What Are My Kitchen Countertops Options?

Are you thinking about installing kitchen countertops and asking what are my kitchen countertops options? Well, there are plenty of options you can go with, with the common ones being:

Natural stone countertops

From their name, these are countertops obtained from natural stone, and they include: soapstone, marble, slate, and granite countertops.

Granite countertops are one of the most popular, and they are sold primarily through local fabricators, but you will sometimes find them in home improvement stores and kitchen showrooms.

Granite comes in a wide range of colors ranging from variegated browns to vibrant blue. It goes that the rarer the color, the more expensive the stone, so if you are on a budget, you should stay away from the rare colors.

Marble is another popular natural stone countertop that has fewer color patterns than granite. Marble is relatively soft and porous than granite, which makes it more prone to stains.

Despite this, marble is regarded as an almost perfect work surface for activities such as making fresh pasta and baking.

Soapstone and slate aren’t as popular as granite and marble, and they come in far fewer colors than granite. Soapstone is usually dark greenish-black in color, but it’s not uncommon to find lighter green-gray slabs.

On the other hand, slate is extremely dense and comes in five subtle colors such as red, gray, green, black, and purple. You will sometimes find mottled purple and variegated purple slates with visible veins and shades of contrasting colors.

If working with an experienced contractor, soapstone and slate can be fabricated into sinks to match the countertops.

Like the other natural stone countertops, soapstone is porous, and you need to seal it to reduce staining regularly.

Solid surface countertops

Made from dense polyester, acrylic, or a blend of the two, solid surface countertops come in various colors and patterns. They are non-porous, which means they are highly stain and scratch-resistant. It also means that they are highly easy to maintain.

The unique thing about these countertops is they are renewable and repairable. This means that if you scratch or burn the surfaces, you can easily sand them out and fill the gouges.

The countertop seams are fused to create undetectable joints, making the countertops perfect for large or long sections of countertops and oversized island tops.


Concrete counters closely resemble natural stone and are popular among homeowners looking to create custom countertops.

Unlike the 80s concrete countertops where the fabricators messily poured the concrete on top of the cabinets, modern fabricators offer pre-cast counters made in the workshop then delivered to your home already fully cured and finished.

The pre-cast concrete counters are 1 ½ inch thick and are available in slabs of up to 10 feet long.

The fabricators can create them in any color, which is achieved by adding pigments to the concrete during mixing.

Once cured, the slabs are honed and sealed to prevent them from staining.

The major problem with concrete is cracking. Fabricators go around this by using wire mesh, metal bars, or fiberglass to strengthen them.

Engineered stone

Also known as quartz composite, engineered stone comprises 90% quartz and 10% acrylic or epoxy binder. The most popular composites under this category are: Silestone, Formica solid surfacing, and Corian Quartz.

You must be wondering what is the difference between the traditional solid surfacing and engineered stone countertops, right? Well, the difference is that engineered stone is much harder and has more depth than the other countertops. It also has clarity and radiance you won’t find in other countertops.

Ceramic tiles

Most homeowners now prefer countertops that are easy to install, maintain, and provide a seamless counter. Due to this, few countertops are covered with porcelain or ceramic tile.

While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you should rule out ceramic countertops for your project. The tiles make an excellent choice for backsplashes or secondary work surfaces such as islands, peninsulas, eat-at counters, and butler pantries.

Whether you are seeking countertop replacement services Rockville or any other service, you can install ceramic tiles, but you need to ensure that you install the right ones. Don’t install wall tiles on the counters as they are bound to crack as a rule of thumb.



What Is The Best Stone For Kitchen Countertops? Countertop Replacement Services Providers Answer

With lots of countertop materials in the market, many homeowners are confused about the right ones to go for. Are you wondering, what is the best stone for kitchen countertops? Here are some of the options to choose from as given by countertop replacement services providers:


Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. It has been around for centuries and is loved by homeowners as it completely transforms the kitchen when properly installed. The countertops give modest houses a pleasing, luxurious look.

