as you can about the different features, cost,s and the right approach to the process.

Physical Features

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When it comes to selecting the type of marble, there are two primary considerations: style and location. Marble is a beautiful choice for the kitchen and bathroom because it is timeless and striking. It is naturally sourced from the Earth’s surface, and each piece is unique and dramatic. You will find a ton of natural hues and undertones depending on the region it is mined. 

Marble has tremendous longevity, and you can refinish it easily too. Marble is also denser than other materials, which makes it a wise option for high-traffic areas like your kitchen or bathroom. It can also withstand everyday wear and tear with proper care and maintenance. 

While you’re selecting marble, it’s important to know that the type of marble matters too. If you’re vying for one of those gorgeous marble slabs you’ve seen all over Pinterest, ensure you consider the right finish. 

Cost Of Marble Countertops

On average, marble kitchen countertops cost around $70-$250/square foot. This price range makes it one of the most expensive natural stones. 

Unlike quartz, granite, marble slabs have one-of-a-kind characteristics, textures, veining, and colors. The rarer pieces of marble will cost you more than $300/ square foot. On the other hand, an average-sized marble countertop costs $3500 – $12,500. The prices will increase, depending on how vast your kitchen island is. Not just kitchen island, you can use marble in different rooms of your home.

For instance, you can use marble for your kitchen and bathroom counters, floors, and even on the shower panel. For all these uses, you can either purchase marble slabs or tiles. Marble slab is one of the most expensive surfaces on the market, but you can save money using marble tiles instead. 

Selecting the Right Slab

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It’s important to choose the right kitchen counter as it’s the focal point of any kitchen. We’ll tell you why marble is a good choice in this marble buying guide. Marble’s natural beauty makes it stand out among other natural or artificial materials. Marble can also withstand wear and tear over time & receive waterproofing treatment without any hassles.

As you might know, each slab of marble is rare and unique. While combining two slabs, make sure to install them in a way that creates an intricate pattern. The different finishes available produce different aesthetic results & protect the marble surface. You will find several white or colorful marble slabs, and several varieties of marble are also available.

The veining can be quite tricky to match, but you can pick up two exactly similar-looking slabs for your countertop or floor. While you’re picking the slabs, ensure to pick the enormous slab to avoid seams and grout lines. 

Another aspect that you must remember is that rare and intricate patterns will cost you more than the average designs. On the flip side, if you have a strict budget, you can get two similar slabs for way less and mirror the look. 

The Right Color Scheme

Choosing the right color is an important aspect of any marble buying guide. Marble has several colors, styles, and variations. One shouldn’t limit themselves on options; whether you’re looking for classic or never seen before pieces, marble kitchen countertops have it all. 

It is an attractive and timeless material that will work well with almost any kitchen style. You can choose from earthy tones like white, tan, gray, green, brown, or black fleck to match your kitchen’s aesthetic.

 

Advantages of Choosing Marble

Marble is one of the most beautiful additions you can install in your kitchen and bathroom. Just like any other kitchen countertop material, there are several pros and cons to marble countertops. For instance, marble comes in different shades; its variable composition gives it a lot of diverse color variations. 

No two marble slabs are alike, so you can be sure that your slab is as unique as it can get. Aside from looking good, marble also makes for a decently durable countertop. Depending on the type of marble, it can register anywhere from 1 to 4 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (diamond is the hardest at 10). You won’t dent a marble countertop or floor easily, making it among the best natural stones for a kitchen countertop.

Despite what you may have heard, marble is easy to maintain when you have the right sealer and cleaner. With proper sealing, the maintenance of your stone is as easy as any other material. 

Marble is also heat resistant and stands up well to hot pots and pans. Even the occasional spark won’t leave a nasty mark on a marble surface. Of course, unless you have the budget for it (and you want to experiment), you can test how much heat your marble piece can take. However, in the long-run, it is wise to use trivets or mats under hot cookware. 

Be sure to use something specifically formulated for marble and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sealing. It is one of the key steps in our marble buying guide. 

 

Disadvantages of Marble

If elegance is what you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with marble. Of course, you also have to be prepared to pay the price. 

Marble is among the most expensive natural materials available at a price range of $70 to 250 per square foot. Aside from the price, there are also a few other disadvantages to consider. To begin with, marble is a porous material, even more so than granite. It means it can trap dirt and germs.

