Summer term has ended at Chemeketa Community College, and both of my classes, Exploring Kitchen Design and Exploring Bath Design were a success. With fall term just around the corner I am evaluating my classes and making minor alterations to each. I always like to ask my students why they are taking the class. One response last term really caught my attention. After his introduction, a man in my class said, “I’m hoping to learn the truth about countertops.” I thought, “What does he mean the truth?” He explained when visiting home shows or stores, sales staff always say, “My product is the best!” As I thought about his experience I realized he’s right!
A sales person’s goal is for you to see their product as the best on the market. The sales pitch includes attractive benefits such as, “My countertop withstands heat up to xyz degrees… You can cut on my countertop… You don’t have to seal my countertop…” How are consumers ever to choose?
As an Interior Designer I am continually researching manufacturer’s benefits and price structure so that I can find my clients the best material that meets their needs. There are many products that are extremely durable, but naturally, I have not found any material that is invincible!
First, almost everything can burn! I have seen both quartz and granite scorch from hot pans set on them. Second, almost everything can scratch. Quartz may be stronger than granite, and may not scratch if directly cut on, but it will dull your knives! My advice: always use a trivet or cutting board. Mystery solved! It’s that simple.
There are many more countertop materials aside from granite and quartz. Plastic laminate and solid surface, such as Corian, continue to be a nice choice. We are also seeing contemporary surfaces such as recycled glass, concrete and stainless steel.
Of course, all surfaces have pros and cons. Listen to sales staff but do your own research as well! Hiring an interior designer to help with selections may also be a wise choice. Trained experts will reflect upon formal education and experience, helping guide you, and helping you receive the best value!