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Building a dream house isn’t easy. It takes lots of time, patience and money. If you’re one of those fortunate enough to be in the position to upgrade, you’ve got a lot of decisions ahead of you. Whether it’s a new construction home, or you’re rehabbing an older home, renovations are a lot of work. There are different colors, materials, sizes, and shapes. You’ll be dealing with a variety of wholesalers, retailers, contractors and installers. None of it’s easy. Each part of building out a dream home requires meticulous attention to detail. Too many homeowners have been bitten by not being able to pay as much attention as is required because they are working jobs, dealing with kids, or managing some other obligation. Typically, renovations focus on high-traffic areas in the house. You’ll want to upgrade places you spend most of your time. Bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens are often areas of focus.

Kitchens demand a lot of attention because they must also be functional. Kitchens take a beating from daily use, so a lot of time must be spent figuring out plans for any projects there. They are also equity drivers in the home. The more time and effort spent in a kitchen build or renovation will pay off in multiples when it comes time to sell your house. One of the most important buying decisions in kitchens is what countertop material to choose and how to manage it. Kitchen countertops set the mood in the room and help keep it sanitary. They also can cost a pretty penny, so making the right call is important. Here are five things every homeowner needs to know about kitchen countertops.

  1. It All Starts with What Material Works Best for You

Many people going into designing their kitchen thinking about what kind of kitchen countertop will match best with their paint colors and appliances. It’s all about aesthetic to them. While there are certainly a wide variety of options when it comes to kitchen design, visual should be a secondary concern. Homeowners need to consider durability and maintenance before they buy. Higher-end countertop materials like marble need a lot more upkeep than other less expensive countertops. That could change a lot of minds about which way to go. In addition, families with kids, or people who aren’t the most organized about cleaning, should opt for more durable materials like granite or quartz. It’s a shame to buy top tier countertops and neglect to maintain them. A lot of high-quality countertops require annual or more frequent sealings to prevent moisture and dirt from seeping into them. Owners end up having to stare at ugly stains or pay up to replace damaged countertop slabs down the road.

2. Do You Want an Eco-Friendly Option?

Over the years, home buyers have become much more environmentally conscious. They want to minimize their carbon footprint and buy goods that are recycled or produced in a sustainable manner. Kitchen countertops vary in how they are sourced and manufactured. A lot of granite and marble, for instance, comes from outside the United States, so it can be difficult to understand if the countertops were made in an eco-friendly manner. More and more sellers are including environmental information in their products, which is a huge plus for buyers.

What kind of material you buy will also have an effect on how eco-friendly it is. Quartz, for example, is made from recycled waste from other stone countertops. In the granite cutting process, waste is inevitably created. Quartz makers gather that waste and press it into beautiful countertops.

3. Consider Repair and Replacement Costs

Kitchen countertops represent a big upfront cost. It’s not something you want to go bargain on. Deals are out there to be had, for sure, but don’t skimp on a cheaper material thinking it doesn’t matter. You’ll regret not getting the nicer option because you are literally in your kitchen every single day. Once you’ve made the purchase, though, there are repair and maintenance costs to consider. Make sure you leave room in the budget for order a couple extra slabs in case they break or crack. The last thing you want to hear is that the particular pattern or shade you bought is no longer in stock.

4. There is no Perfect Countertop

There’s no single answer for what the best countertop material is. For years, granite has been the most popular stone on the market. Most people find it is the best mix of luxury and value out there. However, even granite’s not perfect. It needs regular cleaning, is porous, and can scratch. Quartz is virtually impossible to crack or scratch but is not very resistant to heat. Marble looks amazing but is more fragile than other countertop materials. Different countertops will cost more or less to repair, clean and maintain. Buying new kitchen countertops is all about compromise. Find what’s best for your family and the look you love and go for it. For more information, please visit https://slabmarket.com to learn about different options for your kitchen project.

5. Sellers Matter a Great Deal

Like we said in the beginning, building out your dream home requires a lot of attention to detail. Don’t make the decision on kitchen countertops lightly. Going into large home improvement chains will mean you’re paying a markup and getting less countertop than what you could get from a reputable dedicated wholesaler. Compare the cost of sellers who include in-home installation with purchase of their products. Read reviews on the sellers and the installers they contract out to put them in your kitchen. Different sellers will offer a variety of terms when it comes to warranties, return policies, repairs and other services that are critical to a beautiful kitchen.

Do the research before you buy so you don’t live with buyer’s remorse. Walking into a lovely kitchen each day with shining countertops is one of the best parts of being a homeowner. The right kitchen is out there waiting for you.