Secondly, it’s more susceptible to scratching. You must be extra careful when you’re working on a marble countertop.

Marble can also get stained quite deep and quite effortlessly. Due to its porous nature, getting rid of the stains can be difficult. Acidic liquids, in particular, can easily stain the marble. Worse, these acids can eat away the polish and cause etching or scars on the marble surface.

Care and Maintenance 

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The epitome of luxury, marble is a classic choice for bathrooms in high-end homes. However, marble is porous and stains easily, especially if you didn’t seal it well. The next part of this marble buying guide will take you through the cleaning and maintenance requirements to keep your marble countertops looking lovely.

Cleaning

The cleaning process entails the removal of dirt, food, wax, and other build-ups. Avoid spilling wine, coffee, spaghetti sauce, and gravy; the stains will be difficult to reverse. 

Grinding

Grinding removes a thin layer from the surface to diminish scratches, lippage, and other imperfections.

Honing

Honing involves removing any minor superficial scratches and flaws. It also makes the surface uniform and not glossy.

Polishing

Homeowners use this technique for a premium look with its high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or matte finish. 

Sealing 

You can seal the marble countertop to protect it from water and oil-based stains. Marble is a stunning stone, but it can also be hard to maintain unless sealed properly. Sealing protects it from stains, corrosion, scratches & also gives it a uniform look.

Marble Cleaning Tips

  • Immediately clean after any spills or stains. 
  • Only marble-specific cleaners.
  • Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge to clean. 
  • Seal it periodically to avoid damage. 
  • Apply a sealer to create an impenetrable shell and keep the stain near the surface.
  • Sweeping and mopping as and when possible. 
  • Use mats on marble floors for protection and a uniform look. 
  • Use a trivet or hot pad to place hot items. 
  • Avoid sharp items like knives, metal belts, toys, etc. 
  • Use coasters for drinks and beverages to avoid rings from forming. 

Marble vs Granite

When it comes to a top contender for marble, the question of marble vs granite comes up quite often. Both marble and granite have their benefits and drawbacks. For instance, both options are comparable when it comes to the price, design options, and durability.

In the end, it comes down to what suits best for you. If you can work around the acidic sensitivity of marble it’s the right choice. Similarly, if you are okay with resealing your countertop year after year, granite might be a better option for you.

What You Should Do With Marble

  • Reseal your marble countertops and floors every two to 10 years, depending on the type of marble you own. 
  • You can alleviate the issues with proper and regular sealing. 
  • Also, you can buy off-the-shelf sealers and DIY or ask a professional to do it for you. 
  • Use a specific marble stone cleaning product for your cleaning operations.
  • Wipe the stains and spills immediately.
  • Polish and hone the marble floors and countertops from time to time. 
  • We highly recommend you regularly wash your marble countertop with lukewarm water, then dry it with a clean cloth. 
  • If you have a marble countertop that has become dull over the years, you can bring back its shine by using a commercial marble cleaner and polish.
  • If you etch the surface, call a professional immediately to polish it. 

What You Shouldn’t Do With Marble

  • Don’t expose your marble countertops or floors to anything greasy like oils or organic stains.
  • Never place anything which is excessively hot on your marble. 
  • Never clean marble with abrasive chemical cleaners and bleach. 

February 16, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Granite Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Granite is in high demand due to its durability and long-lasting quality. However, not all the granite you see in the market is identical – whether physically or in terms of quality. Consequently, you should consider using a granite buying guide for that purpose.

Granite is a natural stone composed of igneous rocks like mica, feldspar, and quartz. It has been used for various construction purposes in buildings, monuments, and homes from times immemorial. Today, we use it for different purposes like flooring, kitchen countertops, building blocks, tiles, staircases, and many more.

The contemporary market has dozens of retailers offering granite countertops, flooring, and more. In fact, the range of available options is so fast that merely choosing one of the options can be an achievement in itself!

However, once chosen, your granite floor or kitchen countertop can last for years and serve you well. There are several variants of granite differing in looks, texture, patterns, porosity, and more. You should consider all these features and their pros and cons before making a decision.

What Is The Cost Of Granite?

