Granite, Quartz or Marble? Discover Popular D.C. Countertop Options

Jason Hargraves
Written by Jason Hargraves
Updated September 26, 2014
D.C. granite countertop
Granite has been the go-to countertop for the last few years, but changes could be on the horizon.
Jason Hargraves

Granite countertops remain popular in D.C., but products, such as quartz and marble, are now trendy. Options are endless depending on your style and budget.

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Granite’s reign as king of the countertops slowly may be ending in Washington, as more home owners look to a variety of new options to capitalize on the “next big thing.”

That said, you'll still find plenty of real estate ads boasting of homes with granite countertops. Some say the stone fascination has become a bit of an unnecessary obsession.

Fashions and trends inherently change, so it may come as no surprise to learn that granite may well be left in the dust as you begin searching for the right countertop.

“Granite is falling out of favor, but it absolutely depends on the clients’ budget,” says Bonnie Torre of the kitchen remodeling company Allusions and More in Ashburn, Virginia.

The price of granite has dropped significantly, she says, making it a more affordable option.

Granite affordable? It’s still not bottom-of-the-budget laminate, but at $70 to $150 a square foot, it comes in cheaper than many newer products.

“Once [customers] hear the pricing on quartz, marble, Silestone and the like," granite does look affordable, she says.

Countertops — no matter the material — are the focal point of any kitchen, but they also need to be functional and practical. Remember what works for one person may not work for another.

Here are a few of the basics of selecting the right countertop:

Marble

Marble countertops are popular choices for home owners looking to upgrade the look of their kitchen.

Cut from veins of naturally occurring stone, marble is prized for solid durability, the unique beauty of its grains and the fact it adds value to a home.

Marble countertops are relatively more porous and softer than granite. Because it's porous, stone countertops require periodic sealing to prevent moisture from entering the stone and causing stains.

Marble, by no means, is cheap. The cost runs $125 to $250 a square foot.

Quartz

Quartz is available in many different colors and provides the same beautiful finishes you would get with granite, but it’s much more durable.

Quartz slabs are made from ground crystals combined with bonding agents and color. Some of the most popular brands on the market are: Caeserstone, Silestone, Icestone and Zodiaq.

The cost can be anywhere from $100 to $185 a square foot.

The Countertop Guru in Sterling, Virginia says quartz is the fastest-growing material in the Washington-area countertop industry. It has the impression of natural stone, and it is perhaps the hardest and most resistant material that can be found for countertop surfaces.

Butcher Block

Another material to think about is wooden butcher block. Butcher block countertops are a versatile home design trend that can lend warmth to your modern kitchen or an authentic feel to a vintage farmhouse. At approximately $40 to $60 per square foot, they also are affordable.

Butcher block countertops have several advantages in terms of durability. If they are scratched or burned, the damaged wood can be sanded down with ease and re-oiled.

Concrete

This is an increasingly popular option because home owners can customize concrete according to color and design.

Rocks, shells or colored glass can be added to the concrete to add texture or uniqueness. While this modern option may be popular, it likely will cost you $70 to $140 a square foot.

Concrete countertops are extremely durable, and lend a nice aesthetic alternative to more conventional kitchen countertops.

Whatever you may choose, it’s always good to have countertop options. They create endless styles sure to please even the most finicky home owner.

And just because granite may one day lose its No. 1 status, don't count it out.

Torre doesn’t see it as a bad choice at all.

“I certainly have it in my home,” she says.

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