One of the most common dilemmas in remodeling a kitchen is what material to choose for the countertop. Granite became really popular about 10 years ago and just as a hit song can get overplayed, many people feel that granite has become a bit commonplace and are looking for something more unique. That being said, granite is still an excellent choice for many reasons (hardness, solid surface, variety of color, etc.), but if you are in the market for something different, there are a plethora of materials to choose from. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I will explore the merits of those other choices and let you decide for yourself.
Marble is softer than granite, so it does scratch and stain, but many people feel the patina is part of the beauty. That being said, if you want your marble to look exactly the same in 10 years as it did when it was installed, it may not be the best choice…especially if you are not super diligent about wiping up spills right when they happen. The benefit of marble is that it has beautiful movement via contrasting veins and there are many colors and varieties to choose from.
For this East Bay kitchen remodel, Denise Maloney Interior Design chose a combination of crema marfil marble for the main countertops and emperador dark marble for the island. The contrast of the light and dark stones and the beautiful veining in the emperador dark is stunning.
Soapstone is a soft, non-porous, natural stone. Despite its softness, it’s pretty resilient stuff. It is always a dark stone, will continue to darken over time and always has a honed surface. People who cook love it because it’s an excellent heat insulator and does not stain easily. The drawbacks to soapstone are that it scratches rather easily, so you will have to rub those out or sand them down, and it does require maintenance (has to be wiped down with mineral oil).
Stay tuned for more countertop materials in the coming weeks…