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Alexandria, VA

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Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone: (703) 256-2199

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Fredericksburg, VA

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September 20, 2021 by aster

7 Reasons To Stay Away From Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are generally preferred by some homeowners due to their affordable costs compared to other countertop alternatives. Also, DIYers prefer laminate kitchen countertops since the installation requires less craftsmanship. 

Nevertheless, laminate countertops are away from being a smart countertop choice, not even close. Although you can find good bargains such as lowes laminate countertops or shiny-looking ads like home depot laminate countertops, the following post will tell you about why you should consider other alternatives instead of laminate.

What Is A Laminate Countertop?

Laminate countertops are a mixture of plastic and resin. The mixture is laminated on paper or particleboard. Generally, the lamination copies some natural stones like granite or marble

The kitchen sinks or bathroom sinks can be under-mounted by some manufacturers during the production; however, you need to buy a drop-in sink in many cases. Formica® and Wilsonart® are famous brand names, and many people even think that they are material names similar to laminate. 

As the brand names might suggest, laminate countertops were very popular between the 40s and 60s. They are still available today since they look like granite countertops, not the quality. Being cheap and easy to install, laminate countertops appeal to DIYers with tight budgets.

How Thick Are Laminate Countertops?

Laminate countertops are usually composed of three layers. The first layer is the base made of heat-fused kraft paper sheets compressed on each other. The second layer is foil or printed paper giving the laminate the color and pattern that you see on the surface. Finally, on the top of them, a protective top layer is applied. This layer is transparent, and you can see the second layer through the third layer.

All of these layers are fused onto each other in the production process. The total laminate countertop thickness is generally 1,5 inches, but the manufacturers can also produce custom-made thickness in laminate countertops. Some people prefer to mimic the natural stone countertops or butcher’s block wood countertops with their laminate countertops so that they can use slightly different thicknesses like 1,16 inches.

How Much Are Laminate Countertops?

The cost of a square foot laminate countertop ranges from $20 to $60. Therefore, it makes laminate countertops one of the cheapest alternatives. Although the price can vary depending on the color and pattern selection, these countertops are mainly preferred due to their relatively affordable prices.

Why Should You Avoid Laminate Countertops? (INFOGRAFİK)

Any countertop is supposed to serve as a storage area, a cutting surface, or a decorative element in the kitchen design. There are many countertop options on the market, and laminate countertops are one of the least expensive ones. However, laminate kitchen countertops fail to serve as an ideal countertop option due to the following reasons. In order to help you understand the issue better, we will refer to the laminate vs. granite comparison when needed. 

1- Appearance

Some companies manufacture laminate countertops, and they tend to mimic the patterns and colors of granite stones. However, granite stones are completely natural, and since the mineral compositions vary in nature, it is hardly possible to find two exactly the same granite countertop color or pattern. 

It means laminate countertops cannot offer you a unique appearance. Instead, you have to buy one of those uniform appearances dictated by the producer company.

2- Heat Resistance

You can never put hot items on a laminate countertop. If you buy a laminate countertop, you will be advised to use a heating pad between the hot items and the laminate countertop. This might sound practical at first, but you may be tired of this in the long term. However, granite or any other stones are resistant to heat, so you can directly put your hot items on them. 

3- Hardness

Laminate countertops are one of the least hard countertop alternatives you can get. They are made of softer materials such as paper and plastic, and thus they are not as hard as other countertop alternatives such as granite or quartz. However, laminate countertops are highly prone to cracks or water damages due to their softer structure. Granite, quartz, or marble is hard, and they are more resilient to damages.

4- Sinks

Many people prefer under-mounted sinks over drop-in sinks as under-mounted sinks give a more integrated look. Although some special laminate countertops can provide you with an under-mounted sink, most of the laminate countertops require a drop-in sink. 

Even if you buy a laminate countertop with an under-mounted sink, the installation needs more professionalism and delicacy, so the DIY option is crossed out, which is normally one of the most significant advantages of laminate countertops. On the other hand, under-mounted sinks are widespread in other stone-originated countertops.

5- Durability

The durability of the laminate countertops is closely related to the vulnerable surface due to the poorer hardness they offer. Unfortunately, durability is a big problem for many laminate countertops on the market. 

Since the surface is laminated industrially, it can be delaminated in time due to applying excess water combined with some chemicals for maintenance. Also, cracks on the surface make it easier to be peeled. Granite and other stones, on the other hand, offer you greater hardness and thus durability. 

6- Maintenance

Although laminate countertops are supposed to be low-maintenance countertop alternatives since they don’t require sealing, they are still more problematic when it comes to maintenance. Since they are scratched easily, you will need to repair them with some special repairing kits. 

