It's exciting to start the selection process but with the abundance of material choices, it can also be daunting. Setting an approximate budget is one of the easiest ways to navigate through the vast selection of materials. When a customer comes in to see us and mentions that a preliminary budget has been established, it gives us a starting point on which types and brands of material samples to show. Not only are we looking at realistic costs, we are eliminating the back and forth and sometimes painful decision making that will often delay a project.
Even after 40 plus years, Solid Surface is still one of the most popular contender in today's market. Solid Surface is an acrylic material that is non-porous (won't stain), heat resistant, scratch resistant, and very easy to maintain. Due to its properties, this material can be fabricated to look "seamless" with inconspicuous deck seams, integral built-in sinks, integral splashes that eliminate the need of a silicone joint and offers many design options not normally found in other materials. With advances in production, the cost for Solid Surface is quite attractive. Warranty ranges from 10-15 years depending on brand.
Quartz is a man-made material consisting of one of the strongest minerals available. Quartz has taken over the kitchen and bath industry and has remained the top requested material for the past 5 years or so. This material is highly heat resistant, scratch resistant, non-porous, and also easy to maintain. With colors resembling natural stone, it has become the popular choice for kitchens, without the maintenance issues usually associated with natural stone. Design can be limited due to actual slab sizes so careful planning is key. As with Solid Surface, this material needs to be fabricated and installed by a professional experienced with quartz materials.
"Why is the material more expensive when it's recycled?" That's the question we often hear when pricing out recycled glass/concrete countertops. With recycled material, it still needs to go through the cleaning and production process before it gets incorporated into the material (which can add to the raw material costs). The most common glass is sourced from old soda and beer bottles and other glass vessels. Some brands contain recycled porcelain from tubs and basins and glass pieces from broken mirrors. It's then mixed with concrete to create a strong (and heavy) material. Besides the raw slab costs, labor to fabricate and install these tops can be costly. This material is porous and needs to be sealed. Design options are limited due to slab sizes and depending where you reside, shipping can definitely add to the bottom line. This material is perfect as a focal point in your kitchen by mixing with other types of materials...consider using recycled glass for the island and possibly quartz or solid surface for the main tops. This material should also be fabricated and installed by an experienced fabricator.