If you are stuck with the choice of countertops while remodeling your home, here’s something valuable for you. With the wide range of options available, it’s natural to land up in a dilemma over the right kind of countertop. You may need professional guidance to decide whether to go for natural or artificial materials for these countertops.
In this article, we will discuss the different types of man-made countertops. We have also compared some of these products with their natural counterparts. Read on to get an idea of man-made countertops and how they can enhance the look of your kitchen.
Homeowners habitually seek professional assistance while choosing and installing their countertops. You can click here to have a consultation with the experts in this regard.
What Are The Different Types Of Man-Made Countertops?
You will come across different types of man-made countertops in the market. However, not all these come under the category of ‘stone.’ Of course, you have engineered stones like quartz, gaining popularity over the years in domestic and commercial kitchens. Some other man-made countertops include
- Cultured marble
- Recycled glass
- Concrete, and
- Paper countertops.
You also have some solid surface countertops that fall under the category of artificial ones. A significant component of these countertops is their stone percentage.
Concrete, quartz, porcelain, and stainless steel are some of the popular types of man-made countertops.
Households with a large number of family members often go for quartz counters. These are durable and come in different designs and colors. In these countertops, you have around 93% pure quartz bound together by artificial products like resin or cement. Quartz counters are popular for their incredible hardness, porous surface, and visual appeal. Besides, you need not reseal these countertops.
Concrete counters are trendy for their modern and industrial looks. Even if you have a chic farmhouse kitchen, a concrete counter can be a valuable integration. This material can give a striking and bold look to your kitchen. Concrete comes with a long lifeline, and you can easily customize the design and colors. However, it takes a little longer to install concrete counters. You also need to seal these concrete countertops.
Porcelain is comparatively cheaper than some other man-made countertops. This material is popular among homeowners as it is resistant to scratches and stains. Besides, porcelain counters are ideal for outdoor kitchens, as they offer high resistance to damage caused by sunlight.
Stainless steel has made its way into both residential and commercial kitchens. With this integration, your kitchen would look industrial and stylish. It is easy to maintain stainless steel countertops. However, it becomes tough to clean the mess if you ignore cleaning them immediately.
All you need is a little water and soap to clean the surface of the slabs. The water spots and fingerprints on stainless steel counters are also fewer. However, stainless steel counters are susceptible to scratches and dents. On the positive side, this material is completely non-porous and incredibly durable.
What Is The Best Man-Made Countertop?
Considering the relative benefits, quartz countertops happen to be the best man-made countertop. They are known for their durability, beauty, and ease of maintenance. People looking for alternatives for natural stone countertops often opt for engineered quartz stone.
However, these man-made countertops are on the expensive side. If you are looking for something affordable, you might go for solid surface and laminate counters. However, going cheaper with these options would ultimately lead to a compromise in the quality. With solid surface and laminate countertops, you have a wide range of designs and color variants to choose from. But, these materials may develop cracks faster than quartz countertops.
Comparison Between Natural And Man-Made Countertop
Here is a comparative sketch of both natural and man-made countertops to help you decide better:
Quartz countertops cost almost the same as granite counters. However, some variants of quartz counters may cost a little higher than granite. You have a wide range of color and design patterns to choose from in both these types of countertops.
The cost of man-made counters is almost the same as the natural ones due to specific reasons. Besides, in both these types of materials, the local warehousing and transportation costs remain the same. While quartz counters need to be manufactured, the granite ones need to be quarried. On average, quartz counters cost around $60 to $80 per square foot. Other natural materials such as marble would cost around $40 per square foot.
Maintenance And Cleaning
Man-made countertops like quartz stone do not involve any sealing. Besides, it is resistant to stains. However, you should not apply harsh chemicals on the slab, as it might get discolored. On the other hand, granite and other natural countertops are not resistant to stains. You need to seal these slabs regularly to prevent staining.
The efforts required for cleaning countertops made of granite and quartz are almost the same. You would require a mild soap, water, and sponge to clean the surfaces.
Quartz counters fare better than natural materials like granite when it comes to heat resistance. Particularly, when it comes to hot pans, quartz can resist the heat for brief periods. Regardless of the type of countertop, you should refrain from placing hot pans directly on the surface. Besides, both these materials are resistant to scratches and etching when exposed to acids.
The installation prices broadly vary while you compare man-made and natural countertops. Depending on the design and color patterns of these counters, the installation price would differ. It all varies as per the professionalism of the installer and the quality of services.
Man-made countertops score a few points over the natural ones, particularly considering their low maintenance and durability. In any case, you need to seek a professional consultation if you are planning to get one installed at your home. Quartz countertops continue to be the top pick among the man-made options. However, you also have porcelain and concrete and a few other materials on the lower end.