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Marble, Quartz, Porcelain, Oh MY!

Are there counter tops you can torch, without burning a hole in your wallet?

Let's discuss.

Sapienstone, from AMD Project "Bungalow Chic"

Probably the most frequent question designers get asked- what material do you like best for kitchen work surfaces? For me, it comes down to who is using the space, and if maintenance is/not for you. I am a realist, which means I am obsessed with natural marble, but I'm also realistic, and therefore drawn to manmade surfaces based on their durability and stain resistance. Some manufacturers do a better job of replicating stone than others, if that is the look you're after.

There are a variety of durable alternatives to porous, natural stone being developed for residential and commercial interiors applications today, but they’re not all created equal. Few fabricators are capable of installing porcelain as it’s fragile and can chip easily. Quartz ranges in quality and strength depending on the ratio of resin and fillers to composite stone. And while it may not stain as easily as marble, it can be more sensitive to heat. Dekton is a newer addition to the market that's shown itself as a sturdy solution for everything from countertops to high-traffic floors. It features stronger resistance to scratches, stains, and fading which has made for fierce competition against known brands like Caesarstone and Silestone. Professional chefs love that it is the perfect base for flambé. It's also priced competitively, but there are only one or two patterns that really made me swoon.

What's my personal go to? I have really loved working with porcelain lately. I find Laminam and Sapienstone have the strongest pattern options. While they don't come cheap, the design really marries aesthetic and function the most successfully. That said, nothing replaces marble for me, and I love a good old patina on my arabescato corchia that tells the story of Lambrusco's past, gently etched with a lemon squeeze. Call me old school. I like honest things that come out of the ground, like diamonds... and heirloom tomatoes.

As a traditionalist still fawning over a natural marble slab, these faux surfaces have won me over:

Sapienstone Calacatta
Sapienstone Calacatta - featured in project AMD Bungalow Chic
Sapientstone Pietra Grey
Laminam Naturali Invisible White - Featured in Project AMD Upscale Downsize (preview on Instagram Stories)
Laminam Naturali Arabescato
Silestone Charcoal Soapstone
Caesarstone Cloudburst Concrete

Drumroll- the surfaces most similar to classic Statuario or Carerra?

Sapienstone Premium White
Laminam Naturali Statuarietto
Silestone Pearl Jasmine

PRO TIPS: Just say no to quartz with tiger stripe grey veining. You know the one I mean. Budget doesn't allow for porcelain? Try a white Caesarstone primary counter with a porcelain island or backsplash feature above the range.

Are you considering a full kitchen renovation or surface update? Connect with our team to walk you through the pros and cons and find the perfect material to compliment your space and everyone who lives there.

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