Designer Lisa Worth goes beneath the surface to bring us the hard facts on the top countertops.
- Perfect for the traditionalist.
- Natural stone boasts beautiful organic veining.
- Not for the faint of heart: It's the most fragile material!
- From $60/sq. ft. for Carrera to $150/sq. ft. for high-end white marble, installed and templated.
- Popular white and gray marbles (e.g. Statuario, Calcutta, Blanco Carrera) will show signs of wear and tear more readily as lighter stones are more porous.
- Test for sealing: Splash water on the counter and if it beads, you're good; if it absorbs, you need to seal.
- Sealing should be done every few months but is easy to do: Just wipe on and leave overnight.
- Nano seal is a professional seal that only needs to be applied every four to five years.
- It's the most popular/biggest seller for a variety of reasons, including its durability and natural quality.
- Granite makes a statement, and if that's what you're looking for, then it's the perfect material for you! But if you're going for a more subtle and delicate feel, you'll be hard pressed to find a granite that works with your look.
- From $55/sq. ft. to $95/sq. ft. for high-end granite and beyond for exotics, installed and templated.
- Granite must be sealed every year.
- Quartz is the hardest substance known to man; in fact, it's bulletproof!
- Engineered products contain over 93% quartz and very few fillers, which used to be common in other composite materials.
- Offers a contemporary, modern look and feel.
- Comes in 120-in. x 56-in. slabs, so it won't work for a large countertop surface, such as an island. (Seams are a big no-no!)
- $80/sq. ft., installed and templated.
- Requires no maintenance at all!
- The latest up-and-coming material to hit the countertop scene.
- Extremely eco-friendly.
- Contains very little filler.
- Comes in a variety of colours.
- Non-porous material, which means it won't stain.
- May scratch easily, and high temperatures (e.g. hot pot on counter) can cause cracking.
- $150/sq. ft. (on par with Calcutta), installed and templated.
- No maintenance necessary.
- Scratches can be polished out.
Decor diva Lisa Worth is president of Worth Interior Design, where she consistently delivers creative, intelligent design solutions for a growing roster of clients. A native of Toronto, Lisa lives in Aurora, Ont.
A special thanks to Stone Edge Marble & Granite Inc. for supplying the countertop samples featured on the show and to architect Monica E. Kuhn for letting us tour the kitchen space she designed.