Designers field a variety of questions and concerns regarding the seemingly unlimited options available to consumers. Within any category–countertops, tile, hardwood, carpet, furniture, lighting–how does one narrow it down? What options are the best options, when aesthetics, maintenance, durability and value are all factors to consider?
Today, we’re excited to launch our “Designer Answers” series. Eheart designers are interviewed about various interior finishes and product, hopefully answering some frequently asked questions while also giving you insight into their personal style and preferences.
To start us off, Emily shares a wealth of knowledge (and a dose of witty humor) about countertop options.
Q: What’s the difference between granite and quartz?
Emily: Granite is a naturally occurring stone that comes straight from the earth. “Granite” is a fairly generic term that is utilized for a number of stones that, in truth, aren’t really granite. Quartz is made from natural stone, and is combined with a filler of some kind (depending on the manufacturer). Some use resin, some use polyester, some use other fillers.
Q: Is natural stone high maintenance?
Emily: Depends which one you pick. Not all granites are created equal. Some are more porous (typically, lighter colors) and some more brittle (for example, Cosmos) than others. Most natural stones require a small amount of maintenance that can typically be handled with a topical cleaner that maintains the seal on your slab and some require a re-seal every few years.
Q: Can I put marble on my bathroom vanity countertops?
Emily: Go for it, but don’t call me later! You can have your pick of surfaces, but some marbles are more porous than others, and some are quite sensitive. Check the labels on your cosmetics, lotions, and potions and make sure you don’t have a spill with your nail polish remover. That said, I’d put marble in a bathroom sooner than I would a kitchen.
Q: How do you feel about Corian and other man-made solid surfaces?
Emily: I’d rather die than use Corian, but I’m really enjoying the beauty of man-made solid surfaces that have been coming out recently (Cambria, other quartz products, etc).
Q: If you got to design your dream kitchen tomorrow, which countertop surface(s) would you select, and why?
Emily: Almost without a doubt, I’d pick Kodiak granite. It’s beautiful and has a nice blend of whites, creams, taupes, and a touch of black.
Q: What’s the average price point for granite?
Emily: I try my best not to answer this question, because there are so many variables, it usually feels like I’m lying. We can turn a quote around in about 1 day, so give us the opportunity to do it right. That said, most people’s kitchens cost about $5-8,000 and most master baths cost between $1500-3000.
Q: What’s your opinion of soapstone?
Emily: It’s beautiful, but I don’t love it for myself. It looks especially great when you oil or wax it. Also, it is a soft stone, comparatively, so that’s something to be mindful of.
Q: Concrete looks great, but won’t it chip and crack easily?
Emily: It’s fiberglass reinforced, so it’s not an extension of your driveway. It’s a whole new animal. Enjoy it for what it is!