Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Countertops

August 9, 2016 10:01 am

The walls are up, the roof is finished, and your custom home is nearing completion. One of the choices you have yet to make is material and color for your countertops. Considering the amount of space counters take up, this decision will largely influence the look and feel of your kitchen and bathroom.

granite countertops in French Construction home

Choosing a material for your countertops needs to be both a stylistic choice and a practical one, as many material choices are beautiful but have varying levels of resilience. Consider your style and which color tones you have established. To pick the countertops, you’ll want to pick tones that are already integrated in your home.

Silex Interiors Granite

 “You can’t just pick the countertop separately, you must build off of each piece,” says Julie French, interior designer for French Construction. “The goal is to have the house all flow together seamlessly and not to have one item stand out.”

Asking the right questions as you determine which countertops are right for your home will help the process go smoothly, and as a result, create a cohesive look.

What will the woodwork and flooring look like?

Before choosing your countertops, you should already have chosen the flooring and cabinetry. The cabinetry, flooring, and countertops need to work together to create a unified look. By choosing your cabinetry and flooring first, you will be able to explore the wide range of countertop materials and colors available for the best match.

“We have gravitated toward a white, gray countertop over the last few years because we love how well they blend with clients’ existing styles,” Julie said. “These colors are more transitional; they typically always fit well with existing furniture and decor.”

How will you use your countertops?

Countertops naturally put up with a lot of activity and wear-and-tear, from food spills, hot pans, heating tools, and other family activities. You want to choose a material that will be able to handle your needs. You should consider the various tasks your countertops will be used for before making your final choice.

If you cook often, look for materials known for their resistance to heat and stains. While beautiful, marble is a more porous material and is susceptible to stains from household items like vinegar, mustard, ketchup, and other products. It also is more likely to be scratched during everyday use.

Materials like granite are generally stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and heat-resistant, meaning you can place a hot pan or heating tool on your countertops and not burn the surface.

granite countertop cutting

What longevity are you hoping to achieve from your material choice?

Materials like metal and wood will often show signs of age, despite the best preventative care. If you would prefer to choose a material with a long lifetime potential, granite and quartz materials typically withstand the test of time.

RD Green, from Silex Interiors, typically uses granite in French Construction homes because of their look and durability. “Granite countertops should last forever if you maintain them correctly,” RD said. “Every 12 to 18 months, you should seal your countertops to keep them in great shape.”

What eco-friendly options are available?

If you wish to build an eco-friendly home, it is important to ask your home builder about their experience with eco-friendly products and their recommendations. When choosing an eco-friendly countertop, recycled materials or reclaimed wood are popular choices.

As with any home choice, consult your builder during the decision-making process. If you have a specific material in mind but have realized it may be impractical for your lifestyle, your builder will be able to recommend a wide range of options with a similar aesthetic appeal but better utility.

Still want to do some more research? Here’s another great article on popular countertop materials.