You likely admire beautiful kitchens. You might feel at home with a kitchen’s warm colors and textures. Or perhaps you enjoy dramatic accent lights, and kitchen islands that invite you to take a seat and talk with family and friends as the aroma of a gourmet meal whets your appetite.
A gorgeous kitchen, however, also needs to function as a working space: a place to cook, eat, entertain, and more. And much of this activity takes place around the kitchen’s countertops. So in addition to selecting your countertops based on how they enhance the kitchen’s appearance, consider how well they’ll function to meet your needs. To determine kitchen countertop functionality answer specific questions about how you plan to use your kitchen, such as:
• Would you like to be able to cut your food right on its surface?
• Do you and your family and friends like to drink red wine?
• Do you see yourself putting hot pans and pots directly on the countertop?
• Do you want an indestructible countertop or one that will develop its own character?
Below you’ll discover the qualities of various kitchen countertops so you can determine which best meet your requirements.
You can also see these countertops in person, by scheduling a meeting with one of our kitchen designers, where we will walk you through our 3,000 square foot showroom as we discuss the pros and cons of various kitchen countertops.
Heard of granite countertops? Of course you have, they’ve been all the rage in kitchen design. But how much do you know about quartz countertops? Quartz countertops have gained popularity in the States over the last decade after taking Europe by storm. Quartz countertops are made by suspending quartz in polyester or acrylic resins. This process creates an elegant, durable, non-porous, low maintenance surface. Some brands of quartz countertops, like Silestone, even have an antimicrobial substance built into the surface called Microban.
Quartz countertops are extremely durable – they have a scratch and scorch rating of #7 on the Mohs hardness scale. There are only three other minerals on earth that rank harder, and none of them are granite. Also, because of its nonporous surface, quartz countertops are nearly stain-proof, whether you spill wine, coffee or olive oil. This also means that, unlike kitchen countertops made of granite, marble, or limestone, quartz countertops do not require regular sealing. While most granite countertop manufacturers don’t offer warranties, quartz manufacturers, are so confident in the material that they often offer countertop warranties.
Silestone is made by a Spanish company called Cosentino. Seventy years after they began manufacturing countertops in Almeria, Spain, the Cosentino family’s Silestone brand controls more than 50% of the U.S. quartz countertop market. Silestone’s unique feature is its “Microban” antimicrobial protection. These countertops are certified by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and have an indoor air quality certification from Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI).
CaeserStone made the original quartz countertop surface. The company, founded in 1987, named CaeserStone after the ancient Roman city of Caesarea in modern-day Israel. Arik Tendler, CaeserStone’s founder and president, discovered the recipe for quartz that produced an excellent surface for kitchen countertops. CaeserStone countertops are actually 93% quartz and come in a wide variety of colors. CaeserStone countertops also offer some great benefits and endorsements:
Cambria is actually the only producer of natural quartz surfaces and countertops in the United States; all other quartz countertop brands are imported from overseas or owned by overseas companies. Owned and operated by the Davis family of St. Peter, Minnesota, Cambria is committed to green manufacturing and offers lifetime warranties on their quartz countertops.
Icestone, LLC, the Brooklyn-based durable surface manufacturer, produces a superior environmentally-friendly countertop made of recycled glass. The company is only one of 20 in the world to receive Cradle to Cradle certification, given to companies that follow economic, industrial and social frameworks that create efficient and waste-free systems. Icestone’s clients, including Starbucks, NASA, Ritz-Carlton, Whole Foods, and Amazon, choose their durable surfaces for the green certifications they come with. Icestone also provides residential surfaces and countertops that are excellent both for the environment and for your kitchen.
Each of our designers have had specialized training in Kitchen Design through NKBA, SEN or ASID, not only in style and structure, but in function and arrangement as well. Unlike many Kitchen and Bath companies, we are not a retail store. We are a design, build, and remodeling company, a licensed contractor in Maryland, The District of Columbia and Virginia. So whether you live in DC, Bethesda, Potomac, Olney, Silver Spring, Woodley Park, Adams Morgan Capitol Hill or anywhere else in the region, Signature KAB can design a Great kitchen, addition, or bath for your home. Not only that, but we can also develop permit-able drawings, process the plans to permit, move the walls, floors and ceilings, install lighting, plumbing, tile, and floor. We can even build the house for you if you would like! So give us a call at: 301.251.1880. You can also email the owner, Gary Case, at Gcase@signaturekab.com.