Countertops
Countertops are the prep station workhorses of a kitchen. Discover some of the main types of countertop materials and how to make the most of your workstations.

How to Choose the Best Stone Countertop

Selecting the ideal stone countertop might seem overwhelming because of the array of color and pattern choices for kitchen islands, countertops, or bathroom vanities. Homeowners should weigh three essential factors — cost, durability, and appearance — to simplify the decision-making process. These factors provide a clear guide for choosing the perfect countertop material.



How Much Do Stone Countertops Cost?

Stone countertop pricing varies widely. The type of material, amount of material needed, edge profile, and custom design all factor into the total cost.

Decide how much you can spend on countertops before visiting stone fabricators. Stick to a budget and avoid falling in love with an unrealistic option out of your price range.

Here are key pricing considerations to understand:

  • To get an accurate quote, a technician must take in-person measurements. Stone fabricators using laser measuring tools provide the most precise measurements from the start.
  • If you choose an in-stock material, you'll only need partial slabs to complete your project. If you select special-order materials, you should expect to pay for the entire slab up-front.
  • Fabrication and installation costs factor into the total price. Intricate edge profiles or cutouts for sinks and cooktops make the job more labor-intensive.
  • Higher-end natural stone materials like granite, marble, and quartzite increase home values more than lower-cost options. Select high-end for a wise long-term investment.

How Durable Are Stone Countertops?

With proper care, quality stone countertops can last over decades of daily use. Consider the durability factors of each material when making a decision.

Marble is heat resistant and a favored choice for bakeries and restaurants, but it's prone to etching when exposed to acidic materials like citrus or wine. Ask your fabricator about honed marble, which boasts a soft, satin finish, if you're worried about etching.

Quartz counter

Granite remains a timeless favorite due to its innate hardness, resisting scratches and chips under normal household usage. With regular cleaning, granite maintains its original beauty even after a decade.

Quartzite, like granite, is a durable natural stone but often comes with a higher price tag due to its resilience and marble-like appearance.

Engineered quartz, although resistant to scratches, is more susceptible to high heat compared to natural stone. It's advisable to use trivets to safeguard engineered quartz from hot pans.


What Do Stone Countertops Look Like?

Choosing stone countertops requires deciding between natural stone and engineered options.

Every granite, marble, or quartzite slab has a unique color pattern. Visit stone yards to view slabs firsthand before finalizing your selection. Exotic stone colors and patterns often cost more than popular standards like white Carrara marble.

Engineered materials like quartz offer highly consistent coloring all the way through the slabs. Engineered stones feature bold, vibrant hues not found in natural stone. Based on my two decades of experience as a real estate agent, I recommend opting for natural stone patterns, as trendy engineered colors may quickly appear dated.

Finding your perfect countertop requires partnering with a knowledgeable stone fabricator who will answer all your questions and help you select the ideal material for your budget and style.


Learn More About Countertops


So, Is a Stone Countertop Right for Your Home?

Natural or engineered stone countertops provide an unbeatable combination of aesthetics, durability, and value over time. Properly sealed and cared for, stone countertops endure decades of daily use and boost a home's resale value with their lasting beauty.


FAQs About Stone Countertops

How often do stone countertops need to be resealed?

Resealing frequency depends on the stone. Granite and quartzite may only need resealing every few years. Marble requires more frequent sealing, typically every one to two years.


Can you cut on stone countertops?

It’s fine to cut soft foods like bread on granite or quartzite. Avoid cutting hard items like meat bones, which could dull the surface. Never cut directly on marble, which can scratch and stain easily.


How thick should a stone countertop be?

For residential use, 1.25 inches offers ample strength. Go thicker if you want a beefier look or need to build in an overhang.


Can stone countertops chip?

Small chips along the edges can occur over time with heavy use. Significant chipping across the surface is rare with quality stone.


Are stone countertops hard to clean?

Stone is quite easy to clean using mild soap and water. For cooked-on spills, use a non-abrasive scrub pad. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the surface.


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