Choosing the Right Countertop for You
BY LAUREN HURWITZ
Photo courtesy of Terra Tile & Marble
With the most important room in most homes being the kitchen, it’s critical this space is aesthetically pleasing when considering renovations. Dave Gasch, Owner of Terra Tile and Marble in Briarcliff Manor, knows a key component in creating a beautiful kitchen is selecting the right countertop. But where to begin?
The first step is to determine the look you desire and how you want the countertops to perform in terms of durability. Marble is unquestionably stunning, and the look can’t be completely duplicated. However, it might not be the best option in a space that will be used regularly by children or lots of mess. Marble can be repolished, but it can be a challenge to maintain. For the past five years, Gasch says quartz has been the name of the game. “Quartz is by far the most popular product that we have. We’re selling quartz to natural stone 10X.” Customers prefer quartz because, “it achieves that white marble look, but it has great durability where it doesn’t stain and is scratch resistant.” Today, he’s starting to see some customers breakaway ever so slightly from this trend by dipping their toes into “something more colorful like quartzite which is growing in popularity for accents. Maybe quartz on the perimeter but the island might be a bold quartzite with a lot of movement and color like blue or black or green. Or maybe a full backsplash in a quartzite. I’m even seeing blacker veins with bolder movement and more waterfall edges coming down the edge (of the island). Soon we’ll be getting into porcelain slabs which is a great product with a realistic marble look for countertops with 10×5 foot slabs.”
If you’re on a budget, granite is likely your best option at $60-$70 per square foot. If you’re looking to stay most on trend with quartz, there is good news in stores as this material has a very large range from $85-$110 per square foot with the more expensive options often having extremely realistic looking veining. Quartzite is even more expensive at $100-$120 per square foot and can be pricier for the rarest of slabs. When it comes to the cost, nothing holds a candle to marble which, if selecting real white Calacatta Gold marble, can average about $300 per square foot.
When visiting a stone store, make sure to bring along a sample of your cabinet and a backsplash tile (if applicable) that you’re thinking of using to place along potential stone samples. Take it a step further and bring your favorite stone samples home for a few days to see how it all comes together in the natural light of the space where it will be installed. But don’t stop there! Gasch says one of the biggest mistakes made, is that customers, “choose from a sample, but don’t take the time to go to the slab yard or a shop to look at the slab and make sure it’s to their liking.” Another mistake is not being on-site at your home when the fabricators come to template the space where the countertop will be placed. Gasch says it’s imperative to have someone at your home who is familiar with the project to answer questions and have a conversation about the templating as well as being home when the cut slabs are delivered for installation, to ensure the finished product is one you will love for a long time.