5 Granite Countertop Alternatives

Posted by Shawn Clayton on Friday, May 15th, 2020 at 11:30am.

Granite has always been a popular countertop option with homeowners, flippers, and interior designers alike, but that does not mean that it appeals to everyone or suits every home. Increasingly, people have become wary of using granite countertops in their properties due to issues like staining, risk of chipping, and the expense of acquiring them. 

Luckily, there are many high-quality and high-value alternatives out there today that are suitable for every budget, beautiful and offer a good ROI. These are the top 5 granite countertop alternatives that you should consider when redoing your kitchen or renovating a property:

Alternative #1: Marble Countertops

Marble Countertop One of the most consistently well-rated options with homeowners is the classic and timeless marble. Marble countertops create a bold room statement, come in various styles and colors, and are made up of naturally-occurring materials. If maintained well, marble countertops can contribute to your property value and be a big selling point with potential buyers. These countertops sell for between $40 to $100 per square foot. 

There are some disadvantages to marble to keep in mind. Marble is also a porous stone, similar to granite, and will need to be sealed regularly to prevent staining and other damage. Marble countertops are more delicate than some of the other alternatives out there, which means they need to be handled with care to prevent scratching, chipping, or cracking. 

Alternative #2: Quartz Countertops

Quartz Countertop The next option available to homeowners and house flippers is quartz. Quartz countertops are made up of mostly quartz, with a small amount of polyresin added. While not necessarily a 100% natural stone, quartz has the great benefit of being easily customizable. Another advantage of this blend in materials is that it makes these countertops durable and easy to maintain.

On the flip side of that, it’s important to know that quartz is susceptible to damage from high temperatures - that might affect your choice to use it in a kitchen environment. The cost of quartz varies greatly depending on what you are interested in, ranging between  $50 to $150 per square foot on average.

Alternative #3: Slate Countertops

Slate Countertop Image credit: camaraslate.com/countertops/

Many modern kitchen designs are centered on slate countertops which have become a more prominent option in recent years. Darker surfaces have been a big trend, and slate countertops typically come in black and gray selections. Unlike granite and marble, slate is non-porous which makes it easy to clean, and less likely to stain. It’s extremely durable and holds up well to heat making it suitable for use in the kitchen. On average, slate countertops cost between $77 to $100 per square foot.

The truth is that slate has very few downsides. It is recommended by professionals to have countertop corners rounded off when using slate to prevent cracks or personal injury. These are the most brittle points of the countertop. Beyond that, slate may not be suited to your kitchen design due to the tones available. 

Alternative #4: Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone Countertop A unique choice every time, soapstone is a natural material that is often used by sculptors and artists. Smooth to the touch and incredibly long-lasting, soapstone is a great choice for kitchen and other countertops. Soapstone countertops have a lot of advantages, such as being non-porous and resistant to staining and cracking. Soapstone is also heat resistant, and hot pans can be placed directly on it without causing damage.

On the flip side of that, soapstone may be better at heat management but it is susceptible to scratching or cracking on impact. There are also limited color options for this material, and there is the caveat that it will have to be treated with mineral oil regularly to maintain the finish. Soapstone can be a more expensive option depending on the thickness and grade of the soapstone being used. Soapstone countertops can run investors between  $70 to $120 per square foot.

Alternative #5: Limestone Countertops

Limestone Countertop Limestone is a material known for its pliability and natural beauty. One of the biggest driving reasons behind choosing limestone is that it is similar in appearance to marble, but without the expensive price tag. Limestone has been a popular option for several years as a result and can add significant value to a home.

Although beautiful, using limestone does have several drawbacks. Compared to harder materials like granite, limestone can scratch easily, and even become discolored if not maintained or treated with the proper care. In general, limestone can cost between $67 to $200 per square foot. 

Final Thoughts

There are many alternatives to granite countertops that homeowners and house flippers can select to add to stunning kitchen designs and increase the value of their property. When choosing the material to use for your countertops, consider the options included in this article - any of the above can be beneficial to your home. 

To workout how these changes and more will affect the after-repair value (ARV) of your home, check out this super simple ARV Calculator. It can workout the estimated value of a property, based on comparable properties in the area. 

Shawn Clayton, Owner/Broker, REALTORĀ®

Jersey Shores Luxury Home Expert

Contact Shawn

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