On average, the price of uninstalled granite slabs is between $10 to $40 per square foot. When installed, you will likely end up paying about $35 to $66 per square foot. Given below are the average charges of leading granite counter suppliers, according to a reliable survey:

  • Cost of slab alone – $24.33
  • Price of installation alone – $23.07
  • Cost of both slab and installation – $47.40

Thus, the cost of installing granite counters in a regular-sized kitchen or bathroom will likely tally up to about $2,000 to $4,500. These costs are also influenced by a number of factors such as the variety of granite selected, its color and patterns, and much more.

Pattern and Color

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Every granite buying guide tends to begin with the vast range of colors that natural granite is available in. They can range from black, blue, and brown to red, blue, green, and violet. They also come in a wide variety of shades, from light to dark. 

Patterns in which granite is available include movement, veining, and graining. These features depend a lot on the granite’s composition and mechanism of formation.

Remember that granite is a natural stone, and thus no two slabs of granite can ever be identical. At some level or the other, you are always going to come across differences. Thus, many customers are adamant about choosing the exact slab they wish to install at home.

Visualizing the Granite Product

Even after making a choice, you need to know how it will look in your home. For that purpose, you will need visualizer tools that can allow you to see how the kitchen or granite vanity top for your bathroom you have chosen looks next to other elements like the cabinetry. 

Apart from this, we also advise you to order samples beforehand. That will help you look at the granite color and pattern in your own house and lighting.

Edges and Finishing

Continuing with our granite buying guide, it is now time to give your granite a custom look. For that, a lot of people tend to choose granite countertops with an edge profile or specialty finish. The edge influences not just the aesthetics of granite but its safety and functionality as well. When it comes to finish, you have quite a few options available:

Flamed – For this finish, the granite is exposed to a high temperature that changes the grains’ color embedded in its lattice. A flamed finish features a characteristic texture with a faded look.

Honed – A honed surface is a flat matte sans any reflective finish. It is the natural finish of granite before you give it a polished shine.

Leathered – It is a recently developed, contemporary finish with an intriguing, dimpled texture. It is created with the help of special diamond-tipped brushes.

Polished – A polished finish is, by far, the topmost choice among customers. It has a sleek mirror-like appearance that is resistant to stains and easy to clean.

There are a variety of edges available in the market as well. An eased edge is somewhat rounded to avoid breakage and do away with potentially dangerous sharp edges. On the other hand, a vintage ogee profile is S-shaped with two curves. 

It is a popular choice in old-fashioned kitchens due to its sophisticated appearance. You will also come across many more options like bevel, bullnose, round edge, and more in the market.

Always Keep Your Budget in Mind

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A granite buying guide would not be complete without mentioning this crucial fact. Not all of the varieties of granite available out there are going to fit into your budget. 

It is your own needs that you need to serve, spending just the right amount of money. Several factors determine the price of granite kitchen countertops.

First of all, there’s the color and availability. Exotic colored variants like red and blue, which have limited availability or must be transported for long distances, are obviously going to be much more expensive. On the other hand, you can choose different colors of granite countertops in darker shades which cost much less.

Then there’s an obvious and essential factor – quality. Lower quality granite slabs, being softer and more comfortable to cut, are relatively cheaper. However, they are also more vulnerable to wear and tear as a result. Do not forget to consider these facts seriously before you make a decision.

The thickness of the granite countertop slab is another essential factor that determines its price. Thinner slabs are less expensive but not as durable. Fortunately, you can enlist professional help to make necessary adjustments and enhance a thin granite slab’s looks and strength.

Maintenance and Care

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Regardless of the variety of granite you finally choose, it will require basic maintenance and care to last long. For instance, you need to seal your granite countertops. That makes it more resistant to stains and moisture. 

Further, you can choose from specific variants of granite kitchen countertop, such as lighter shades, which you have to reseal more often.

Daily care is generally not too difficult. You can use a simple diluted soap solution to clean the surface off dirt and grime. For more vigorous cleaning, you can use a cleanser specially formulated to use with granite.

Granite has significant durability and longevity, after all. In fact, many granite slabs can last for decades, even after heavy use. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter whether you intend to invest in a brand-new granite top or upgrade your countertop; both purchases are worth every penny. 

February 4, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

What is the Cost of Kitchen Countertops in Alexandria?

