By Brooke Chaplin
When real estate agents stage properties to sell, they invariably turn their attention to the kitchen. A stylish and well-kept kitchen can go a long way in terms of boosting property values. This is more true if the countertops are made of the following materials listed below.
As the most popular choice of natural stone for luxury properties in Europe and the Americas, Carrara marble extracted from Mediterranean quarries offers a classic look that can range from creamy to bright white. The dramatic veining of Carrara marble looks gorgeous whether the surface has been honed, polished, or brushed. You can never go wrong with this natural stone, particularly if you match the counters to the floors. It also gives off a more modern tone to your kitchen if that is what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a smart alternative to marble, and if your interior decor leans more towards earthy tones, limestone countertops are strongly recommended. Limestone is the geological material upon which marble forms, and it offers a broad range of colors, tones, and textures. If you shop around for limestone long enough, there is a good chance you will find slabs that look more attractive than marble, and at more reasonable prices. It also can add a splash of color to your kitchen.
Kitchen countertops made of quartz, which is the most common name given to engineered stone, tend to last forever, and they need minimal maintenance beyond cleaning. Quartz slabs are fabricated with crushed fragments of natural stone that are rich in silicon dioxide; once these pulverized rocks are bonded with advanced resins and pigments, the finished product is made into slabs of highly durable construction material. Another advantage of quartz is that it can be made in ways that mimic the appearance and texture of just about any type of natural stone. It is also less expensive than getting a pure quartz countertop, making it quite popular.
Corian Solid Surface
Originally made by Dupont in the 1960s, Corian is the brand name of solid surface materials that can be used for many applications. Corian countertops are similar to engineered stone in the sense that they can be fabricated to look like marble, granite, and other natural materials, but they are mostly made of metallic minerals, polymers, and resins. Unlike marble and granite, however, Corian does not need to be sealed at all because the surface finish is permanent. Keep in mind that only Corian is made by Dupont, but a few other companies manufacture solid surface slabs.
In the end, any of the four materials listed above will be ideal for a kitchen renovation or improvement project. Your choice should come down to appearance, price, durability, and required maintenance. Whether you decide to choose marble, limestone, engineered stone, or a Corian solid surface, all the options are dependent on your preference and taste and you can not go wrong with any of those choices.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger based in New Mexico. Her first passion is journalism, but she also loves hiking and gardening. Brooke recommends working with a reputable professional when you need help installing a limestone countertop. Find her on Twitter and Facebook: @BrookeChaplan; https://www.facebook.com/brooke.chaplan