Which Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops are Right for You?
We conclude this pros and cons discussion about bathroom and kitchen countertops, talking about concrete, stone, stainless steel, and lavastone. This information, combined with my previous article about your countertop investment will help you make a choice that will give you years of great service and personal pleasure.
Materials: Concrete, Stone, Stainless Steel, Lavastone
Made popular by Fu Tung Cheng, who has written at least one book about the subject.
Pros: Concrete can be an exquisite, unique countertop, with an unlimited color palette, and the possibility of inlays or relief impressions. Undermount porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be used with concrete bathroom countertops, and it’s possible to have a one-of-a-kind integral concrete sink as a focal point. Cons: Although there are many step-by-step seminars, articles, and videos showing how to create concrete countertops, they are not a beginner-DIY project; they must be manufactured by an expert. Concrete is a very porous substance and a brittle material, prone to cracking and chipping. It must be sealed to prevent bacteria growth and staining. It can be very heavy, and may require extra-sturdy cabinets — and reinforcement of the structure. (Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone)
Which Bathroom or Kitchen Countertop Is Right For You?
In the first installment about bathroom (and kitchen) countertops, we shared pros and cons about laminate, tile, and solid-surface materials. This segment will talk about quartz (aka engineered stone), wood, composite materials (glass, metal, and paper), and glass, with links to all of the manufacturers’ websites. Whatever countertop material you choose for your home depends on its durability for the intended use, and your investment. We’ve covered the range of investments for all countertops in a previous blog, ” Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops — An Overview”.
Materials: Quartz, Wood, Composite, Glass
Quartz, aka “Engineered Stone”:
Popular brands include CaesarStone, Cambria, Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, Avanza, HanStone, Okite, Staron Quartz, Technistone, and Viatera.
Some people confuse quartz with quartzite; the two are not the same. Quartzite is a natural stone; quartz is manmade. Pros: Quartz is a long-lasting material, resistant to scratching, scorching, staining, and resistant to bacteria. It’s available in hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to fit virtually every style. Porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be undermounted, which helps maintenance. Cons: Some people don’t like its “too perfect” appearance, and prefer the look of real stone for the same investment. Although quartz is advertised as a green product, most of the products (except Cambria) have to be shipped to the US by freighter, and then shipped to fabricators all over the US using fossil fuels.