Whether it’s time for an update or you’re adding something from scratch, finding the look you want matters. But the style and material options are often narrowed by searching for countertops on a budget.
Planning budgets for renovations or installations impacts design choices. Balancing cost and quality can be tricky, but durability and functionality are essential considerations.
That doesn’t mean you need to dip deep into your savings to find what you want. With a few tips from us, you can find affordable options that give you a high-end look.
The style you have in mind can impact the material you choose, so knowing the top material picks is an excellent place to start.
If your dream countertop is low maintenance and easy to clean, quartz might be the material for you.
Quartz isn’t a natural stone, as it’s a manufactured material. The build uses a high percentage of quartzite crystals and a low portion of binding materials. Added pigments allow for more choices for color and other appearance variations.
Like quartz and granite, quartzite is low maintenance. It’s denser than granite and is one of the sturdiest materials on earth. It’s also less porous.
Granite is a popular choice for countertops on a budget because it’s durable and versatile. Granite is a natural stone resistant to most everyday use. You can count on it for high-traffic and low-traffic areas.
The appearance and veining make it unique, as no two slabs are alike. It’s available in a variety of colors and styles.
Marble is timeless and elegant, meaning it’s always in style no matter the current trends. If a stunning countertop surface is your priority, it’s worth the investment. If you’re trying to pinch pennies, this is a more expensive pick.
When choosing countertops on a budget, one of the biggest concerns is durability. A surface that lasts offers more use over time.
Granite is resistant to scratches, heat, and most stains. It is more porous than quartz, but applying a sealant can help prevent stains.
Marble is high-maintenance and is best for low-traffic areas. If you’re using it for a place where you do a lot of work, you should be more cautious to prevent stains and scratches. If you’re looking for a more durable marble alternative, quartzite can have a similar appearance.
However, quartzite can be affected by etching. Common acidic household substances, like lemons, and most household cleaners, can create surface marks, to which granite is less susceptible. You can remove smoother marks easily. But deeper etches, which are rough with a cloudy appearance, are more complicated.
Quartz is the most durable of the bunch and is a typical pick in high-traffic areas, like kitchens, because it’s non-porous. It’s strong enough to withstand daily use, and resistant to stains and scratches.
Materials Change Over Time
Marble adds luxury and adapts to any theme. It can sometimes benefit you to go a shade lighter because marble darkens over time. You shouldn’t make a shade choice expecting significant changes, but it can help if you want the look to last.
Direct sunlight can alter quartz’s coloring. The quartzite percentage will remain unaffected, but the artificial elements take on yellowish hues.
Granite’s color overall remains consistent over time, but it does require a sealant to protect it from some stubborn stains.
Seams and Surface Sizes
You’ve heard measure twice, cut once, but sometimes the material itself won’t measure up.
The look of natural stone, including the veins and other color variations, rarely match up for a symmetrical appearance. Manufactured materials, like quartz, are consistent in design and are easily paired for symmetry.
Suppose your countertop is an L-shape. When you take two slabs to form that shape, you don’t know how the color variations will match. You choose the shade you want. For example, both slabs might be white marble. However, the lines and patterns within the marble are unlikely to line up.
Suppose you have something more complicated than a small L-shape countertop or are using the stone on several smaller surfaces. In that case, it gets trickier to find natural stone patterns that look identical.
Opting for something that matches up can save you money on having to buy natural stone that may not offer the right appeal.
On average, granite costs less than quartz, quartzite, and marble. Marble, as the luxury stone, costs the most. Quartzite samples range from a close second to a price more similar to quartz.
Sometimes paying more upfront for a strong, long-lasting, and durable material will save you costs in the long run. If you’re able to pitch out the money in the beginning, it would be a good alternative to having to pay for services and repairs a few years down the road.
If you’re ready to make your vision a reality, request a free quote with Marble Unlimited. Our trusted team of experts is sure to take into account your budget, space, and ideas to come up with the perfect solution.