For years, many homeowners have shied away from granite due to its high cost. Thankfully, due to technological advancements, its prices have drastically come down, making it more affordable.

Pros of the stone

  • Significantly adds value to your kitchen
  • Easy to maintain
  • Strong and durable
  • Almost impervious to heat
  • Comes in plenty of colors and designs


  • Tends to crack when exposed to a lot of stress or improperly installed
  • Not suitable for DIY installation
  • Expensive
  • Porous, so you need to seal it to prevent stains from coming about
  • Knives tend to quickly dull when you cut directly on the stone


Like granite, marble has been around since time immemorial, where you can see it even in palaces and other buildings that date back to the Roman era.

One of its most significant setbacks is its high price tag, which makes it impractical to install in large kitchens. Homeowners also see it as the material to install in specific areas of the kitchen, such as the island or sections of the countertop reserved as baking centers.

While marble is highly-priced, it doesn’t easily stain or scratch. To reduce its maintenance, you should seal it with a high-quality sealer.


Does your kitchen have an unusual shape, and you would like to maintain the unique look? Why not install concrete countertops? Homeowners have the impression the concrete used is the same you find in the sidewalks, but this isn’t the case.

The concrete used on the countertops is usually highly polished and often textured or even acid-stained to give it unique colors.

Pros of the stone

  • You can tint it to your preferred color
  • Gives your kitchen a unique, exotic look
  • Heat and scratch-resistant


  • You can’t install it on your own—you have to hire a professional to install it for you
  • You have to seal the surfaces to reduce the porosity
  • Cracking can happen
  • Gives the kitchen an industrial look which might be off-putting to potential homebuyers—if looking to sell the house later on.
  • Due to the customization, the cost of the stone might be high.


Also known as engineered stone, quartz comes in a wide range of colors and features a nonporous surface that is resistant to staining and scratching.


  • Even with minimal skills, you can install the countertop material
  • Quartz slabs are uniform, without any imperfections
  • You can custom fabricate the slabs into any size and shape
  • Due to its nonporous nature, the countertops are resistant to stains and impervious to heat and acid
  • Concrete is easy to maintain as you don’t need to seal it.


  • The countertops are expensive so unaffordable for many people
  • Quartz is heavy, which can add on a lot of weight on your surfaces.

Ceramic tile

Compared to quartz, marble, and other natural stone countertops, ceramic tile is much more affordable. The countertop material has undergone great transformations, so you will easily find porcelain tiles with different designs. You will find tiles that resemble wood, cork, marble, and even leather.


  • Affordable
  • Comes in a wide range of colors and styles
  • Resistant to heat damage from hot pans
  • Ideal for DIYers as they are easy to install
  • Easy to clean


  • If looking for custom tiles, they can easily get too expensive
  • They don’t carry the same prestige as quartz or granite which might put off future house buyers
  • Ceramic tiles are brittle and can easily crack when put under a lot of stress.

Over to you

There is no definite best stone countertop you can install in your home. The choice solely depends on your tastes and the look you want to create. To choose the right material, consult granite installers Rockville, or any other professionals.



What Causes Granite Countertops to Crack?

Granite countertops are tough, and the last thing you expect is the countertop developing cracks. Unfortunately, the countertops develop cracks. Some of the cracks are a natural part of the stone, while others are caused by use or wear and tear.

When you notice cracks on the countertops, you must be wondering, what causes granite to crack? The cracks are brought about by many things that include:

Natural fissures

As mentioned above, cracks can be natural. Granite is known to have natural fissure cracks that can turn into actual cracks. Natural fissures give the countertops character, and they are nothing to worry about.

If you hired an experienced professional, he might have already noticed them and ensured they aren’t in sensitive areas such as the seams, cut out, and cooktop.

Hard hit

The countertops will also crack if you hit them with a hard or heavy object.

