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Kitchen Countertop FAQs

Whether you’re remodeling an existing structure or building a new one, choosing a kitchen countertop is part of the process. Kitchens are widely considered the most essential room in a building, and the design of the countertops plays a significant role in how the room looks, feels, and functions.

Picking a new countertop can be overwhelming. There are many options for material, style, color, and design. Here’s a look at some of the frequently asked questions surrounding kitchen countertops to help get you started. 

What Countertop Materials Are Available?

Historically, early kitchen countertops were made of wood. Concerns over sanitation in the early 1900s brought tile as the new standard for countertops. While you can still get wood and tile countertops, they’re not nearly as common as they once were. The most common kitchen countertop materials today include:

  • granite
  • soapstone
  • quartz
  • marble
  • laminate
  • stainless steel
  • concrete

Which Material Is Best?

There is no “one size fits all” for kitchen countertops. The best countertop material for your commercial kitchen depends on how it will be used. Stainless steel counters are ideal for foodservice locations because of their ability to repel germs and bacteria. However, they scratch and dent easily and wouldn’t do well in a residential kitchen. 

Stone countertops like granite, soapstone, quartz, and marble are considered the best all-around options because they match visual appeal and durability. They are generally on the highest end cost-wise, which rules them out for some locations. 

What is the Difference Between Quartz and Granite?

Granite, soapstone, and marble are all considered natural stones. They are extracted from quarries and then cut into slabs. The coloring is completely natural, so no two slabs are exactly the same. Natural stone, like granite, is extremely durable and is resistant to heat. The downside is that it’s also very porous, so it needs to be sealed to resist water, germs, and bacteria.

Quartz looks similar to granite and has many of the same properties, so people often assume they are virtually the same thing. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although quartz is mined like granite, it doesn’t come in large slabs. Instead, it’s a mineral found in the form of rocks. The rocks are then ground down to a powder and mixed with a strong resin to make quartz countertops. Quartz is known as an engineered stone due to this process. 

The benefits of engineered quartz are significant. Unlike granite and other natural stones, quartz countertops don’t require sealing. They are incredibly durable and are resistant to heat and stains. And while they appear natural, they are easy to customize to your exact preferences. Each slab is completely uniform with no imperfections.

What Is the Most Affordable Countertop?

If you’re remodeling on a budget, it can be tempting to try and save money on the countertops. There are some cheap options out there, but be warned: you get what you pay for. Here’s a look at two of the least expensive countertops you can find.

              Laminate – This material is made of layers of plastic bonded to particleboard. Laminate can be made to resemble granite or marble, but it doesn’t carry any of the benefits of natural stone. It scratches easily and is prone to chipping and breaking. They are inexpensive and lightweight, which is what draws builders to them.
              Tile – While some tile is anything but cheap, ceramic and porcelain tile can be on the lower end of the       pricing spectrum for kitchen countertops. The tiles themselves might be inclined to break but are easy to   replace. They’re easy to clean and maintain, too. The problem with tile countertops comes in the form of   grout. It’s prone to staining and can harbor harmful bacteria. 

Do I Need to Seal My Countertop?

To seal or not to seal? This is one of the most frequently asked questions about kitchen countertops. While a blanket “yes” or “no” would be ideal, that’s not quite how it works. Generally speaking, natural stone countertops like granite, marble, and soapstone require sealing. However, that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a sealer for your granite countertops today.

Some slab manufacturers seal the stone with a long-lasting and robust sealant before it is even installed, so DIY sealing might not be necessary. Applying sealer to an already sealed stone can cause hazing and wasted product. 

The best way to know if you need to apply a sealer to your countertop is to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. The good news is that if resealing is necessary, it’s an easy and inexpensive project that anyone can tackle.

How Do I Clean My Kitchen Countertop?

Although each countertop material has its own set of cleaning requirements, most can be easily cleaned using a soft microfiber cloth soaked in warm water and a dab of dish soap. Wipe them down with the wet, soapy rag, and then wipe off any residue with a clean, damp cloth. Some materials, like stainless steel, require buffing with a dry cloth after cleaning to avoid streaking.

Avoid harsh cleaners and scrubbing with anything that could scratch the countertops. A mixture of baking soda and water can help for stain removal on most surfaces, but be careful not to scrub with the baking soda. Simply apply it on top of the stain and let it sit for five to ten minutes, then gently wipe it off with a warm damp cloth.

Superior Commercial Solutions Offers the Best in Quartz Countertops

Don’t fall into the trap of buying a cheap kitchen countertop now, only to replace it in a few years. Superior Commercial Solutions offers the best in high-quality quartz countertops, so your commercial kitchen will look good and function properly for years to come. 

Our expert team will be with you every step of the way from design to installation. We also offer custom cabinets, sinks, bifold glass doors, and more so we can help design the perfect kitchen for your project.We specialize in multifamily and hospitality projects, including apartment complexes, hotels, assisted living facilities, and more. We provide superior service across the United States, from New York City to Seattle and everywhere in between. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!