Here on the Sweeten blog, we aim to translate insight from NYC renovators and contractors into information you can use to make better decisions about improving your home. Here is a rundown of a few of our favorite kitchen countertops from Sweeten projects: gorgeous photos plus a little nerdy renovation research, all below.
Quartz is a type of engineered stone, made from a combination of mineral, pigment, and resin, and available in a wide range of colors and texture complexity. Quartz has become the most popular countertop material in Sweeten kitchen renovations probably because it is slightly less expensive, per square foot, than some of its other natural stone cousins, and because it is prized for extreme durability, resistance to stains and scratches, and its non-porous surface, which helps retain polish without sealants or waxes.
“The stone is my favorite thing about the new space – it’s like having a piece of fine art right in my kitchen.” – Ketrina, Clinton Hill homeowner
Ketrina in Clinton Hill chose a quartzite countertop in cream-colored Madreperola (Mother of Pearl).
Claire and Mike in Park Slope chose a quartzite countertop in Dolomite “super white”.
“I love having guests over and can invite them to sit at the counter while I’m prepping snacks or a meal.” – Heather, Sweeten homeowner
Granite is a natural stone with wide variation in color and detail. Its resistance to heat and scratches makes it a classic in the kitchen. Granite is known for its durability but can require periodic re-sealing.
Robyn and Alejandro in Brooklyn’s Columbia Waterfront District chose a granite countertop with gray undertones and luminous purple specks.
Marble has become an increasingly popular choice in luxury kitchens. More porous and softer than granite and engineered stone, (marble counters need to be sealed and are more susceptible to stains and etching), design-focused renovators seem to be willing to put up with marble’s drawbacks for its uncontested good looks.
Highly heat-, stain-, and bacteria-resistant, soapstone is a non-porous natural stone that is available in a range of light to dark gray matte tones, all with subtle veining. Unlike granite and marble materials that require sealing, soapstone needs regular polishing with mineral oil to help conceal surface scratches and add patina.
Corey in Williamburg chose a soapstone countertop from a local supplier’s stone yard, and extended it all the way down into the sink.
A tougher and more durable alternative to concrete countertops, Dekton is an ultra-compacted hybrid of raw materials common to quartz, porcelain, and glass. The result is a virtually impenetrable surface with a grittier, industrial feel.
Ideal for adding warmth and charm, butcher block wood countertops provide a hardworking surface for food preparation. A number of Sweetened kitchens have mixed wood countertop sections with other materials like natural or engineered stone to provide different options for food prep and serving. While butcher block is naturally heat-resistant and affordable, it can stain and age, wear in high-use areas, and require regular sanding and oiling to protect the wood.
Sweeten Experts Lauren and Adam included a maple butcher block prep nook with a knife storage block in an Upper East Side kitchen.
A Clinton Hill couple chose a butcher block counter to complement the white on white palette with wood accents in their kitchen.
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