Laminate countertops (e.g.., Formica brand, etc.) are popular and affordable options. They are relatively resistant to be used as countertops in the kitchen and washrooms. Laminate is a synthetic material available in many colours and patterns, like an imitation of wood, natural stone, and metals. It is a versatile material used to wrap cabinets and other furniture. Almost all entry-level homes come with laminate countertops because they are the preferred budget option. However, compared with natural stone, laminate gets more easily scratched, chipped, damaged by heat, worn out, and becomes outdated sooner. Natural stone and engineered surfaces, contrary to laminate, have a more elegant and contemporary look suited for modern or classic styles. Natural stones are more durable than laminate. Even though the initial investment in natural stone is higher, its durability and beauty justify its cost. We should also keep in mind that natural stone countertops increase the value of your property.
1. Properties. We may observe quantifiable properties like durability, porosity, resistance to heat, how easy to clean and maintain is the material, hygiene, etc.
2. Look. Another less objective property to consider is the look or beauty. Ironically, this subjective, difficult-to-measure property makes a product trendy in most cases.
3. Cost. If the budget is not a problem, we should forget about the natural stone's price and select it based on quality and look. If the cost is a constraint, as it usually occurs, we should choose the stone that pleases us the most, in terms of quality and look, at the price we can afford.
Therefore, the "best" stone is a relative term that depends on several aspects. In general, quartzite, granite, and marble are excellent choices for their look and properties. Stones have different properties. Quartzite is generally harder and more expensive than granite and marble. However, you may prefer the look of marble, although it needs more care than the other rocks. Then, you will buy marble, a high-quality stone, because you love its look. In another scenario, granite may be, for some homeowners and investors, the no-brainer option to take. Granite is generally less expensive than quartzite and marble and has a favourable cost/benefit ratio. It is available in a wide range of colours and patterns. It is durable, has low porosity, resists common kitchen acids, like lemon juice and vinegar, withstands heat, and adds value to the property. Other people prefer exotic material. Sometimes, their chosen rare stone may have excellent properties and be expensive. Or it can be costly because it is scarce and difficult to obtain. In other cases, the stone's look determines your decision no matter if it is softer and demands more care and maintenance. Perhaps the "best stone" for you is not the most expensive, nor the one with the best physical and chemical properties, nor the most fashionable. You will choose the material that you will fall in love with and to which you will be willing to pay special care. At Alfredo Marble & Tile, we will guide you to select the natural stone that suits your needs, taste, and budget. With natural stone, you can't go wrong if you talk to us first.