Considering the good bargain it offered at first, you can tolerate this countertop restoration job for a while. However, it will not take a long time for you to get tired of this.

7- ROI (Return on Investment)

Whatever improvement you make in your house, you should always think if your investment will add value to your home. Although laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive, they don’t look attractive after a few years of use. Thus, when you want to sell your house, laminate countertops may affect your selling negatively, as most homeowners would like to have a granite countertop rather than a laminate.

Bottom Line

Many people buy a new house or get a new kitchen only a few times or less in their lives, and the cheaper doesn’t mean the better. But, by avoiding laminate countertops, you can make the most of your countertops and kitchen.

September 13, 2021 by aster

7 Popular Bathroom Vanity Tops in 2021

Bathroom vanity tops are one of the most distinctive details in your bathroom decoration. Bathroom vanities with tops that are attractive and classy turn many heads to your bathroom. You, as the homeowner, will also enjoy the time you spend in your bathroom if your bathroom vanity is a nice one.

Having a bathroom vanity top is not a big deal if you don’t care much about the aesthetics or functionality. Actually, there are a lot of bathroom vanity tops on the market, and the only thing you need to do is choose one and make the payment. However, if you want to have one of those hilarious bathroom vanity tops, you should consider some points before making a contract with an installer.

Many people think that popular vanity tops are popular just because of their striking looks, but what makes them popular is not just their look. Many people take durability, maintenance, real estate value, and some other factors into consideration while choosing their bathroom vanity tops.

In this post, you will find a list of popular bathroom vanity tops in 2021. Although the list is based on materials, you will find some decorative tips, too. Enjoy!

Granite

Granite bathroom vanity tops are some of the timeless beauties that you can have in your bathroom. It is a classic countertop stone that you can hardly replace with any other option around. Besides looking luxurious and bright, granite is also well-known for its durability and easy maintenance. In addition, a granite countertop is highly resistant to heat, or scratch and you can easily clean it.

Granite Vanity Top
Granite Vanity Top

Granite slabs are mined as large slabs, and they are not processed through any industrial process. They just polish it and cut them into smaller sizes to fit your bathroom vanity tops. Since granite is 100% natural, its colors and patterns come purely from nature, so when you buy a granite countertop for your bathroom, yours will be different than other granite bathroom vanity tops around. This will make you feel really unique. 

Price is one of the most minded issues about granite vanity tops. However, considering the uniqueness, naturality, durability, and easy maintenance they bring, granite bathroom vanity tops pay off in the long run. In fact, a well-maintained granite countertop will add more real estate value to your house. Another thing you should consider about the granite bathroom vanity top is the installation. Since it is a really heavy material, you cannot do the installation work yourself. Instead, we advise you to get help from a professional for the installation.

Quartz

Another popular home design product among homeowners is quartz bathroom vanity tops. Quartz is not purely natural, but it is an engineered stone (around 95% natural). The quartz pieces are mined from the earth and mixed with synthetic materials. The additives make this beautiful stone a piece of art and one of the hardest things you can see in the world. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need sealing on the surface, thanks to the resin added during production. 

Quartz Vanity Top
Quartz Vanity Top

Quartz is also famous for its great durability. Therefore quartz bathroom vanity tops keep their color and brightness for many years. In addition, the surface is highly resilient against bacteria, stains, or chemical liquids. Also, the maintenance of quartz bathroom vanity tops is even easier than granite. You can simply clean a quartz surface with a piece of damp cloth.

Vast color options are another plus for quartz stone. As mentioned above, the synthetic additives make the range of color alternatives almost limitless for the quartz bathroom vanity tops. 

Considering the granite vs. quartz details, both of them are the most expensive options on the market. However, the durability and beautiful look it offers will pay off in a short time. Also, increasing the real estate value, quartz bathroom vanity tops will never make you regretful once it is installed.

Quartzite

Thanks to recent technology, sandstones are exposed to heat and pressure at high degrees to make something even harder than granite; quartzite. Basically, quartzite is made of quartz in nature, but quartzite is even shinier, and thus it looks more attractive to some homeowners. Quartzite bathroom vanity tops look sparkling, and you can find many color and pattern options for your bathroom.

Quartzite Vanity Top
Quartzite Vanity Top

As for pricing, quartzite is not much different than quartz. It is another high-end stone on the market. One downside of quartzite bathroom vanity tops is that the stone needs to be sealed since it is not naturally non-porous, and it is not added resin to get it non-porous. You should always use quartzite with a seal on it, making you more precautious about cleaning and maintenance. You should avoid using abrasive cleaning or heavy chemical cleaners.

