For those of you undergoing a kitchen or bathroom reno and aren’t using a designer (shame on you!), you will want to read this post. I’m talking about why I chose the counter I did for my kitchen out of all of the options out there.
As you know, there are endless options for counters: marble, granite, quartz, solid surface, soapstone and laminate to name a few. I can honestly say that in eight years of being in the biz, I have never specified anything other than quartz. Why?
- I love, love, love the look of marble but clients are hesitant because of the fact that it etches and stains. I am the messiest of cooks (and so is my daughter!) so it would not work well for us either. We need something very low maintenance.
- Granite can be very busy in appearance unless you go with a solid black colour.
- There are some great laminates out there that mimic marble and other stone but it wouldn’t give your kitchen a high end look.
I’m surprised by the fact that many clients have never heard of quartz. So I go into my little spiel about the benefits. (I couldn’t have said it better than these words from the Silestone website):
- Silestone is a non-porous surface and highly resistant to stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, makeup and many other everyday products.
- It is composed of 94% quartz.
- Quartz is one of the hardest minerals in the world. This makes it very durable and scratch resistant
- Silestone is the only brand that contains a unique bacteriostatic formula developed by Cosentino that is based on the use of latest generation silver ions to prevent the growth of bacterias.
- Does not require sealing.
- Easy to keep clean with mild soap, water and a soft cloth
- Silestone offers three different textures: polished (glossy), suede (matte) and volcano (extra rugged)
- Silestone is the only brand that offers a certified 15-year transferable warranty, in writing.
- Silestone has a wide range of colours.
You still have to use common sense. For example, I would still use a trivet to place under a hot pot; I would still not slide anything across the counter that is sharp; I would clean up right away if I spilled red wine for example. The counter is highly “resistant” to many things but it doesn’t mean that it won’t ever stain or scratch.
So I knew that quartz was the only choice for my kitchen. I chose the Lagoon colour specifically because I have it in my bathroom and I love it. I didn’t want to go with a solid white as it would make my creamy cabinets look dingy. The Lagoon colour is a warm grey as you can see in these close up shots. It is made to mimic marble and I think it is a pretty good imposter. It has a slight pattern but the honed finish makes it look a bit faint I think, when I compare it to my bathroom counter which is polished. I chose the Suede finish without ever seeing the Lagoon in that finish and I really like it. I had read that the Suede finish doesn’t hold up as well as a regular, polished finish but I haven’t found that to be the case at all. But let me report back on that in a year from now!
If you pick a colour/pattern that isn’t busy, you won’t tire of it easily and you will keep it longer. That means less product ending up in landfills.
Some considerations/tips when choosing quartz:
- Try and see if your fabricator has a slab of the colour you choose so you can get a good read of how it will look. Those 4 x 4 samples can be very misleading!
- I like what is called an eased edge. It’s what I have in my kitchen and what I recommend nine times out of ten.
- If you don’t want to see a seam in your counter edges, go with what’s called 1-1/4″ material or 3 cm. If you choose 1-1/2″, two 3/4″ thicknesses are joined together and you will see a seam.
- Ensure you choose a reputable fabricator/installer who will ensure the seams (on the counter surface) aren’t that noticeable and the counter to wall is as tight a fit as possible.
All photos of my kitchen by Stephani Buchman.
- If you are changing your kitchen counter, it’s a good time to make some other changes to your kitchen. For example, I added a decorative end panel to the peninsula, so I had to ensure the correct counter overhang on that side taking into account the added panel. You have to have this figured out at the time of the template.
- Ensure your sink and faucet are on site when your counter template is done.
Silestone just introduced some new colours and I am loving one called Ariel. Now, I have yet to see it in person but online it looks a lot darker than the Lagoon, in the grey tones so it would look fabulous with white or grey cabinets:
If you have any questions about quartz in general or my counter, please ask a question in the comments.
Disclosure: Silestone by Cosentino provided me with product (installation not included) for my kitchen makeover but I have been a fan of their products for years. I have recommended to clients and already had Silestone Lagoon in my bathroom. All opinions and thoughts are entirely my own.
Happy Friday and stay warm! It’s fr-ee-zz-ing out there!
If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis.com.