Carrying it flat

While the countertop is made from natural rock, you shouldn’t carry it flat. Carrying it flat can cause injury to anyone carrying it. It can also cause damage to the floor or furniture. In some cases, it causes hairline cracks that can be problematic later on.

Placing a lot of weight on the countertop

In most cases, granite installers will leave a 12-inch overhang on the countertop bars and islands where you can sit and entertain. These areas are usually protected with ibraces or corbels.

These allow extra weight when appropriately installed, but when you place a lot of weight on the countertops, you put the countertops at the risk of cracking. In certain cases, the entire slab breaks and falls onto someone.

Failing to shim the countertops properly

Granite installers shim areas that aren’t touching cabinets. Unfortunately, floors, walls, and homes aren’t perfectly level. During installation, this can bring about plenty of problems, including cracks.

To ensure the areas don’t develop cracks due to weight issues, ensure that you look eye-level with your countertops so you can see the countertops underneath and notice any areas that aren’t touching the cabinet.

The area should have a shim over one foot and silicone to hold the shims.

Cracks due to natural calamity

If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes, your countertops are bound to crack. Hurricanes and tornadoes can pick debris, creating projectiles or missiles that can smash the countertops.

In most cases, the countertops won’t be damaged by a single impact, but the repeated impact will wear away at the countertops, finally leading to cracks.

Hot pots

Although, granite is naturally heat resistant, having been formed through heat, constant exposure to heat over extended periods can weaken the stone leading to cracks. The damage is extensive, especially if the stone is cold at the time of heat exposure, and the difference in temperatures is large.

How to repair a crack in granite

Depending on the size of the crack, you can repair it. There are plenty of ways you can repair it. Some of these ways include:

Using acrylic or epoxy: You can use acrylic or epoxy to glue the pieces together. Your choice material will be influenced by the nature and severity of the crack. You can do the filling by yourself or hire an expert to help you out.

Polishing the cracks: If the cracks are large, you can make them less conspicuous by polishing them. Polishing the countertops requires skill, so you should avoid doing the work by yourself.

When hiring a granite contractor Potomac, ensure he is certified and has been in the industry for a long time. You don’t want someone that will do a mediocre job, do you?

Do nothing: Did you know doing nothing can be a viable way of fixing cracks in the countertops? If the crack are short and hairlike, they present no real problems, so you have nothing to worry about.

Small cracks don’t pose any cleaning issues, and stains aren’t a problem. If you have tried ignoring the cracks without success, consider applying a little extra sealer over the crack, and it will prevent the cracks from being too conspicuous.



Countertop Replacement Services: Understanding Faux Stone Countertops

Also known as faux stone, manufactured stone veneer is a manmade material designed to replicate the look of natural stone.

It comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and you can use it in different areas, including: stone backsplash, interior walls, fireplaces, and even in your countertop replacement project, especially if you are strained of money.

Would you like to know more about the stone veneer? Here are a few things you should know about it as given by the countertop replacement services provider:

How is stone veneer made?

The stone is composed of lightweight natural aggregates, Portland cement, and iron oxide that adds the color. The materials are put in a mold then pressed in high pressure resulting in highly dense, realistic-looking finished stone.

The first stone veneer was made in the 19th century and interesting enough, it was made from natural stone.

The manufacturers sliced natural stone into thick slabs then sold them. Although cement is a significant component of the veneer, it wasn’t part of it until the 1950s. Currently, most of the modern veneer stones are made from molds taken from carefully selected natural stone.

Some of the manufacturers go to the extent of replicating the rough and unique textures of natural stone, making it almost impossible to differentiate the two.

Is the stone veneer right for your home?

This is a subjective question. If you don’t like the natural look of stone veneer, you won’t like the surfaces in your home regardless of how good of an investment they are. On the other hand, if you like the natural look, then you will be proud of having the veneers in place.

How does veneer compare to natural stone?

