From the minute I heard another agent in my office say “I like to quiz myself on different granite types in my spare time”, I knew I was in the right place. In my opinion, nothing can change the whole look of a kitchen faster than new countertops. However, when my husband and I were looking at homes, I was totally overwhelmed trying to determine what material was in a kitchen, how easily I could replace it, and what that might entail. So, when I got the chance to sit down with the team at Geo’s Marble and Granite, I got right to the bottom of it all. The company has been in business since 2012 and came highly recommended, so I knew they’d be the ones who could answer my burning questions.
What are the most common materials you might find in a kitchen? How could someone tell the difference when they walk in a home?
Most often you will find quartz (which is manmade), granite or laminate. Occasionally you might see marble but it’s not usually recommended for a kitchen. To quickly tell which type is installed, look underneath. Naturally occurring stone like granite or marble isn’t often altered on the bottom, whereas laminate or quartz will have some factory markings or be smoother and more finished.
What do you need to consider when replacing countertops in my home?
At Geo’s, you’ll need to set aside about 5-7 business days for measuring and installation (this can vary greatly from business to business). As a rule of thumb, summer is better for installation as the winter months get extremely busy in the industry. Always ask if they are willing and able to remove old countertops as well. Geo’s is happy to help for an additional fee, but other companies may not offer disposal.
Which material is the easiest to care for?
Let’s start by saying marble is NOT the easiest, and is often discouraged in kitchens. Many styles can stain and etch easily when they come in contact with things like wine, coffee and even styrofoam. Marble is much better in a bathroom where it’s less likely for these things to come in contact with your surface. Quartz and granite are actually extremely easy to care for and they only require sealing once a year, which is just a simple spray (which you can purchase at Lowes or Home Depot) almost like cleaning and wiping down your counters. As long as you maintain the sealing, they are able to withstand heat, cutting, liquid, and all kinds of other kitchen mishaps. Another great thing about granite is that even if there is some accidental staining, the pattern will often camouflage it.
What happens if my kitchen is oddly shaped or requires a very long countertop?
No problem! While they try to have the fewest seams possible, they are often required in lengths over 10ft. Curves, rounded spaces and overhangs are no issue either.
What determines the cost of different countertops?
At the core, it’s all about supply and demand and what’s the most popular. Besides that, the main factors are material and square footage. Cost also fluctuates based on the amount of waste it takes to get a beautiful pattern. Granite pricing is tiered, so a “level one” granite would be a builder-grade material that starts around $29/ square foot. It has repetitive, even patterns that allow for one piece to be cut after another. Conversely, a complex piece of marble might require a lot of waste in order to get to that perfect design element on a piece, driving up the price. If humans can make more of it (quartz and laminate), it is often more affordable than things we rely on nature to produce (granite, quartzite, marble).
What are the biggest countertop trends right now?
The light, bright pieces are flying out of the store. Many people are going for the look of marble but prefer quartz or granite with that same design. For styles, waterfall countertops (where the counters extend over the sides all the way to the floor, like a table) are increasing in popularity.
I hope that helped clear up some of the questions out there about counters! The best part about this conversation was meeting someone that knew their stuff and loved what they did. They had a wonderful selection (much of it was imported from Brazil- fun fact!) and they were incredibly knowledgable about the varieties, nuances and trends. The team helped me understand how affordable and simple it could be to install and maintain these beautiful additions. If you have any other questions, I’d love to pass them along for answers!