Granite or Solid Surface Countertops?

Pros and Cons from the Kitchen Pros at Top To Bottom Construction
Today we are able to choose from many different materials for kitchen cabinets and countertops. It can be overwhelming when remodeling or designing a new kitchen, but, there are key factors to look for that can help narrow down the best option for you. The two most popular countertop materials are granite and solid surface. There are endless color options for both materials and the prices are comparable. Each option offers pros and cons, but, at the end of the day granite and solid surface far surpass all other countertop materials in both value and function.

Granite

Pros:
High resale value – Granite is a great option if you are interested in the resale value of your home. Typically, granite can increase the resale value of a kitchen by up to 25%.
Heat resistant – There is no need to worry about setting down a hot dish or pan on your countertop because granite is heat resistant. Granite will not burn and will not need to be repaired if exposed to heat. You’ll never have to worry about scrambling to find a trivet to rest your pan on.
Scratch resistant – The most exciting thing about granite is that it is completely scratch resistant. You can cut meat, vegetables or fruit directly on its surface. Granite is natural stone; its hard surface protects against your sharpest kitchen knife. And, if your Granite countertops are properly sealed, bacteria will not build under the surface. Instead of using plastic or wood cutting boards that can harbor bacteria, you can use the safer option of your countertops.
Low maintenance – Since granite is stone, you can simply use hot soapy water to clean the surface. However, for a shinier finish, you can easily find granite and stone cleaner right in your grocery stores’ cleaning aisle.
Stain resistant – Unlike marble, which is also a popular countertop surface, granite will not stain. Granite countertops are a great choice for busy, lived in houses. Your color will not fade because of heat or spills. Not even red Kool-Aid can stain a granite countertop.
Cons:
Porous surface – Granite does need to be sealed occasionally (typically once a year) so it remains water resistant and heat resistant.
There are a few pricey options – Granite comes from all over the world and there is a wide variety of colors and patterns. As with any kind of material, the more rare it is, the more expensive it is.
Weight – Granite is a thick stone, which means that it is going to be heavy. The quality of the cabinets supporting the countertops is especially important. Composite cabinets will probably bow under the weight of a granite countertop.

Solid Surface

Pros:
Seamless – There are no cracks or seams in solid surface materials. This allows the countertop to withstand more impact that a tile or laminate countertop. Also, because of the seamless transition from countertop to sink, there are no areas of opportunity for mold to grow.
Nonporous – Solid surface never needs to be sealed because it is naturally nonporous. This makes solid surface a comparably low maintenance option to granite. Solid Surface countertops do not require any specialty cleaners, and, bacteria cannot penetrate its surface. Once you clean the countertops, they are bacteria free.
Easy to clean – Solid surface can be cleaned with just soapy water. Unlike the granite countertops which require annual sealing, solid surface countertops are naturally sealed.
Scratch Resistant – Although it is difficult to scratch a solid surface countertop, it is not impossible. On the bright side, if your solid surface countertop does get scratched you can use a Scotch-Brite™ pad to buff out the scratch on your own – no need to have it professionally sanded!
Cons:
Not heat-resistant – Solid surface is not equipped to handle heat, so, it can burn if hot pots or pans are put on the countertop. In the event that your countertop is damaged by heat, you will have to have a professional sand out the stain.
Can also be pricey – Just like Granite, Solid Surface comes in many colors and patterns. Most Solid Surface is affordable. The more rare the color or pattern, the more expensive this choice will be. Overall, both granite and solid surface countertops are great materials to use in your kitchen and bathrooms. They both have lasting benefits that other surfaces cannot offer. Their durability, sanitation, and impact resistance are far more valuable than laminate or tile surfaces. Although products like laminate countertops and tile countertops are installed every day, it is worth the additional money to have a product that will last the lifetime of your home. These materials will increase your return on investment, should you choose to sell your home, or they can add the personal touch to make your house feel more like a home.