A Case for Stone Kitchen Countertops
When trying to determine what kind of kitchen countertops to select, it many times becomes a challenge to decide which material to choose. All too often a homeowner begins by looking at price. When this happens, it creates a hurdle for stone fabricators to overcome. How can stone fabricators overcome these seemingly insurmountable challenges of having to compete with economical materials of which countertops are made? Indeed, what is the case for stone kitchen countertops? In this post, we will consider that question.
The Appeal of A Low Price
In order to make a solid case for using stone (whether natural or engineered), we first must acknowledge the appeal that is projected by a very low price. The draw of a material with a low cost is so powerful because of the perceived value it immediately conveys. After all, nobody wants to pay more for something than they have to. But is a low price always better?
I am sure that if you are a fabricator, you are well aware of the fact that not
every product offers the same quality. You have come to appreciate that the
monetary price is merely one aspect of the overall value of a particular item.
Yet it is so easy to slip into the thinking that the price tag is the only
thing that matters. However, the real focus should be on the real (not perceived) value of the product. And this real value is based on more than the price tag.
The Value of Stone Kitchen Countertops
In a sense, the price of a product is a reflection of the value of the item to
which it is attached. So if two products are compared and one is priced
significantly higher than the other, then it makes sense to ask, “Why is this product priced higher than this other one?” Yet, often times, the consumer does not ask that question. So why are stone countertops more valuable (with higher prices) than other countertop materials?
Visual Appeal has Value
One important aspect of value is the way something looks. The opinion of what looks good is subjective and different people have differing opinions of what is good looking. Nevertheless, there are some factors that seem to appeal to more people. Still, for the most part, consumers prefer to have a variety of options. Because of this, most countertop materials are available in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns.
Another aspect of an item’s value is how long it lasts. not just how long it
works, rather how long it maintains its character, appearance, and ability to perform. These are all contributing factors when considering the durability of kitchen countertops; stone or otherwise.
Maintainability and Valuation
If one were to make an assessment of all the other factors and yet forget to
consider the maintainability of a countertop material, it could become an issue down the road. Choosing a material that is difficult to maintain translates into a lot more work for the owner of the countertop. Having to spend time on maintenance takes away from the joy of the product. So, this too must be considered when determining the value of a countertop material.
Now that we have established that visual appeal, durability, and maintainability are additional factors of countertop’s along with price, we can begin to make our case for stone kitchen countertops.
Why Stone Countertops Are a Good Choice
As we have already established, getting a true grasp of the value of a
countertop material requires more than simply determining whether the price on the item is what a person wants to pay. In fact, we could say that each of the following facets of the countertop should also be taken into account:
- Visual Appeal
To make a case for stone countertops, we will consider each of those aspects and we will compare stone kitchen countertops to other materials in the process.
Stone Countertop Prices
One of the most notable comparisons between stone (natural) and laminate countertops is that of pricing. One comparative estimate figures granite countertops to be anywhere from 3-6 times the cost of laminate. So if the price was the only thing considered, the choice would nearly always be laminate. Yet, as we mentioned earlier, the price is not the only factor.
The Visual Appeal of Natural Stone
One of the factors that swings heavily in the favor of stone countertops is the visually appealing nature of stone kitchen countertops and especially natural stone surfaces.
Natural stone varies so much in texture, color, and composition that there is a natural stone for virtually any taste. And while non-stone options come in a variety, and even striving to look as much like stone kitchen
countertops as possible, imitations are still identifiable.
Stone Kitchen Surfaces Are Durable
What good is a low cost product if it only lasts a fraction of the time that
another product does? Having to replace a countertop repeatedly because of damage can increase the price tag tremendously.
Stone kitchen countertops are much more durable than other options. Whether we are talking about engineered stone kitchen countertops or natural stone kitchen countertops, each of these outlast many of the non-stone choices.
We won’t delve into the differences between every kind of stone material and what it takes to care for and maintain each one, but rest assured
every countertop has specific care instructions that will have to be followed in order to keep that specific surface in top shape.
For the most part, each material will have specified cleaners for use on the
surface. For example, there are natural stone cleaners and engineered stone cleaners that are formulated for their respective materials. Additionally, stone surfaces may require sealer to be applied periodically.
Non-stone Surfaces Require Care & Maintenance
As mentioned above, all countertops will have care and maintenance requirements. For example, wooden countertops require periodic oiling and cutting boards protect the surface.
Or, considering laminate countertops reveals that no hot pots or pans are to be on the surface. Additionally, laminate requires specific cleaner to protect the finish. That harmonizes with the other materials mentioned in this post.
Consider All Aspects of Cost
Since there is more to the “cost” of the countertop than just the price on the sticker, consumers do well to ponder all the data before deciding on a material.
When you boil it down, there are pros and cons to every countertop surface type. Whether you feel like the evidence we have presented is enough to make a case for selecting stone kitchen countertops or not, one thing is for sure. Sound reasons exist for looking at more than the monetary cost of materials used for kitchen countertops.