Q: What type of countertops do you recommend?

A: Throughout my career I have witnessed an evolution of the countertop. Most people think of the kitchen countertop first. Then the bathrooms and utility room.

Let’s start with the kitchen.

I can almost categorize the countertop by decade. The 1990’s was all about laminates and tile (mainly ceramic). The early 2000’s granite tiles replaced ceramic tile and laminates as the product of choice. The late 2000’s solid surface granite (no grout lines) got more affordable and literally to this day has taken over as the market leader. As the demand has grown for granite, the supply chain has responded. Slab Granite literally comes from all over the world. Each slab of granite has its own unique appeal. Durability and price are terrific. Due to its porous nature a bit more maintenance is required.

Quartz is growing in demand. Quartz is about 85% stone and 15% resins. The key benefit is lower maintenance than granite. Most often you will get a more uniform look than natural granite (sometimes a drawback). If clean lines and low maintenance is your desire you can’t go wrong with Quartz.

Over the last several years we have seen a dynamic shift in bathrooms in new homes and remodeled homes. A solid surface of granite or quartz is in high demand. Most often our clients will work with the supplier and purchase remnants that are affordable and beautiful.

Most often we will see a laminate in the utility rooms. Laminates have come a long ways. Some take a close inspection to determine if it is a real stone product or a laminate. A great look at a low cost is the key appeal in new home construction and remodeled homes.

What I have witnessed is that clients categorize their choice of countertop based on which area the countertop resides. Slab Granite or Quartz in kitchens and baths. Laminates in laundry room.

Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm.