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In rocky housing market, stone countertops still reign

The following article is from Consumer Reports, and validates what we are seeing at Kitchen Kraft. Granite is still king! Call (614) 449-7200 for a free quote.

May 17, 2012 12:15 PM

Even in a weak housing market, consumers still prefer countertops with the look of luxury. A recent survey of potential home buyers found that granite or another natural stone was the most preferred material, with 20 percent of the respondents saying it was essential and another 53 percent who deemed it desirable.

Very few potential home buyers surveyed dreamed of having tile countertops, according to Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders, the trade group that conducted the survey. Realtors tell us the look is outdated and the grout is hard to keep clean. Our tough countertop tests show that the grout between the ceramic or porcelain tiles stains, even when sealed, and can also mildew. Chipping is another problem with tile countertops.

In our tests, we stained, sliced, scratched, scorched and nicked 14 materials from leading brands. We found big differences in materials, but little variation among brands. That’s why our Ratings are by material, and that brings us back to stone. Our tests include granite, soapstone, limestone and marble, and of course, engineered stone or quartz. Granite and quartz performed similarly, but marble and the other natural stones weren’t as resilient and some need to be sealed to resist staining. Use the results of our tests to find a material that will hold up well over the years.

At $50 to $150 per square foot, marble is the most expensive. Granite and quartz were comparable in price at $50 to $100 per square foot. Tile, of course, costs less ($5 to $30 per square foot) but if you have to replace your counter more often, that’s no bargain.

—Kimberly Janeway, Consumer Reports

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