When building a new home or remodeling your existing construction you might run into the question of weather to install granite countertops or solid surface (often called Corian). Corian or Swanstone, aka solid surface, is a man-made stone composed of 33% binding resins and 66% minerals. Granite on the other is extracted directly from the earth which is honed and polished. Both options have their pros and cons but a few different factors play a major role in coming to your decision.
Some factors to consider are:
3.Return on Investment
First is the cost factor. Solid surface averages around $75-$120 per square foot. Although prices vary, granite countertops will average around $100-$250 per square foot. It may be more effective cost wise to install solid surface but don’t stop reading here.
Secondly we need to look at maintenance. Solid surface requires zero maintenance and is quite durable. On a solid surface counter and dents or scratches can be buffed out and no continuous sealing is necessary. Granite on the other hand requires some degree of maintenance. Your granite countertop may be factory sealed but every so often it may need additional sealing. It is also true that granite is susceptible to cracking in comparison to solid surface but this is rare. So far solid surface has taken the prize in cost and ease of maintenance but when it comes to return on investment and looks opinions often vary.
When we talk about return on investment what we’re really saying asking is, “do granite countertops really increase the value of your home?” The answer is yes to some degree. By being more expensive than solid surface you are increasing the actual cost of your home but some would argue that granite countertops also increase the psychological value of your home. More home buyers have a strong opinion about having granite countertops therefore having them makes your home more “sellable”. In my opinion, as more and more homes utilize different materials for countertops, backsplash, and flooring the grandiose stigma about granite will slowly fade. Currently, when we look at the factor of return on investment granite is the best option.
Lastly, let’s look at the beauty of each. Design preferences are up to the homebuilder but it is hard to deny the beauty of a granite countertop. Natural stone provides such an organic look and intricate details that solid surface cannot give you. But solid surface doesn’t deserve such a bad rap. Solid surface can create a modern and sleek look with its uniformity.
In my opinion, if you are not completely swayed one way or the other a mixture of both granite and solid surface is a great way to go. Think about the possibility of using an ornate piece of granite for your kitchen island and backsplash and then pulling a darker, neutral color from the granite to use as your solid surface color for the rest of the kitchen and bathrooms. Mixing different mediums is modern, affordable, and visually appealing.