What Is A Cheaper Alternative To Granite Countertops?

Every homeowner dreams about installing granite in their homes. Unfortunately, the countertops don’t come cheap. If you have always wanted to install granite in your home, but the price is out of your reach, you must be wondering, what is a cheaper alternative to granite countertops, right? Well, there are many of them, with the common ones being:


Also known as engineered stone, quartz is one of the most affordable alternatives you can go with. Contractors recommend it when you are looking to achieve simple luxury. The good thing about it is that it comes in different shades and colors, so you will find one that fits your style.

Quartz is also non-porous, meaning that it’s easy to clean and doesn’t stain easily.

Since the countertop is an engineered stone, you can modify it to a glossy or matte surface. And the presence of resin means you don’t need to keep sealing it, which makes it even easier to maintain.

While quartz is an excellent alternative to granite, it has its drawbacks. One of the drawbacks being that it’s easily damaged by heat. This means that if you place hot pots and pans on it, the countertop is bound to melt and burn, leaving a blackened indentation.

Marble countertops

Yes, some marble varieties are cheaper than granite. To avoid spending too much money on the countertops, avoid rare and exotic varieties.

The beauty of marble is that it has a timeless beauty, and when properly installed, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing countertops you can have. The countertop also comes in a variety of colors and veining patterns.

While it comes in a variety of inviting colors, it’s relatively soft and porous which means that it will chip and scratch easily when put under pressure and hard wear. The porosity also puts the stone at the risk of staining.

It will also absorb any foods, liquids, and cleaning chemicals that you put on it, making it difficult to clean.


If you want a countertop that looks like marble but is more durable and heat resistant, you should consider quartzite. Quartzite forms when sandstone shifts deeper into the earth’s mantle, raising the sandstone’s temperature and forcing it to crystallize.

The good thing is that, unlike marble, quartzite is exceptionally durable and doesn’t scratch easily. The countertop is also heat and stain-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about scratching or burning it.

While the countertop is great and might look like marble, it’s limited in the color area where it doesn’t have as many color varieties as marble.

Sintered stone

Sintered stone is engineered stone made from quartz and ceramic particles. The particles that make up sintered stone are treated with high pressure and heat to form a crystallized stone in the lab.

Sintered stone can be made from different materials, which gives it different color varieties and patterns.

With a hardened level of 7/10 on the Mohs hardness scale, sintered stone is one of the hardest and durable materials you can have. It’s even less porous, making it easy to maintain as you don’t have to worry about sealing it.

It’s heat resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on it without worrying about causing cracks and damage.

While the stone is great, its made in the laboratory which makes it less environmentally friendly than natural stone materials.


Wooden countertops can be made from different materials such as oak, maple, cherry, bamboo, and walnut.

Since it’s soft and more forgiving, when you drop a glass on a wooden countertop, it will never break like it’s the case with granite.

While this softness is good, it can sometimes result in chips, cut marks, and cracks.

To keep your wooden countertops looking great, you need to treat them monthly with mineral oils. You also should seal the countertops to keep them clean and stain-free.

There you go

These are some of the best and cheapest granite alternatives. If you aren’t sure about the right one to go for, get the input of a professional. They will advise whether to go for wood or quartz countertops Potomac depending on the look you want to achieve and your budget.



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.



7 Ways You Are Destroying Your Granite Countertops

Did you know you could be destroying your granite countertops without even knowing? Here is how you could be doing it:

Failing to use a cutting board

Granite slabs are tough, so nothing can destroy them, right? Wrong. When you cut directly on the countertops, fine scratches develop that disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops. This makes the countertops more susceptible to damage.

Placing vegetables directly on the countertops is also harmful as the vegetables tend to contain acids that etch at the countertops leading to damage.

For you to keep the countertops in top shape, avoid cutting anything directly on them. The best way out is always to have a cutting board in place.

Putting the car keys on the countertops

After a long day at work, what do you do? You throw the car keys on the countertops, right? This is wrong because the keys cause scratches on the countertops.

Just as you shouldn’t place keys on the countertops, you also shouldn’t place handbags there either. The metal dots on the bottom of the bags scratch the countertops leading to damage.

What should you do?

You should create a specific area to place the keys after work. Most people have a unique bowl at the door entrance to place the keys. You should place one there too. For the handbags, hang a few nails on the door where you will be hanging your bag after work.

Using the wrong cleaning products

Did you know that the cleaning products you use to clean kitchen countertops has a significant impact on the life of your countertops? As a rule of thumb, don’t use vinegar as it dulls the countertops. You also should avoid products that are too acidic as they are known to destroy the countertops.

If you regularly clean your countertops, soap and water are enough to leave your countertops in top shape. If you have to use cleaning products, find those that are specifically designed for your countertops.

Placing frozen food on the countertops

It’s common for homeowners to place frozen foods on their countertops when unpacking their groceries. This is wrong as the moisture from the frozen foods ends up damaging the countertops.

You should place the foods in another area way from the countertops such as on the floor. If you have to use the countertops, lay a plastic paper before placing the foods. This way, you prevent the water from getting to the countertops.

After unpacking the groceries, wipe the countertops thoroughly to prevent stains from coming about.

Placing hot appliances on the countertops

Even if your countertops are tough, heat from heat-producing appliances such as ovens can destroy them. So always work at preventing damage to the countertops as much as possible. You can easily do this by placing a barrier between the appliances and countertops.

You can use a dish towel, plate, or cutting board.

Failing to clean the spills when they happen

When spills happen, some homeowners ignore them as they feel that their countertops are sealed; hence they can’t allow the liquids to get in. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Even if you have sealed your countertops with the highest quality countertop sealing products, liquids are bound to pass through if you allow them to sit on the countertops for a long time.

As you might guess, for you to prevent the spills from destroying your countertops, you should get rid of them immediately. To prevent spills, have coasters in place all the time.

Placing heavy objects near the edges

This often happens when homeowners are from grocery stores. They will come with heavy grocery loads and put them on the sides of the countertops. If the edges or joints are unsupported, they will fracture, crack, or even rupture.

When you are back in the house from the grocery store, place the groceries on the floor. If you have to put them on the countertops, place them at the center—not on the edges.

Just as you shouldn’t place heavy loads on the countertops, granite countertop installers Rockville also advise against standing or sitting on the countertops. You also shouldn’t place heavy kitchen appliances such as microwaves on the surfaces.