When it comes to your kitchen, you are the ultimate authority on taste, style and daily use. Your kitchen says a lot about your lifestyle whether your habits include entertaining children, teenagers or esteemed colleagues who expect nothing but the best.
No matter what you use your kitchen for, it goes without saying that you need countertops that can live up to your standards. For example, if your kitchen experiences the pitter-patter of plenty of children’s feet on a daily basis, you may need something more durable as well as stain and spill resistant. If you love playing host or hostess to a large number of friends on a regular basis, you might be looking for something that gives a more sleek aesthetic appeal, yet still retains the ability to be a comfortable surface on which to lean and converse.
When it comes down to it, the choice you make when it comes to your kitchen countertops is an important one. There are a lot of opinions out there, but sometimes, it’s a matter of narrowing it down to two options and picking that which will suit your needs and goals best.
That being said, two very popular choices that homeowners find themselves torn between is granite countertops and soapstone countertops. Both present definite advantages as well as factors to consider. The following are some points to take into account when deciding which of these two surfaces will make the final cut and become your future kitchen countertops.
What to expect if you go with granite
Granite is a much sought-after kitchen countertop material and with good reason. The fashion in which granite is not only mined, but subsequently manufactured creates a beautiful, diverse and colorful final product that if properly maintained, can stay in your home for years to come. Homeowners love granite countertops for their durability, aesthetic appeal and overall ability to fit in seamlessly with a variety of interior décor themes.
It’s important to factor in your budget when considering granite countertops. A delicate mining and manufacturing process can increase the cost and if you insist on purchasing colors that fall on the rare end of granite such as black, you’ll have to expect to spend a little more. Additionally, granite must be professionally installed in order to make sure the stone is not damaged, as it’s very heavy in its final state and not easily maneuvered.
The advantage of professional installation is the option to customize your granite countertop edges while the installers are at work. Granite can be beveled to your personal taste and style quite easily, which gives an even more unique impression to your kitchen’s look.
When it comes to maintenance, granite requires a generous amount of TLC. Naturally a porous stone, granite needs to be sealed annually at a minimum. Many homeowners choose to do it more often just to make sure their countertops retain their original brilliance and shine. Sealing granite countertops keeps them from wearing from moisture damage and can also help prevent etching.
Let’s say you go with soapstone
The appeal of soapstone lies in it’s incredible durability and flexibility. A naturally non-porous stone, soapstone can be used not only as your kitchen countertop, but also as the sink itself. In fact, many homeowners are drawn towards soapstone for the aesthetic appeal of being able to seamlessly match sinks to countertops and have them remain moisture-resistant.
Similarly, their durability extends to heat resistance. While natural stone is never 100% immune from heat damage, soapstone holds up remarkably well in the event a hot pan is placed on the surface and for this reason, can be extended to a surface that closes in your oven range without worry.
Color-wise, soapstone doesn’t boast the same variety in color palette that granite does and it’s texture tends to be smoother and less dynamic. However, when it comes to upkeep, it requires less maintenance than granite countertops. Not only do soapstone countertops not require sealing, but they can be cleaned with generic household cleaners without wearing down over time.
Consider your options and lifestyle
While both granite countertops and soapstone countertops are desirable surface choices, it’s essential that you consider your lifestyle and needs before installing one or the other. If it’s a true aesthetic quality and longevity that you’re after and you’re willing to put in the maintenance to get that, granite countertops will be the way to go. On the other hand, if your kitchen sees greater amount of foot traffic and those in your home are prone to spills, soapstone would be a sure way to keep your countertops looking shiny despite those inevitable accidents. Additionally, you won’t have to invest as much time in the general upkeep that goes along with granite. No matter what you choose, make sure that your countertops work for you and speak to the style and tone you want to set in your home.