Many materials are available for custom Countertops

You can’t make a blanket statement that one material is better than all the others. Part of the selection process involves the specific application and the customers personal style requirements. All these materials have advantages and disadvantages. Here we will details the various materials and provide some of this insight.

Large Slab format. One of the main reasons to purchase custom Countertops it to minimize seams in the final application. Seams are a place that create a visual disruption as well as a place that can collect and harbor microbes ins a busy kitchen. a few seams are necessary from an installation perspective as well as due to the physical limitation of the slab material. Proepr placement of seams is an art and part of the planning process. The ultimate goal is to have as few seams as possible and where required hide them as best as possible. Avoid seals in places where the integrity of the seam could be compromised.

The details below are for educational purposes. All surface materials are not provided though us. This is simply a comparison.

The below ratings assigned to these are more focused on the standard applications of custom countertops. The ratings are a comparison to each other. In some specific applications a specific countertop material is appropriate for a specific use and these ratings are not applicable.

(1 = The worst or the lowest and 5 = the best or the highest.)

Granite Countertops

Granite Countertops are a natural Stone harvested from the earth cut to a mangle size for customization to your specific application. This material is unique and no other countertops will be exactly the same as yours. This material is like an art form integrating this natural beauty into your functioning space. Granite Countertops are very durable once installed and will outlast the home they are installed in. Being a natural stone it will have natural pits and fissures which will require annual sealing or other more modern sealing application which don’t require this. This sealing process fills these natural imperfections to have an impermeable surface.

Residential applications :  5/5
Commercial Applications : 4/5
Durability : 4.5/5
Maintenance : 4/5
Popularity : 5/5
Cost/Price : 4/5

Quartz Countertops

Quartz Countertops are becoming more and more popular. This material now with some creative production techniques is now able to mimic some of the natural stones that customer would like to have in a kitchen application but was unrealistic from a durability standpoint. Quartz Countertops sometimes called engineered stone is a process of taking high durability materials such as quartz crystals and bonding them together with a polymer to create a virtually maintenance free surface. This polymer that is required to create the surface is responsible for the design, durability and low maintenance of the material. It is also its weakness. The material is heat resistance cannot handle the heat levels of natural stones. Some chemicals and UV rays also can cause issue so exterior applications and high levels of natural light are not recommended for applications of this surface.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 4/5
Commercial Applications : 5/5
Durability : 4/5
Maintenance : 5/5
Popularity : 4/5
Cost/Price : 5/5

Marble Countertops

Some of the most sought after and beautiful natural stone material are marbles. This material is used in many of the oldest and most beautiful applications. This material has been used for statues and in the most luxurious applications. For our busy kitchens the features that make the material so sought after make it less practical for home kitchen use. Marbles are perfect for accent areas of the home and for commercial applications such as luxury hotels and any area that art and design are key for presentation. common application in the home for marble are bathrooms and fireplace design. These areas are not exposed to harsh chemicals and high traffic that can damage the material over time. Sealing this material with some advanced sealers can increase this durability and make the stone more acceptable for a kitchen application. The primary makeup of marble is compressed limestone. Limestone is a softer material that can etch with direct exposure to acids.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 4/5
Commercial applications : 4/5
Durability : 3/5
Maintenance : 3/5
Popularity : 5/5
Cost/Price : 4/5

Quartzite Countertops

One of the hardest materials available for custom Countertops. Quartzite has a high concentration of quartz crystals and is the closest thing to having a natural quartz crystal countertop. This material is made of of other materials binding this surface together. this material is a bridge between granite countertops and marble countertops. The materials visual appeal is closer to marbles but its durability is closer and in some instances exceeds that of granite. Sealing this natural stone is again required but due to the makeup of this material is tends to be need less often that other natural stones.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 5/5
Commercial Applications : 5/5
Durability : 5/5
Maintenance : 4/5
Popularity : 4/5
Cost/Price : 5/5 Expensive material

