By Karen Warner, Designer at Dean Cabinetry

Already have your cabinetry picked out but stuck on what countertop to choose? Choosing counters is an exciting part of designing a new kitchen. Understanding your choices helps focus your search and makes your decision easier.


Granite has been a popular option for kitchen counters for many years. The benefits of granite include its durability and natural beauty. There are a wide range of colors and patterns available that come from all over the world. Having a unique piece of the earth in your home that you get to touch and work with every day can be pretty special.

Granite is a little bit porous and needs sealing periodically to stay close to the way it looks when it is first installed in your home. Applying a spray-on sealer is not difficult. Trivets are a good idea to preserve the sealer and finish and to prevent thermal shock.

Not all granite is the same, so inquire about what to expect with slabs that you like. Some stones are more porous than others, and some have more fissures than others and may have a mesh backing to help support and reinforce the stone during shipping and fabrication.

Granite Counters

Quartz or “engineered quartz” counters are a more recent development thanks to technological innovations. Rather than slabs cut from blocks of stone, as in the case with granite counters, quartz slabs are manufactured from a combination of crushed mined quartz, colors, and resinous fillers. Through a process of vibration, compaction, and heat, non-porous slabs are created.

The formulas used to make quartz slabs can make dramatic colors available, as well as slabs that mimic the beauty of natural stone and marble. Quartz counters generally contain about 90%+ quartz aggregate, so it is very hard and durable. Part of the attraction of quartz is that it is non-porous, meaning that no sealing is required. Because of the resin content, high heat can mar the surface. Trivets are advised to preserve the resin and finish.

Quartz Counters

Which counter is the best choice for your project? Think about your expectations for looks, use, wear, and maintenance. Try looking for inspiration on deancabinetry.com or on Pinterest. Here at the Dean Cabinetry shop we each have our favorite – watch and see which we chose and why.