If correctly done, renovating your kitchen can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen. Before you decide on your kitchen remodeling project, it’s essential to know the cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria.

When it comes to kitchen countertops, you should not settle for anything other than the very best. Keep in mind that the cost of kitchen countertops depends a lot on the price of the materials involved.

The cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria can range from $20 to $250 per square foot, depending on the option you select. In this article, we aim to help you get an accurate idea of the cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria.

 

Kitchen Countertop Materials in Alexandria

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The cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria depends much on the material, color, ease of installation, and several other factors. In the current market, there are several kitchen countertop materials available. The most popular choices are solid surfaces, laminate, quartz, marble, and granite.

Before you finalize an option, keep in mind that the price you will end up paying will significantly depend upon your kitchen’s layout, size, material, and labor charges.

The countertop isn’t merely something that you can select and install. The process is a complicated and costly one, which you must monitor closely. We have included a list of the retail cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria – everything from quartz to granite below.

 

Granite

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Granite remains one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials among homeowners. It is well known for its luxurious appearance, versatile range of colors, and remarkable sturdiness. Speaking of the cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria, you need to examine the different granite kinds closely.

Generally, granite kitchen countertops will cost you around $50 to $200 per square foot. Granite requires regular maintenance and care to retain its looks over the years. You should consider that when estimating the costs as well.

 

Quartz

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Along with granite, quartz has been a popular material among customers for centuries. It has a remarkable influence on the cost of kitchen countertops in Alexandria. It possesses an exquisite mix of elegant colors in a characterized natural stone. Quartz countertops are relatively cost-effective, easy to maintain, and appreciably durable.

As it is an engineered material, it looks very much like natural stone in terms of color, veining, and patterns. Its price also depends on its edging style, maintenance costs, weight, and ease of transportation.

If you have a limited budget, you should especially consider going for a simple edging style. On average, quartz countertops will cost you around $50 to $200 per square foot as well.

 

Laminate

Of all the kitchen countertops in Alexandria, laminate is among the more affordable countertop materials. However, it also possesses remarkable aesthetic significance and versatility of design.

It is essential to keep in mind, though, that laminate is quite sensitive to staining. Therefore, you need to keep the right cleaning solution ready in your kitchen.

Also, laminate possesses multiple layers and is thus very difficult to repair if damaged. You should strive hard to ensure that it is protected from mechanical stresses like chipping and scratching. Laminate countertops will generally cost you around $50 per square foot in the market.

 

Marble

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Despite being a natural stone, marble is remarkably durable and dense. It is undoubtedly a timeless symbol of luxury and nobility and a worthy addition to your bathroom or kitchen.

However, keep in mind that marble requires a lot of care and maintenance. It is highly vulnerable to chipping, scratching, and staining.

Marble countertops also cost much more than any other material in the market. Even the cheaper variants will cost you a whopping $125 to $250 per square foot. That said, if you are working on a decent budget, marble is undoubtedly the best kitchen countertop material for you in Alexandria.

January 18, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Pros and Cons of Choosing Granite Countertops For Your Home

Granite is a natural stone countertop material. It is quarried into larger chunks, which are then sliced and polished into slabs for countertops. It is an attractive, durable building material that is versatile and easy-to-maintain. Granite is also one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials. If you’re looking for a statement piece that is as unique as you are, opt for granite countertops. Before making a decision, you need to look at the pros and cons of choosing granite countertops. 

Pros Of Choosing Granite

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Compared to any other material, granite is the most durable option available today. It can last you a lifetime all together. You might recall some famous monuments made from granite. It doesn’t fade or etch easily. 

Unlike several other options like wood, marble, or even concrete, granite countertops do not lose its sheen. When you buy a piece of granite, you will get a unique look. No two pieces of granite are alike. 

Granite is quarried directly from the Earth’s surface. Granite countertops have beautiful patterns, colors, and styles that will stand out when you install it. 

Installing granite countertops is comparatively easier than other materials. It does not require any additional buffing, polishing, or honing. Also, granite comes pre-polished from the manufacturing factory. 

Granite is resistant to scratches, stains, water, and even heat. It is a valuable option if cleaning your countertops is a huge concern in your project. In comparison to marble, it is cool throughout the year. It is essential, especially in tropical and humid areas. 

