by Kaitlyn Ziemer
There are dozens of great countertop materials to choose from, but we’re going to address just four—marble, granite, quartzite and quartz—as these are the likely choices for a hospitality, senior living or student housing project due to their durability. These four materials are far more durable than, say, a laminate or ceramic tile, and, as the headline indicates, durability is one of the key indicators guiding your selection of an appropriate material for your project.
So, how do marble, granite, quartzite and quartz compare when it comes to durability? This indicator offers easy differentiations. Marble, while quite durable, requires frequent maintenance and can scratch and stain. Granite also requires sealing and maintenance but is resistant to stains and scratches. In this category, quartzite has similar durability and maintenance needs as granite. Quartz is quite low in maintenance and very durable. So how to choose? The project and its clientele can offer clues. For example, a luxury hotel will have a high level of use but while the clientele has expectations, the hotel has staff to attend to material upkeep. So, quartzite or marble may be the best option—durable and lux with a team to address the unique maintenance needs of these materials.
And, that leads us to the aesthetics part of the equation. Marble, granite and quartzite are all natural stone and have the lovely hues and qualities that come from a natural product. Quartz, a mixture of natural stone fused with polymer resin is also tasteful, and has the advantage of being non-porous. So how can the look of the material play a role in your decision-making? Let’s try another example—campus projects—be it student housing or public gathering areas. The high-traffic nature of campus housing demands durability and longevity. But don’t forget aesthetics! Smart colleges and universities use dormitories and public areas as recruiting tools. These facilities must be relevant, functional and modern to attract students. So, granite, the less expensive of our options, may be the ticket, keeping expenses lower thus allowing for renovations on a shorter time schedule to keep pace with changing popular tastes. Conversely, a senior living project may want to look into quartz—super durable and attractive—that will last and function for many years with low maintenance. Quartz is more expensive than granite but it will stand the test of time and feel fresh, if not forward, for years to come.
Finally, the elephant in the room—price. Every project has a budget and every budget must be met. And while countertops are just one part of your budget equation, they are a very important one. So, be thoughtful about how durability and aesthetics fit into your project’s needs. That said, it is good to know where our four materials generally price out. Granite will likely be the least expensive followed by quartz, marble and quartzite.
For more information or to learn more about how the Grabinski Group can help you with your next hospitality, senior living or student housing project, please contact us.
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