Marble

Marble top bathroom vanity is another popular selection among homeowners. Marble has been a representation of wealth and glory since ancient times. 

Marble is quarried as white with black or gray streaks or dark gray background with white streaks. Although the color options seem limited, you can use marble bathroom vanity tops in almost any bathroom. The surface of the marble is not very shiny nor matte, which makes this elegant stone decorative in a wide range of bathroom designs.

Marble Vanity Top
Marble Vanity Top

Many people think that marble is prone to scratches and stains. Actually, it is just one side of the coin. Although stain can stay on the marble surface, unlike granite or quartz, you can easily get rid of those stains or even scratches using certain cleaning products. Moreover, you can even seal your marble bathroom vanity top before it is scratched or stained.

Travertine

Travertine is a kind of limestone that people like to use in their bathroom vanity tops to evoke relaxation and calmness. One of the biggest motivations for people to choose travertine is the matte looking of the stone which perfectly matches showers, backsplashes, and bathroom vanity tops. 

Travertine Vanity Top
Travertine Vanity Top

Travertine is not always matte. You can also find travertine bathroom vanity tops with a polished finish. Also, polished travertine will make your bathroom a contemporary one. Furthermore, you can even consider a double sink bathroom vanity top using polished travertine. Your family and guests will love this magical environment in the bathroom.

Limestone

Limestone bathroom vanity tops are gaining popularity due to the sophisticated and soft look they give to the bathrooms. The color of limestone varies from white to sandy yellow, and the texture seems really soft. It is a good alternative to those seeking natural elements in their bathroom. As you might already know, limestone is formed by shells, algae, and other organic marine debris. Thanks to its natural color and texture, limestone bathroom vanity tops give a sense of relaxation in your bathroom. 

Limestone  Vanity Top
Limestone Vanity Top

Another good thing about limestone is although it provides high durability and a nice look, the price of this beautiful stone is relatively affordable. However, since limestone is naturally softer and less resistant to chemicals, you should be extra careful while cleaning and maintenance.

Onyx

Onyx bathroom vanity tops are one-of-a-kind alternatives that are always stunning and functional. Certain minerals form onyx in lava, and the volume of the minerals makes the distinctive stripes in the stone. The colors naturally range from white to brown. 

Onyx  Vanity Top
Onyx Vanity Top

The beauty and translucence of onyx attract many homeowners. Although onyx slabs are expensive and brittle, many people still prefer that since it really looks good and adds real estate value to the house significantly. Also, onyx is very easy to clean. You can simply wipe it using a damp cloth. However, you should be careful about the chemicals. Onyx is allergic to many chemicals, and thus, you should strictly avoid using hard cleaning. 

As you know, bathroom vanity tops don’t have heavy traffic on the surface as much as kitchen countertops. Therefore, using this luxurious stone on your bathroom vanity top with a sink is better since onyx is vulnerable to chips and cracks. 

Other Options

We have just listed some of the most popular bathroom vanity tops on the market. However, there are still many other options if you really want something out of common. For example, you can consider soapstone, recycled glass, tiles, porcelain, wood, or concrete to create a way different atmosphere in your bathroom. They are very fashionable and functional as long as you or your interior designer agree on your needs and style.

Tiles are distinctive with their pretty affordable price. If you are on a budget, it might be a good option for you. If you don’t mind much about the price, you can also consider concrete bathroom vanity tops. Although concrete tops seem more like industrial stuff, people have recently turned to concrete due to its solid and modern look. 

If you are into recycling and want something that is both eco-friendly and good-looking, you can consider recycled glass or wood. Recycled glass is non-porous and highly distinctive, yet it is not much durable. As for wood bathroom vanity tops, both recycled and regular wood types are on the market, and they are used to create a warm atmosphere in the bathrooms.

September 6, 2021 by aster

Granite vs Quartz Countertops? Which one to choose?

Granite and quartz countertops are popular in many kitchen and bathrooms. They both improve functionality and overview of the places.

August 29, 2021 by aster

The Most Popular Granite Countertop Colors 2021

There are a lot of granite countertop color alternatives offered on the market today. However, when it comes to picking a granite countertop color, you should also consider your interior design.

August 23, 2021 by aster

8 Details Which Bring A Spotless Countertop Installation

Countertop restoration projects are some of the most exciting and, at the same time, the most stressful times. People usually dream of having a spectacular and highly functional kitchen at the end of a countertop restoration.

August 9, 2021 by aster

21 Popular Quartz Countertop Colors In 2021

Quartz countertops come in various colors and styles which give you freedom of choice. Landmark Surfaces prepared a list of 21 popular quartz countertop colors.

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