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Countertop Upgrades: Which One is Best Suited for Your Space?

Posted by Gavi Halpern on Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:54 PM

If your selling your home, looking to upgrade from your original kitchen materials, or finally want to spend the money to get that quartz countertop you’ve been eyeing, knowing the difference between the look and functionality of the countertop materials is half the battle. With all the new materials on the market, countertop upgrades are ever changing with plenty of options for you to choose from.



Granite countertops have been around for some time, but they were often thought to be a luxury item. Nowadays, granite is often more affordable than Formica or Corian! Granite is typically priced per the rarity of the stone, obviously the more rare the color or texture, the more expensive it is going to be. Lower level granite that is commonly mined typically has a very competitive price point.

P.S. if you are looking to upgrade your countertops to sell your home, you can advertise that the countertops are granite, while you cannot advertise laminate or Corian tops.

P.P.S. SEAL YOUR GRANITE! We have come across many granite tops that need to be refinished (in itself a very expensive process) due to the homeowner either not being told about sealing or simply forgetfulness. It is a very easy thing to do that only needs to be done about once a year! If you have any questions on how to seal your granite feel free to give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to make sure your granite countertops stay in tip top condition.

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Similar to granite countertops, marble has been around for a very long time, as it is also a natural stone. Different from granite in a few ways though. One of those ways, marble tops can get very pricey, very fast. Typically marble is considered a luxury item and priced to reflect that. But for the price? An absolutely beautiful countertop with gorgeous veining and sparkle (can you tell I’m a tad bias?). Something to consider when you decide on marble countertops, circling back to how it compares to granite, MARBLE NEEDS TO BE SEALED MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR. Marble is a much softer and more porous stone than granite, which means it soaks up more liquid and has a much higher chance of staining if not sealed. Our recommendation? Make sure to seal your marble semi-annually and try to limit throwing red wine all over the kitchen.



With quartz countertops, it is like natural stone tops but extremely durable. Can we call it the “Super Countertop”? I’m doing it anyway. Quartz tops are made from 90% crushed quartz with the other 10% being different polymers and epoxies to create the luxury designs that quartz is capable of. It is technically considered a manufactured stone because a machine has to crush up all the quartz as opposed to natural stone tops literally being pulled from the Earth and fabricated into countertops. Quartz is on the pricier side, but it has many benefits that make the price acceptable. One of the big benefits of quartz countertops is the fact that they do not EVER need to be sealed. Because it is manufactured stone it is not porous and does not stain. Therefore you do not have to worry about forgetting to seal your countertops. Another big plus to quartz is the lack of variation between the sample and the actual slab. Have you heard of customers going to pick out their granite slab after seeing a sample? That’s because there’s typically a wide variation between the sample and the slab due to the fact that it is a natural stone and not all of them are going to look identical. Quartz is designed to look the same with the sample and the slab. Although, it is mighty impressive to see a large slab of a brightly colored quartz; like a piece of artwork.

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Polished Concrete

This is a newer-ish type of countertop. It can be a DIY project if you are comfortable with that, or you can contract a fabricator to make it and install it. It provides an industrial while also a very rustic look to a kitchen. Be very wary when making the final decision on concrete countertops as they tend to be more problematic than you would think. For one, they are probably the most costly option, and the most time consuming. Depending on how specialized you’d want the concrete, your countertop can take up to 28 days to cure before it can be sealed. After the curing process, the countertops need to be sealed almost as often if not more often than marble tops because concrete is also very porous. They make a very beautiful addition to the right type of kitchen though, so definitely keep concrete countertops in mind with your countertop upgrade.


Butcher Block Countertops

Wood countertops can be a beautiful accent to any kitchen. There are several wood species that can be fabricated into countertops. The more exotic the wood though, the higher the expense for these tops. A really awesome idea that we’ve seen more of lately is combining stone countertops with wood tops. Upkeep for butcher block countertops is necessary, but not as extensive as marble or concrete. Typically an oil is used to clean and disinfect the wood, or an epoxy to seal.

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As always, check with your designer to see which countertop material suits you and your lifestyle the best.

If you live in Southern Maryland and liked this article or would like professional advice on your flooring or any other remodeling project, please contact Southern Maryland Kitchen, Bath, Floors and Design at 301-866-0337. You can also schedule a FREE consultation, measurement, and estimate with one of our experienced design consultants online at Feel free to visit our showroom in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California at any time, and see what we can do for YOU! We have experienced designers that will listen and experienced installers on staff to handle every step of the process.

If you're curious about remodeling your kitchen, be sure to check out our previous blog post, CPR For The Heart of Your Home: Kitchen Remodeling Advice


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Topics: countertop upgrades, quartz countertop, polished concrete countertops, granite countertops, marble countertops, butcher block countertops

Written by Gavi Halpern