Granite is the best material for being out in the sun. You can use it for your outdoor dining table or flooring, too. 

Cons Of Granite 

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When you buy a naturally occurring stone, the price can fluctuate aggressively. The price is variable depending on the manufacturer. You can’t use any real “metric” to calculate the cost. 

Marble can give you a seamless and smooth finish, although it is challenging to make granite look more put-together. It is because granite is a coarse material, and it is difficult to match the grains. 

Seal your granite countertops regularly to maintain them. While using topical sealers, you may need to seal it every 6 – 12 months. Besides, some professional penetrating sealers can last over 15 years. 

Granite countertops are more prone to stains as it is naturally porous. You can curb this by periodically sealing the stone to avoid any liquid seeping into the material. 

Also, wipe away any liquid as soon as possible to avoid those nasty stains. Avoid using bleach or ammonia products to clean as it can remove the sealant. Granite is a dense material and is extremely heavy. It will be challenging to transport and install it. 

Last, if you wish to purchase a high-end, exotic granite kitchen countertop, you must understand the material and its variations in-depth. 

Where To Install and Its Properties 

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Granite is a valuable option for high-traffic areas like kitchen countertops and backsplashes, bathrooms, and various commercial locations. It is a great option to install in your swimming pool, porch, other rooms that have direct sunlight. 

As granite is a visually appealing stone, it can be a statement piece in your kitchen and bathroom. When you install granite counters, it can last you forever with proper care. This is why knowing about the pros and cons of choosing granite countertops helps in making a decision.

Granite countertops can outlive almost any other affordable countertop material in your home. It will also increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it. 

Granite is highly known as it is stronger and more uniform than marble. It is also available in several color options. Additionally, there are several edge treatments available too. This range of choices makes it possible to use granite graciously in any kitchen setting. 

Moreover, granite makes for a fine choice for bathroom and kitchen floors. One of the main pros and cons of choosing granite countertops are that the material is resistant to scratching, moisture, and acid.

On the flip side, it can absorb liquid quickly, causing it to stain. Another downside is to use light color granite; it will make stains and spills more visible. However, if you select a dark color, you will not face many problems.

In comparison to other materials, granite is less likely to chip or crack. Installing granite tile flooring is also a great way to enhance your design. 

If you don’t want to upkeep your floor regularly, granite is a great option. With sweeping and mopping occasionally, granite tiles are a valuable investment. 

Types of Granite Finishes

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Due to its shine, polished granite is suitable for low traffic areas, which further adds to the dynamic pros and cons of choosing granite. When the polish is darker, the stone will appear richer. 

On the other hand, honed granite is suitable for high-traffic areas. It is matte and not as reflective as the polished granite. The finish is also more flattering than polished. 

Leather/ brushed finish makes the granite surface appear finely structured, silky, and closed. Often, homeowners use this finish for countertops, vanities, and outdoor applications. 

Total Costs of Choosing Granite

But how much does granite cost? Homeowners think it is expensive; however, in terms of value, it is quite a bargain. Given the fact it will perform beautifully and effortlessly for many decades, it is easy to invest. 

You can’t install your granite countertops without professional help. Professionals will do a much better job at it than DIY-ing it. However, installing thicker and heavier granite slabs is not a bad idea, as it will last you longer. Ensure that your kitchen countertop can withstand the weight.

Also, the thicker the slab, the higher the price. Compare samples and see which thickness and price-point works best for you. 

Post-installation, you must seal your granite bathroom countertops professionally. Granite slabs can range anywhere between $60 – $150 per square foot, depending on the type, sealer, color, and finish that you select.

January 13, 2021 by Landmark Surfaces

Affordable Countertop Materials: Top Choices for a Budget Remodel

The demand for the most affordable countertop materials is high among customers today. When you decide to remodel your kitchen, you need to plan your budget carefully. Besides, much of that remodeling budget goes into expensive items like kitchen countertops.

Although materials like granite, marble, and natural stone are classy and popular, they will take a heavy toll on your wallet. On top of it, their price ranges are pretty much fixed.

The good news is that you can get the best kitchen countertops in the market, even with a limited budget. There are several materials available that are a great combination of aesthetics and functionality.