In addition to being highly versatile, manufactured stone is cheaper, where it costs up to 1/3 the cost of natural stone. Since most of the manufacturers aim to produce veneer stones that closely resemble solid stone as much as possible, veneer stones tend to exhibit the same variations in size, shape, texture, and color to natural stone.

Just like natural stone countertops, stone veneer is maintenance-free. All you need to keep it looking spectacular is washing it to remove dirt and dust.

Since the material is cheap, you can save on your project without sacrificing on custom details.

Can you install the veneers by yourself?

Yes, you can install the material by yourself if you have the skills, but for ideal results, you should handle the project by yourself. If you have never done it before, let an expert veneer contractor help you out.

If you are confident in your skills, you should go ahead and try to install the veneers by yourself. Before you begin the project, check with the building inspector about the local building code requirements. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law, do you?

You should then choose veneer from different boxes that vary in shapes and color. When it comes to the installation, begin working from the corners, then work your way down from the top. This prevents mortar from staining the stones below.

If you discover the mortar dripping on one of the stones, wait for a day or two for it to dry before brushing it off with a whisk broom. If possible, hide the edges that you trimmed by pointing them up or down, above or below your eye level.

Once you are done, you can paint your new countertops to your preferred colors or let them retain their original color.


There is no denying that manufactured stone veneer comes with plenty of benefits. It’s cheaper, lightweight, comes in a wide range of colors, and ideal for both domestic and commercial applications.

If you feel it’s right for your home, work with reputable granite installers Rockville or any other professionals that will not only help you find the ideal material for your home, but also help you with the installation.

You can find contractors from friends or relatives. If none of them have hired a contractor in the recent past, try a Google search. When doing your research, pay attention to the reviews as they will guide you on the reputation of the contractor.



FAQs About Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop types in the market. While they have been around for a long time, few people know much about them. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the countertops:

Should you use the countertops in the kitchen?

Granite is perfect for use in the kitchen. Since the material is tough, it doesn’t etch, scratch, or warp; therefore, you don’t need to do much to keep it in top condition. The only thing you should do is to seal it during the installation and at least once a year thereafter.

Can granite get damaged?

One of the prime reasons people go for the countertops is because they are tough. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean they can’t get damaged. If you don’t take good care of them, they are bound to get damaged. For example, if you hit the countertops with a hard object, the countertops will develop a crack.

The countertops will also get damaged if you place hot objects on the surfaces.

Does granite stain?

When you seal the countertops properly, they don’t stain; however, if you poorly stain them or leave them unstained, they are bound to get stained. So, to prevent stains from developing, you should ensure that the surfaces are sealed by a professional.

You should note that even if your surfaces are properly sealed, they will develop stains if you leave liquids on them for a long time. To avoid this, make it a habit of wiping off the liquids as soon as they happen.

Are the countertops expensive?

Just like any other good quality product, the countertops don’t come cheap. While this is the case, there are several things you can do to reduce the cost. When you decide to install the countertops, don’t rush to buying them. Take time to visit different stores and see what they have to offer.

Compare the prices and the quality and buy from the store selling the highest quality products at the least cost. You should note that if you come across a company selling the products at a cost that is below the standard market prices, you will most likely be getting scammed.

To avoid this, only buy from a reputable company. Luckily, you can tell how reliable the company is by reading their online reviews.

Does granite harbor bacteria?

In addition to being used in residential properties, it’s also heavily used in the food and medical industry due to its sanitary qualities. As long as you regularly clean and care for the granite, there are zero chances that it will harbor bacteria and cause illness.

Is it wise to cut on granite?

Due to its tough nature, you might have the impression that you can go ahead and cut on the countertops, but this would be wrong. While it’s tough, the knives, especially the hot ones, can get into the countertops causing minor scratches. If you repeatedly cut on the countertops, you leave too many marks that give the countertops a cheap look.

To preserve the look of the countertops, always use a cutting board anytime you are looking to cut anything. You also should avoid placing hot pots and pans on the countertops.

Do the countertops need to be cleaned?

