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Solid Surface Countertops Vs Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stones or man-made materials? This is a question that a lot of people ask when they’re trying to figure out the best option for their kitchen. Natural stone include, granite and marble countertops among others. In man-made materials solid surface is a common material. So, if you’re in the same boat and want to know whether natural stones or solid surfaces are the way to go, then keep on reading.

Natural Stone Vs Solid Surface Countertops

What Is What

First things first, you need to understand what exactly natural stone and solid surface are, and what makes each material perfect or a thumbs-down for kitchen countertops.

Natural Stone Countertops

Starting with the composition, natural stone is a huge umbrella under which a lot of options are included. Granite, marble, slate, soapstone, and limestone are just some of the many options available in natural stones. Now, you might be thinking: What exactly is a natural stone?

Natural stones are generally big slabs of rocks that are made by the influence of high pressure, temperature, and other minerals forged underneath the surface of the Earth. The result is a hard, durable, and beautiful amalgamation of mica, minerals, and sand. Natural stones are not unique but they’re very popular among the masses because it is a harmonious blend of mother nature’s beauty and strength.

Solid Surface Countertops

As far as solid surface is concerned, it’s also a very famous material for kitchen countertops. Solid surface is essentially made out of polyester and acrylic components, which give the countertops that characteristic lustrous sheen that everyone knows and loves. The mixture, liquid and gooey at first, is compacted into molds and baked/treated to administer strength and durability to this man-made material.

Price Point

When selecting a material for kitchen countertops, the price range is a highly crucial factor, if not the top priority of buyers. Let’s face it; you want to go for a kitchen countertop material that you can afford at the end of the day. No matter how amazing the qualities of one material are, if it’s out of budget, then it’s out of the list. It’s as simple as that.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stones, since they are, you know, natural and quarried from the ground, sit on the higher end of the price spectrum. For a 1×1 ft. slab, without maintenance costs, natural stones will range differently:

  • Granite countertops: $75 to $180
  • Marble countertops: $100 to $300
  • Soapstone countertops: $110 to $150

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops are available in abundance, since they can be made pretty easily, as long as there is plenty of raw material lying around. Still, these countertops, given their qualities, can also cost a bit more, as compared to other man-made materials like vinyl, concrete, and Formica countertops.

For a 1×1 ft. slab, solid surface countertops will cost you between $38 to $100. In comparison, you install solid surface countertops for way cheaper than natural stone countertops, even with maintenance costs included.

Maintenance

Maintenance-heavy kitchen countertops automatically become a no-go for a lot of people, because firstly, maintaining them isn’t free and secondly, some countertops are way more demanding than others, you’re going to have to play your cards right, if you want to get your hands on a good-quality countertop that’s not going to make you a maintenance-slave.

Natural Stone Countertops

Unfortunately, natural stone countertops need sizable maintenance. They need to be sealed because natural stones are porous and are synonymous with a hard sponge that will soak up any and every drop of liquid in its vicinity.

They also need to be polished, and if you nicked your countertop and there’s a glaringly huge scratch, then you’ll need to get it fixed professionally, which, if you didn’t know already, costs a lot!

Solid Surface Countertops

There’s no need to seal solid surface counters because they’re made to be non-porous. Being non-porous, to begin with, solid surface is also a pretty sanitary material and there’s no way that bacteria and living organisms can thrive on the surface, which is another common problem with natural stone countertops. So, as far as maintenance and care is concerned, solid surface countertops are in the lead.

Variety

Natural stones as well as solid surface countertops are pretty close in comparison when it comes to variety.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stones like soapstone, limestone, and granite countertops Raleigh NC come in a lot of colors and patterns, while marble lacks a bit in the color department, only being available in lighter and neutral colors.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops can be made and dyed into any possible color known to man using chemical dyes, so the options are virtually endless.

Durability

Durability is also another factor that people tend to keep in mind when choosing countertop materials.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stones are generally more heat resistant since they’re essentially curated underneath the ground, where temperatures are astronomically high. However, some stones like marble and soapstone are very delicate, by nature. They’re soft and don’t endure impacts well. Even though they’re heat resistant, these stones can break and crack easily and scratches can turn into deep slashes, if things are not taken care of, right away.

Granite is considered to be the most durable natural stone, given that it’s sealed. It reacts to heat well, doesn’t crack or chip under pressure, and is, all in all, a good choice for someone who wants durable natural stone countertops.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops lack in the heat resistance department and excel in every other durability factor. Solid surface countertops can get blistered by heat and the resulting heat stains are dark, hideous, and a pain in the neck to remove.

Other than this tiny hiccup, solid surface countertops are known to be as durable as quartz and even granite, sustaining the damages of sharp objects, moisture damage, and forces. It is truly an impeccable material.

Versatility

Versatility also speaks volumes, when it comes to a kitchen countertop material being an all-rounder. If a material is amazing in the kitchen and performs well, it doesn’t exactly mean that it will hold its ground in other surroundings.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stones like marble, limestone, and, sometimes, granite are not suitable for bathroom sinks and vanities because they are not waterproof and can get damaged if not sealed regularly. In addition to this, natural stones also have less liberty when it comes to edge designs and there are only a handful that you can work with.

Solid Surface Countertops

As for solid surface countertops, versatility is its middle name. Solid surface countertops don’t have the problem of seams and the material appears to be installed in a singular unit. Solid surface countertops are not only winners in the kitchen but they can be used to make coffee tables, bathtubs, shower fixtures, and even bathroom countertops.

Speaking of edge design options, solid surface countertops win hearts again, because the material can be shaved and designed into any edge design, requested by the customer, giving natural stones a run for their money.

Conclusion

Natural stone as well as solid surface countertops have unique qualities that work and don’t work in favor of each material. Now, you know exactly what you’re dealing with anytime the topic of solid surface or natural stone countertops is brought up. Contact a granite company Durham NC for choosing the material you want.

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