*This post is sponsored by Silestone by Cosentino but all opinions are my own (as always!). Find my policies here.
At the end of last year I was SO excited to share our kitchen all DONE. I finished it, photographed it and wrote the longest post of my life and once I hit publish? I dove into the holidays because that season is crazy! But by doing that… I’ve left a lot of questions unanswered! One of the questions we got with this renovation was why we chose quartz countertops this time around. If you’ve been following Lemon Thistle for a while, you might remember that we renovated our last kitchen ourselves as well and used laminate countertops that mimicked the look of soapstone. And then we remodelled our bathroom and used marble countertops. So we’ve really had experience with the other two main options (laminate and stone).
So why did we choose quartz? There’s a few reasons and lots of thought that went into this and so today I thought I’d wrap it all up into a post! If you don’t want to have to dig in this post to find it- the quartz we chose is called ‘Lagoon’ and it’s by Silestone by Cosentino. It’s the perfect non directional but still veined design!
Notice how I didn’t mention butcher block? I actually really love the look of butcher block but the design I had in mind for this kitchen wasn’t suited to it. If you are considering butcher block, just know that it involves upkeep- oiling and every 5 years or so, you’d want to refinish it with a sand and oil again. Concrete is the same- I actually love the look of concrete but it involves upkeep as well. Unless we did it ourselves, concrete was pretty much the same price as quartz and with all the angles in this kitchen, we weren’t confident we would do a great job of it. We figured if we were going to be paying that much, we’d rather a NO maintenance option.
Speaking of maintenance… granite, marble, or any natural stone also requires a bit of maintenance. We had marble in our bathroom for about 8 months before we sold. It was freaking beautiful. But it’s porous- as is all natural stone. That means that if you spill on it, it will seep in. So you have to seal it. Which helps, but overtime wears off. So you have to seal it fairly regularly. And use special cleaners. And even still, my kids would pump too much soap and leave it sitting on the counter (4 of them under 5, there was no stopping this) and if you leave anything sitting on natural stone (wet or coloured), it will stain the stone. Not a ton, but a bit and over time if that happens regularly, you’ll notice dark spots. This was CLEAR SOAP. Not coloured, but it still stained. As someone who likes her kids to help in the kitchen and put their dirty dishes by the sink (where they sometimes splash milk or water onto the counter while doing that)… we just weren’t up for the challenge of keeping it polished and clean and not stained. The kids keep me busy enough, thank you.
WHY NOT LAMINATE
So as far as NO MAINTENANCE options… we have laminate and quartz. And Dekton, but that wasn’t available where we live. Let’s talk about the most affordable option first. We actually LOVED the laminate in our last place. It was a starter home, we fixed it up with IKEA cabinets and it served our family really well. We could pick hot glue off of the counter, spill coffee and clean it up days later and curry sauce didn’t stain it. But even though it looked amazing, it looked amazing for what it was- laminate. We couldn’t afford a solid surface at the time and quite honestly, didn’t think it suited the house. It was an affordable home and our realtor (my brother-in-law, who’s always so honest with us) didn’t see an upgrade to solid surface making any difference in the value of the home. So for THAT KITCHEN, it was perfect.
But this house is a totally different story. This house is in a better neighbourhood (for house value, at least… I still miss my old neighbours!) where many homes have been rebuilt or renovated, it’s a larger home with a larger kitchen and has more ‘upgrades’ as is (like an ensuite, a view and a garage). Putting laminate countertops in here with a beautiful new kitchen would have felt like we were cutting corners and could have affected resale. We were suggested solid surface from a realty perspective- if anyone sees a beautiful new kitchen in this neighbourhood that has laminate, they would factor that into their price of things they have to replace when they are buying.
Beyond that, our peninsula has an overhang for bar stools. Laminate only wraps about an inch under the bottom of the countertop. You could definitely see this and feel it with your knees when you’re sitting there. More things laminate just couldn’t do as well? All the corners! There would be seams in the surface and in the wrapped edge. Laminate seams aren’t hidden as well as these quartz ones are.
Alright, so that’s why we didn’t do other options, but what was so attractive about quartz?
BENEFITS OF QUARTZ
Honestly, before we even talked to Silestone about using their product… we were pretty set on it. We had done enough research to know that for a busy family, quartz was the gold standard in many ways. Quartz is man made stone. It takes natural quartz and grinds it up with resin and other things like that and under pressure creates the quartz countertops. The veining in this countertop is actually quartz and pigments so it runs through the slab- it’s not just printed on top. This is important because with so many angles and corners, the edges aren’t ‘printed’ to try and match… they just are cut and since the design is built IN, the edges automatically have the perfectly matched pattern.
As far as seams and pattern matching… we have a lot of corners. Because of this, we chose a non directional pattern which makes it less attention grabbing but also less dizzying(?) and easier to hide seams in such a large kitchen. Still, we only have two seams. Two! We had one in our last small kitchen with no weird angles and laminate. This is because the quartz we chose (Lagoon by Silestone) comes in jumbo slabs so some of these weird angles and sections fit on those huge slabs and didn’t result in a seam. Rad, right?
Beyond how it looks- it’s extremely hard and non porous. That means it’s way less likely to stain and chip and whatever else. That doesn’t mean it’ll never happen (especially with all the little hands we have helping in our kitchen), but it’s way less stress. Speaking of less stress… there is literally NO MAINTENANCE other than keeping your counters clean… like everyone ever has to do with every material if you want to love your kitchen ;) No sealing or resealing and cleaning is easy with regular dish soap and water. No special stone cleaner like we had to buy for the marble in our last bathroom.
The one thing to note (I guess the one fall back?) is that it’s not heat resistant. So don’t put a hot pot right down on it. But honestly, I never would? I was raised using hot pots and will keep using them, so this wasn’t a downfall for me!
So that’s our long story of why we chose this countertop! If you’re looking for more details on our kitchen, check out the full post and video tour HERE.