Porcelain Countertops

Porcelain and ceramic material is now available in large slab format. Being a man made product control over design and style is and advantage and the surface of the material is as durable as the glaze used as the finish. Handling this material is complex and proper installation is required. Edging and vain matching are an iatrical part of the craftsman offering this material. Additional time and effort is put into other aspects to create the the final product. Although this material may cost less than a natural stone the techniques require to fabricate and customize to the presentation can increase labor costs off setting any savings on the actual material.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 3/5
Commercial Applications : 3/5
Durability : 4/5
Maintenance : 4/5
Popularity : 3/5
Cost/Price : 4/5

Laminate Countertops

Since the 80’s these development of this low cost material has been an entry level material of choice for countertop applications. For most standard cabinet application this product can create a high functioning easy to maintain surface for most kitchen applications. The surface is a polymer so is is easy to clean but can scratch easily creating an issue for microbes and can make the surface harder to sanitize. The design of this material is manufactured and mimics most natural stones. This material does not require special manufacturing for standard applications and can be installed by most construction professionals with ease. in some cases custom design an planning may be required for a special order which can increase costs and make installation more complex.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 4/5
Commercial Applications : 3/5
Durability : 3/5
Maintenance : 4/5
Popularity : 4/5
Cost/Price : 2/5

Wood Countertops

Butcherblock and other natural wood countertop style can have that perfect look for your kitchen. For many of the same reasons as natural stone sealing wood countertops is an important step. Wood is porous so it can trap in microbes that can make sanitation difficult. Wood countertops are not nearly as durable as some of the other materials on this list. Choosing wood countertops is more a design choice than a function choice.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 3/5
Commercial Applications : 3/5
Durability : 2/5
Maintenance : 2/5
Popularity : 2/5
Cost/Price : 4/5

 

Small Tile &  Stone Tile Countertops

In the 80’s this was the trend and the design and customization of the countertops look was almost unlimited. The problems started with cleaning and maintenance of this surface. Grout is difficult to clean and can harbor microbes. Maintaining¬† the grout for appearance and cleaning makes this surface for kitchen applications impractical. Visually having so many seams breaks up the visual flow of the surface and is generally less attractive than a solid sheet of material.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 3/5
Commercial Applications : 3/5
Durability : 3/5
Maintenance : 1/5
Popularity : 2/5
Cost/Price : 2/5

Stainless Steel Countertops

Popular in many kitchen applications for restaurants and for very high traffic contact surfaces for bars and buffy style dinning stainless steel surfaces are the easiest to clean and sanitize. These surfaces have no style or pattern and are typically for these types of industrial applications. It is not common for this surface to be used in a residential application.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 1/5
Commercial Applications : 5/5
Durability : 4.5/5
Maintenance : 5/5
Popularity : 1/5
Cost/Price : 3/5

Cultured Marble Countertops

Like quartz Countertops, cultured marble countertops is crushed marble pieces reformed with the addition of a polymer to create the surface in the shape and desired design. This is commonly used for uniform vanity application and integrated sink bowls. This process eliminated seams all together and creates a surface that is virtually free of imperfections. Custom applications are less common because the creation of templates and the ability to eliminate seams is what makes this process and material attractive is lost when creating slab based material from this product.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 2/5
Commercial Applications : 2/5
Durability : 4/5
Maintenance : 5/5
Popularity : 2/5
Cost/Price : 3/5

Concrete Countertops

The is the best way to create a seam free custom countertop application unique to your countertop application. Create style and customization is virtually limited to your imagination. This surface is not very durable. Concrete is used for many application under some of the harshest conditions. Its easy to repair and the cost to repair is minimal. This all does not translate to a residential kitchen application the same way. this surface can scratch easily with common kitchen utensils and can then it can be easier to maintain a sanitized surface. The installation process is fairly long and complex creating forms, setting up pour times and limiting access to the space for extended amounts of time. this material is very heavy and is typically not transported but actually mixed and poured on site.

Ratings:
Residential applications : 3/5
Commercial Applications : 4/5
Durability : 3.5/5
Maintenance : 3/5
Popularity : 2/5
Cost/Price : 4/5