Countertops can be the anchor and feel of the kitchen or bathroom design within a home. Kitchen and bathroom countertops are an essential element of both functionality as well as style for any remodel or new home construction project. Though there are numerous counter top materials used in homes today, here in the Pacific Northwest there are a few main choices that tend to be the most popular.
We have put together a list of some of the most popular countertop materials used in Oregon kitchen and bathrooms today. Within the list we are providing some additional details about each of the countertop materials most commonly used, as well as some of the reasons why for each of them.
Common Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops
Outside of old school vinyl, laminate or plastic countertops, some of the most popular kitchen and bathroom countertops are constructed using natural stone, tile or more modern materials that are both durable and more appealing to the eye.
Here are the most common countertop materials used in the Oregon home market.
Easily THE most popular countertop material used in kitchens today is granite. In fact, many consumers refer to all-natural stone countertops as granite countertops, regardless of the type of stone material that is actually used. Granite countertops are constructed using naturally forming stone composites that contain at least 20% quartz, along with mica and feldspar, making it an extremely durable countertop material, with a hardness around a seven on a scale from 1-10.
Why Granite Countertops? Due to naturally occurring color and pattern combinations found in granite, it is an elegant material that can be both warm and rich, yet clean and modern, depending on the pattern selected for your countertop application. Granite countertops are a popular selection due to their natural resistance to stains and scratching, as well as its ability to handle heat extremely well. Its durability makes it excellent for standing up to the rigors of everyday use in a kitchen or bathroom.
A huge surprise to many is that Quartz countertops are actually a man-made countertop material, rather than a natural stone slab taken in slices from the ground like granite countertops. It’s true. In fact, quartz countertops are sometimes referred to as engineered stone countertops, in order to differentiate them from natural stone. In a similar way, as engineered hardwood floors are to solid hardwood floors, quartz countertops are typically constructed using by combining approximately 90% of ground quartz with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments to create an extremely hard, durable and attractive man-made countertop material that contains mostly natural stone components.
Why Quartz Countertops? One of the main advantages of quartz countertops over other stone materials is choice. There are literally endless color combinations that can be formulated with engineered stone countertops that nature just doesn’t typically create on its own. Additionally, quartz is non-porous, so it tends to resist staining even better than other countertop materials such as granite, marble or concrete and does a great job standing up to things like juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other common sources of kitchen stains.
Marble is one of the most beautiful construction materials that has endured for thousands of years. Though as a countertop material, the beauty of marble sometimes comes into conflict with its softer structure and less durable composition. Though marble is heat resistant, there are some downsides to this elegant countertop material for the kitchen. Due to it being even more porous than granite, marble countertops definitely require sealing annually and are more prone to liquid absorption and staining.
Why marble countertops? There are few countertop materials that can match the natural beauty and elegance of marble. Whether for bathroom or kitchen countertops, marble is on the high end of both style and maintenance. But for those who require the unmatched look of marble, nothing else will do.
Tile is one of the most versatile and common countertop materials, due to its endless color and style options, as well as being a durable and inexpensive countertop option. Whether you are considering ceramic tile, porcelain tile or even glass tile for your kitchen or bathroom countertop application, tile countertops offer a wide variety of choices.
Why Tile Countertops? There are typically two main reasons that people choose tile for their countertops. One and often the most common is price. Compared to natural or engineered stone countertop materials, most types of tile countertop materials tend to be less expensive. The second most popular reason for selecting tile for a countertop application is to create a very specific style. Tile remains one of the most popular countertop types both in Oregon and even around the world.
Solid Surface Countertops:
Solid surface countertops are another man-made countertop material that can effectively be used in either a kitchen or bathroom. Formulated from a combination of various natural and synthetic materials, solid surface countertops offer a highly durable countertop surface that is usually very resistant to heat, stains, and mold.
Why Solid Surface Countertops? Increasingly more popular, many solid surface countertop products offer consumers a durable, comparable stone-like countertop option that can be much more environmentally friendly and an exceptional surface for food prep and a very busy kitchen. In addition to virtually endless styles and colors, solid surface countertops can provide substantial savings over their natural stone and engineered stone countertop competitors.
While granite countertops remain the most popular and well-known type of countertops most commonly used in homes today, there are several other stone, engineered and tile countertop options that still enjoy significant preference. We handle multiple countertop brands, colors, styles and options that are popular with our Portland-area homeowners. If you are in the Portland metro area and have any questions about any of these or other countertop options for your kitchen or bathroom project, don’t hesitate to ask.