Quartz and Natural Stone Countertops
Here at Monk’s Kitchen & Bath Design Studio we have a wide selection of countertops for your kitchen or bathroom.
View large-scale displays as well as many samples in our large showroom. We feature quartz countertops from Caesarstone, Silestone, Cambria and Zodiaq. We also offer soapstone countertops, concrete composite that looks like butcher block, and other materials. Additionally, we feature granite and marble. We’ll help you decide what material works best for your needs, and will coordinate the finish to complement your cabinetry.
Types of Countertops
With natural stone, wood, cement, composite materials, and even tile, there are so many options for a kitchen countertop. Deciding what material is right for your kitchen depends on your lifestyle as well as your style preferences. Here we’ll break down the different types of countertop materials and show you the pros and cons of each type of countertop.
While you probably know about granite countertops, quartz is a newer solid surface that is very popular. Quartz is a non-porous material and one of the most durable products for kitchens and baths. It requires virtually no maintenance. Quartz is stain-resistant and never needs to be sealed.
The appearance of quartz countertops is varied. In fact, this is partly why quartz is so popular. You won’t need to scour a granite yard to find your perfect slab; you can select your color and pattern based on a showroom sample. Because quartz countertops are manufactured, your countertop will look nearly identical to the sample.
Quartz may have a uniform appearance that lends well to a modern look. Colors vary from multi-purpose neutrals to bright hues. If you prefer a more natural stone look, but don’t like the required maintenance, quartz can accommodate. Many types of quartz feature “movement”, delicate veining, or reflective pieces like granite. Quartz can be used for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, shower benches, or mudroom benches. Anywhere you need a durable, water-tight material, you can use quartz.
The only negative to quartz is that it can be discolored or damaged due to excessive heat. So, you will need to use hot pads when placing a hot pot or pan on the surface.
Soapstone is a natural stone that is quarried here in the United States, as well as in Brazil, India and Finland. It is naturally nonporous so does not require sealing. Also, because of its nonporous nature, it does not stain and is not harmed by citrus, wine, acids or chemicals. It is heat resistant, so you can place hot pans directly on the surface. In fact, soapstone is often installed in fireplace surrounds. Soapstone is also easy to clean, only requiring soap and water.
It is recommended, but not required, to apply mineral oil to ensure that the soapstone darkens evenly. Over time, soapstone will darken naturally. To darken it more quickly, mineral oil can be poured onto the surface, then wiped off after allowing it to soak in. The more applications you make, the darker it will get.
Soapstone varies by slab, particularly the quartz veining or fleck patterns. However, there is not much difference in color. Soapstone only exists in various shades of grey. Another limitation of soapstone is that it is typically quarried in smaller slabs. Countertops longer than 7 feet will typically require multiple slabs, and therefore, seams. One maintenance issue with soapstone is its softness. Therefore it is susceptible to scratches and nicks. However, many of these marks can be removed with gentle sandpaper buffing.
The warm, natural appearance of wood is always in style. However, wood and water don’t mix. While butcher block countertops are lovely and have lots of perks, they require considerable maintenance in order to keep bacteria and stain-free and looking good.
An alternative to butcher block countertops are WoodForm Concrete® countertops. This newer material that we carry in the showroom is a concrete composite with the appearance of wood. WoodForm comes in a variety of colors and finishes and can provide a rustic look, as well as sleek, modern design.
Selecting Your Countertop
First, we’ll take measurements in your home. Then, you’ll meet with a Designer in our showroom where you’ll receive undivided attention. Our Designers will help you select the perfect quartz, stone or composite countertop to complement your cabinetry, backsplash and flooring.
Design consultations are always free and you are under no obligation.
Call Monk’s Kitchen & Bath Design Studio at 973-975-0044 and let us help remake your space.