by Jeremy Troetti / November 05, 2019
Table of Contents
Last updated on December 20, 2019
The addition of new countertops to your home is the sign of a remodeling project nearing its conclusion. Choosing countertops is no small matter; you want to find something that you will enjoy not only now, but for many years to come.
When searching for countertops, you will find many options. While natural stone is very appealing, there are also many man-made materials on the market. This guide will inform you on what your man-made options are and how they compare to natural stone.
What Types of Man-Made Countertops Exist?
Even if you narrow down your countertop selection to just man-made surfaces, you will still have plenty of different options to choose from. Whether it is quartz, laminate, solid surface or others, you will certainly not be limited in terms of your options.
What is the Best Type of Man-Made Countertop?
While you are the ultimate judge of which man-made countertop is best for your home, one particular option stands out above the rest. Quartz countertops are not only beloved for their beauty, but also their durability and easy maintenance requirements. These surfaces are very often seen as the most viable alternative to natural stone countertops.
On the other hand, when it comes to cost, laminate and solid surface countertops will have the edge over quartz. That said, while you can save cost with laminate and solid surface countertops, you will be sacrificing quality – something you never want to do with such a large addition to the home. Laminate and solid surface countertops will offer various styles to choose from, but both materials are prone to cracking and other damages.
What Exactly is Quartz?
Now that you know quartz is one of your best man-made countertop options, you may be wondering: What exactly is this material? Quartz countertops, which you will also hear referred to as engineered stone countertops, are a manufactured product. These surfaces are made by combining roughly 90 percent quartz mineral with about 10 percent polyresin. These specific percentages can vary based on different brands but will always be in the same area.
You can find quartz countertops in virtually any color or style that you desire. You can even find many styles that look just like granite, marble and other types of natural stone.
Quartz countertops are stain resistant, crack resistant and do not require the sealing that natural stone countertops do, among many other benefits.
How Do Man-Made Countertops Compare to Natural Stone Countertops?
Laminate countertops and solid surface countertops (such as Corian) do have their appeal. The surfaces can be stylish, although they are not the best choice for long-lasting kitchen countertops. While granite countertops are often viewed as the best option for a durable countertop, quartz countertops are near the top of the list as well. With quartz, you will get many of the same benefits as granite, while not having to seal the surface.
When it comes to cost, granite surely has the edge over quartz. Despite not being natural stone, quartz countertops are highly sought after because of their positive qualities. Below is a cost comparison chart for quartz countertops and natural stone countertops.
|Granite||Between $35 to $75 per square foot|
|Marble||Between $40 to $100 per square foot|
|Quartz||Between $50 to $120 per square foot|
When it comes to countertop materials, finding the best fit for your home is important. You will likely only be installing new countertops in your home once, so you will want to make sure you are satisfied with your choice. This guide explained what man-made countertops you can find on the market as well as how these surfaces compare to popular natural stone options.