You should clean the countertops just like you clean marble countertops and any other countertop pieces you might be having in your home. For ideal results, use dish soap, powdered soap, and all-purpose cleaners. Never use abrasive products as they will damage the surfaces.

When should you replace the countertops?

Granite is designed to last for years, but you can opt to replace it due to many reasons. One of the reasons is if you are no longer excited by the current look of the countertops. You also should consider replacing the countertops if you are looking to improve the design and look of your house.

It’s also wise to replace the countertops if they are too old. Regardless of the reason, you are looking to undertake countertop replacement, ensure that an expert granite contractor Potomac does the work. Just like with the countertops store, ensure that the contractor is reputable and has been providing the service for a long time.



Quartz Countertops Installation Problems And How To Counter Them

Adding quartz countertops to your kitchen is an excellent way of brightening up your surfaces. The countertops are also tough, so when you install them, you are confident you have a surface that can withstand heavy use.

Are you looking to install the countertops in your home? You should know that plenty of problems can come about during installation. The most common ones being:

Visible seams

Imagine this. You get into a house after the countertop installer has given the green light. The countertop color is perfect as it complements the floor and cabinets, but on a closer look, you notice a long and obvious seam where the counter pieces join together.

Your heart sinks as this isn’t what you wanted. When you began the project, you wanted your new countertops to be visually unmarred, but this isn’t the case. There are large unsightly seams. Your project isn’t a success.

Your countertops will have an unsightly seam when they are poorly installed. Discuss with your installer and agree on how you are going to go about it. They might have to remove the countertops then install them anew, or they can seal the seams, so they are invisible.

Countertop cracks

In most cases, the countertops will crack when there are problems with the cabinets, such as the cabinets not being of the same height.

If this happens during installation, the installation professional should fix it as part of their job, but if the cracks come about after installation, you should get in touch with your contractor and ask them to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Scratches, dents, and other problems due to poor workmanship

When you decide to update your kitchen, you want the project to be perfect, but it’s not always the case. Scratches and dents are a common sign of poor workmanship, and they happen when you hire a cheap, inexperienced contractor.

Accidents are common during installation, but you shouldn’t accept shoddy workmanship.  If the dent or scratch is due to installer’s fault, ask them to fix it immediately.

How can you prevent the problems from coming about?

Luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent the above issues from coming about and leading to loss of money. Some of the things you can do include:

Hire an expert

Many homeowners try to cut costs by hiring the cheapest contractor they find. Quality and low prices don’t go together, so you can’t expect exceptional workmanship from a cheap contractor.

To reduce the chances of countertop problems coming about, hire an experienced professional. While they will come at a premium price, they are worth it as they will expertly install the countertops.

When choosing a contractor, keep your eyes out for scammers that might try to rip you off. If the contractor charges you a price that is way off the standard rates, they are most likely ripping you off, and you should stay away from them.

Protect your cabinets

Contractors join countertops with cabinets using adhesives. Sometimes the adhesive can get on the face of the cabinets giving them an ugly look. To avoid this, protect the cabinets before you start the installation.

Protect the cabinets by applying a strip of painter’s tape to the face of cabinets. This ensures that no dripping adhesive makes contact with the cabinets.

Use supports where necessary

Quartz counters are heavy; thus, not all cabinets can hold them. The surfaces might also have unsupported areas such as desks and overhangs that might require additional support.

If your cabinets aren’t strong enough, place backer boards or plywood under them. If there are unsupported areas greater than 12-inches, use a steel plate, corbels, or any other material to provide support and prevent sagging or even cracking of the surfaces.

Have everything else ready

Before you ask the quartz countertop installer Rockville to begin the installation, ensure everything else is in place. The electrical and plumbing should be roughed, the walls should already be painted and dry, the cabinets should be installed, the flooring should be finished, and the appliances should at least be at hand if not already in place.

This significantly reduces the chances of problems coming about as no other contractor will touch the countertops after installing them.