While they may not be exact replacements for their costlier counterparts, they will nevertheless serve your kitchen very well. You can find excellent affordable countertop materials at prices ranging from $20 to $200 per square foot. This guide aims to list the most affordable countertop materials available in the market today.

Laminate

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Among affordable countertop materials, modern laminate kitchen countertops stand tall. Due to high-tech printing techniques now available, they can closely resemble wood and stone in appearance.

So closely that they can be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, some time ago, laminate had limited popularity due to its vulnerability to scratches. However, due to the variety of sealants now available in the market, that issue has been mostly resolved.

Concrete

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If you seek a contemporary, industrial flavor to your kitchen, then concrete kitchen countertops are a great choice. They are among the most affordable countertop materials available in the market today. They give you a rich, earthy feel at a mere fraction of the price of natural stone. To add to that, they are easy to install, as well.

Thus, by going for a DIY approach, you can choose the perfect kitchen counter easily. You can also give them a variety of excellent finishes and stains for a vibrant effect. They are versatile, and you can accommodate them in almost any contemporary kitchen design.

Tile

If you have been looking for a durable, affordable countertop material like natural stone without excessive pricing, look no further. Tile is among the most versatile and affordable countertop materials available in the market today.

You can choose from a wide range of natural-toned, colorful designs in the market. It can help you save a lot of money over custom-cut slabs of stone. If you want a classier look, you can use strips of expensive tiles as accents or borders combined with more affordable tiles.

Wood

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Contrary to granite and marble, wooden kitchen counters provide a look of welcoming warmth to your kitchen. They are also cost significantly lesser than stone. The most popular woods are maple and bamboo.

However, there are a wide variety of options for you to select from. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to oil wood countertops after every two or three years. With proper maintenance and care, they can serve your kitchen very efficiently. Thus, among affordable countertop materials, they enjoy significant popularity.

Stainless Steel

Compared to a full, custom-made kitchen countertop, stainless steel is relatively costlier. However, it is worth mentioning that a freestanding stainless steel worktable can serve both as a countertop and kitchen island.

As a result, you can save a significant amount of money by investing in one. A lot of freestanding stainless steel counters also possess storage space beneath them. Thus, you will be able to place items there and access them quickly when needed conveniently.

Solid Surface

Solid surface acrylic countertops enjoy significant popularity among customers as well. They are largely resistant to stains and scratches and thus help you save up on maintenance costs.

Although Corian costs more than most solid surface kitchen countertops, you will likely save over marble or granite. It is worth mentioning that there are many other countertops of this sort that cost less and are more durable.

Cultured Marble

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Cultured marble is a faux marble surface that has emerged as an affordable and practical alternative to marble. It is prepared by adding fillers, pigments, and marble dust to polyester resin. It is designed to resemble marble in appearance closely.

As an added benefit, and unlike natural marble, it is significantly resistant to stains. Thus, it has been enjoying significant popularity among customers in the contemporary market.

Cultured Granite

Similar to cultured marble, cultured granite kitchen countertops serve as an excellent alternative to their natural stone counterpart. For people who appreciate the rich texture and feel of natural granite, they are a great option. It is also important to mention that despite its attractive looks, natural granite requires re-sealing. Cultured granite, however, can last for a long time without you having to re-seal it.

Quartz

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Quartz kitchen countertops are an engineered stone. It is made by adding about ten percent polyresin with ninety percent ground quartz. These percentages can vary a bit, depending on the brand you purchase.

As quartz surfaces are manufactured, they are non-porous. Thus, you do not need to fret about re-sealing them. Certain high-end varieties of quartz can be a bit expensive. However, you can still find many excellent and affordable options at a reasonable price.

Recycled Glass

Recycled glass countertops are a new and innovative option available in the market today. You can make it by adding cement and other binders to pieces of recycled glass. They look sleek and attractive and are also easy to maintain.

Nevertheless, it is important to mention that they are also vulnerable to chipping and other physical damages. Make sure you weigh these pros and cons carefully before making an informed decision.

Slate

High-end slate countertops can be quite expensive. However, you can also go for lower-cost slate options. All kinds of slate possess the virtue of being stain and heat resistant. They give your kitchen a modern look that greatly adds to its aesthetics. 

If you are interested in darker colored affordable countertop materials, then slate is an excellent option for your kitchen remodeling project.

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