If you’re renovating your bathroom or kitchen, you may find yourself torn between two popular choices: stone or solid surface countertops. Both present a wide range of colors and decorative possibilities. On the other hand, both have disadvantages. Which is the better choice for you?
Your decision between stone or solid surface countertops will depend on a few important factors. Depending on your budget, your decorating style, and your willingness to perform maintenance, different types of countertops will suit your needs better than others. Let’s look at a few areas to consider before you put money down.
Solid surface: Because of the manufacturing process, solid surface countertops can be just as expensive as most stone countertops, if not more so in some cases. The price is also relatively consistent no matter which style or color you choose.
Stone: Depending on whether you go with natural or engineered stone, stone countertops can vary widely in price. Natural stone slabs will generally cost more than engineered quartz or cultured marble, however.
Solid surface: A solid surface countertop can be cleaned with a rag or sponge and water, with a little white vinegar and/or dish soap mixed in for a pronounced cleaning effect. Ammonia-based cleaners such as glass cleaner is also safe to use, though in smaller amounts. Stains can be removed with a semi-abrasive sponge (use with care) or a paste made of water and baking soda.
Stone: A natural stone countertop should only be washed with water and mild dish soap and should be immediately dried afterward to prevent water seeping into the counter. Engineered stone can withstand the same vinegar or baking soda wash as solid surface, though ammonia-based or abrasive cleaners can damage the finish.
Solid surface: Solid surface countertops consist of the same material all the way through, so they stand up to impact and weight easily (though you should still avoid standing on them). Knives or sharp objects can scratch the surface, though your contractor will recommend products and methods to buff out any scratches. Finally, the nonporous nature of solid surface material means you’ll rarely have to deal with staining.
Stone: Natural stone may have some material inconsistencies and weak spots, though it generally holds up to impact and weight very well. (Once again, however, never stand on your countertops regardless of their material.) Both natural and engineered stone can also scratch under a knife or other kitchen tool, and both can stain if the finish is damaged, though natural stone is more susceptible to this. While engineered stone such as quartz may scratch, it’s nearly impossible to stain.
Pro Tip: Always use a high-quality cutting board rather than cutting directly on your stone countertops. Additionally, make sure nothing you store on the countertops can scratch them.
Solid surface: Solid surface countertops are among the most customizable countertops on the market. You can choose from a wide selection of colors and patterns to fully customize your kitchen or bathroom. Best of all, solid surfaces are created to your exact specifications, so your countertops will be entirely seamless.
Stone: Natural stone comes with its own colors, patterns, and imperfections, and you can’t predict exactly what you’ll end up with. Since sizing is also unpredictable, even with precise measurements, you may still end up with a seam or two. Engineered stone, such as cultured marble, can be designed without the need for seams and to your specific color preference.
Decorating Your Home
Beautiful, long-lasting countertops are the perfect addition to any newly renovated bathroom or kitchen. Choose your next countertop material based on its price, maintenance requirements, durability, appearance, and most of all, your own preference. Your home’s decoration scheme should reflect you, whether you choose stone or solid surface countertops.
Connect with us to see what a completed countertop renovation project will look like!