If you are looking for the best countertop material choices that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use, you might want to consider some of the most durable and maintenance free countertop materials out there. These materials are not only strong and resilient, but also easy to clean and maintain, saving you time and money in the long run. Here are some of the best options for durable and maintenance free countertops:
Engineered Quartz Countertops:
1. Quartz: Quartz is one of the hardest materials on Earth, making it an ideal choice for countertops. Quartz countertops are engineered from natural quartz crystals and resin, creating a non-porous surface that is resistant to stains, scratches, heat, and bacteria. Quartz countertops come in a wide range of colors and patterns, giving you the flexibility to match your kitchen style and design. Quartz countertops do not require sealing or polishing, and can be cleaned with mild soap and water. These countertop are also referred to as Engineered Quartz Countertops. Price range $45 – $200/square foot (not including fabrication and installation).
Following are a few examples from our favorite U.S. manufacturers, Caesarstone and Cambria:
Porcelain Slabs – the new payer in the countertop arena:
Porcelain slabs and engineered quartz slabs are both popular choices for countertops. Porcelain slabs are 100 % sustainable, made from a mixture of clay, feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. They are fired at high temperatures to create a dense and durable material that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. Porcelain slabs are also non-porous, which means they do not absorb liquids or bacteria. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and can be made to look like natural stone. And since they do not contain any resins or acrylic bonding materials, they are UV rated and can be used for outdoor installation. Some of the porcelain slabs can be less pricey than some very elborate quartz slabs out there. Price range $55 – $120/square foot (not including fabrication and installation).
And Caesarstone has a useful and fun tool to visulizer the various materials.
There are other countertops materials you could consider, of course. Like natural stone, solid surface composites, wood block, etc. However, Quartz and Porcelain are some of the most durable and maintenance free countertop materials out there that you can choose from for your kitchen and/or bath remodeling project. Each material has its own pros and cons, so you should weigh them carefully before making your final decision. You should also consult with a professional designer, stone installer or vendor to get the best advice and service for your countertop installation.
Both Quartz and Porcelain slabs come in variuos thicknesses and can be used in other applications besides countertops including wall cladding inside a shower, fireplace surrounds, etc. In Southern Europe you can see many houses that are clad in porcelain material on the exterior and interiors. This practice is starting to become more popular in the United States as well. There are a number of amazing Spanish and Italian porcelain manufacturers out there that you may also want to consider besides the two excellent American choices, Caesarstone and Cambria, mentioned above in this blog. We highly recommend only specifying and using materials from responsible manufacturers who adhere to sustainable sourcing and fabrication and fair business practices.