Professional Service and Installation
The right countertops can be the thing that makes or breaks your kitchen renovation. To ensure you always get the best products in the market and the best installation team available, trust Granite City Interiors with the job.
As a locally owned and operated company, our team has a variety of knowledge and service expertise to bring to your home. Serving the entire state of Utah for the past 20 years, we have seen firsthand the difference our 2020 Technology Design Software and Cadware® makes in creating the perfect design for you. We are active members of the KBIS and are always on top of to the hottest trends in the industry. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 801-461-0303.
Choosing Your Counter: Countertops Explained by Materials, Custom Features, and Style
The biggest decision to make when determining what countertop is right for your home is what material to choose. We’ll go through the various materials we have to choose from and the pros and cons for each.
For a user-friendly and beautiful option, granite is definitely your friend. It is almost completely heat resistant, so a hot pan can go directly on the stone without any concerns. Scratch resistance is another benefit, and cutting can be done directly on the surface if you so choose (although it’s not recommended, as it tends to dull knives). Maintenance is extremely low as well because most sealants used today last over 10 years on a high quality granite. Since granite is a natural product, you will always have a unique look thanks to Mother Nature creating no two rocks the same.
Quartz countertops are a man-made product formed from one of the most abundant minerals on our planet, making it somewhat eco-friendly. Generally they are made up of about 93 percent quartz material and 7 percent color additives and resin. You have hundreds of versions to choose from and can still enjoy the strength and durability of a 100 percent natural stone. Maintenance is low as sealant is not required and the product is stain and scratch resistant. It’s important to note quartz does tend to be a pricey option.
Aesthetically, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic. Consider this the “roses” of countertops– marble will always indicate elegance and timelessness. This material can sometimes cause difficulty in maintenance and longevity. It’s a softer stone, so cracks and scratches are definitely possible. It also has the tendency to stain or develop patina over years of use, but many people like the look that creates. It can be avoided if your preference is ever-glossy, but will require sealing every six months. Prices vary from affordable to very expensive when it comes to marble, depending on the unique attributes of your particular slab.
This is one of the most affordable natural stones available. Limestone normally comes in lighter tones, which makes it great for a modern design. It is somewhat porous and requires maintenance similar to marble. You may want to be a little careful with heat and scratching, but for most people doing light cooking and preparation, limestone is a perfect choice. Since it is made up of coral, shell, algae and calcium exoskeletons, the finished product is distinctive and incredibly beautiful. You may also save cost on labor and installation, as it is a very easy material for builders to work with.
This natural stone is usually found in warm and earthy tones, making it a great choice if you love traditional design. It requires maintenance similar to a marble, including regular re-sealing and some care to avoid scratching and heat marks. For the most part, travertine is a great mid-grade option that provides an elegant, sturdy surface. The natural grain available in many slabs is a large part of the appeal with travertine, as you end up with a neutral element in your kitchen or bath that, at the same time, is not at all boring.
The custom features of your countertop takes the overall atmosphere design up a level. The choices you make in edging, sink style and backsplash all make a significant difference to the finished space.
- Bevel – This is a clipped, flat corner with a 45 degree angle. It is most often seen in contemporary design and is easy to wipe clean. Can be sharp for leaning elbows and hips if you love to dance while you cook.
- Bullnose – This is the most popular counter edge variety as it compliments virtually any design style. It is perfect for a home with kids as it is easy to clean and the edges are fully rounded. It’s a classic, timeless look.
- Cove Dupont – Use a deft hand with this opulent design detail. The special shaping is perfect for an extravagant space.
- Double Radius – This edge is quite similar to an eased edge, except the curve is slightly more dramatic–this creates a softer, more traditional look.
- Eased – This finish is a squared edge with “eased” corners. Complements a contemporary design scheme, but offers a softer touch perfect for little foreheads and is easy to clean.
- Half Bullnose – As the name suggests, this is quite similar to a bullnose. The biggest difference is the bottom is cut on a straight edge. The advantage to this is not necessarily for appearance, but for use as spills will trickle straight down onto the ground versus following the curve of the edge to cabinetry.
- Ogee – Ogee edges look traditional and elegant with two curves which come to a point. There is some variance among manufacturers, but if you’re looking for a warm, decorative style, this is a great choice. Cleaning is a bit more time intensive due to the beautiful detail.
- Triple Pencil – One of the most ornate options available, three small curves create a distinguished look. Reserve this element for islands, as it can sometimes be too busy if featured everywhere. It can be difficult to clean.
- Apron Front – This is perhaps the sink type with the most interesting history. What began as a very utilitarian design in the early 1700s still offers the same ergonomic benefits in kitchens today while simultaneously adding vintage charm and elegance. The way the sink front juts forward reduces leaning, making dish cleaning easier on the user’s lower back. The style also simply looks beautiful, harkening back to more simple eras.
- Drop-In – This is the most cost effective and common sink option available. The lip of the sink which holds the fixture in place calls for mounting the piece from the top by “dropping it in” a countertop opening. They are slightly more difficult to clean. However there is much versatility stylistically for this option as they come in a huge variety of styles, shapes, and sizes.
- Integral – Typically the most expensive option, this seamless look is great for the forever home you want to love and adore for years to come. The effect is meant to create the sink from the same material as the countertop. Done correctly, it looks as though it was one piece carved as a sculpture. This offers all the benefits of an undermount with an additional dash of style.
- Undermount – Just as the name indicates, installation of this sink type happens underneath the countertop and it is affixed below out of sight. This method is best suited for solid surface countertops like marble or granite. This is generally a more expensive sink type; but the clean aesthetic, easy clean up, and reclamation of some counter space make the investment worth it for many homeowners.
- Single Bowl – When limited on counter space, a single bowl sink will optimize the precious amount of square footage you have to work with and create adequate space for scrubbing or filling large pots and pans. These sinks can also come in large sizes which some individuals prefer simply for ease of use. Prices vary based on size, need, and materials.
- Double Bowl – For multi-taskers, this sink type offers great flexibility. Soak dishes in one side, while scrubbing vegetables in the other; or make wash-rinse-dry a much easier process for handwashing. Cost-wise, these are often more affordable or at least comparable to single bowl sinks; the downside is many individuals dislike this option for aesthetic purposes.
- Triple Bowl – These sinks are less common and therefore available in fewer materials. They can take up more square footage in your countertop as well. This design option can also be more expensive than single or double bowl sinks, but can be a great solution for talented home chefs. If you often create elaborate meals that will call for separate areas to do handwashing or disposal of food scraps, cleaning pots, while also preparing food in another area…you may just need three sinks at once.
- Misc. Sink Material – While a sink can be made from just about anything, some current trends you may want to consider include: copper, stainless steel, cast iron, quartz and concrete.