The Comical Columnist: Kitchen Countertop Conundrum


Jashn Grewal

The most popular materials for countertops are granite, marble and quartz.

Jashn Grewal

You spend a lot of time in your kitchen doing many activities such as making food, grabbing a quick snack or annoying your parents. It’s a communal space that everyone enjoys. But one part of your kitchen is quite overlooked compared to the others. It’s not the cabinets, drawers or even the range hood. It’s the countertops.

Even though there are plenty of stylistic choices you can make when getting countertops, such as edging and thickness, the material is essential to the look and function of your kitchen. The most popular materials for countertops are granite, marble and quartz.

Granite countertops are quite popular, with their spotted look and classic design. They are typically found in older homes and are paired with ornate wooden cabinets, along with warmer lighting. And by warmer, I mean straight-up ORANGE. I am honestly in a quandary as to how people can live with such dim lighting. Granite countertops are great for smaller kitchens or smaller budgets since they range from about $45 to $200 per square foot, according to USA Marble and Granite. However, granite is quite susceptible to chips and it is quite porous, quickly soaking up any liquid that it comes in contact with. Maybe not the best choice for families with small children. Or anyone prone to spill liquids, for that matter, since I knock over more drinks than a toddler with a plate of water.

We then have the sophisticated marble countertops. Marble is one of the more high-end countertops that money can buy, and it’s often sprung for by people who want their kitchen spaces to feel luxurious. The prices listed on HGTV’s website show that the luxury of marble is reflected in the prices where one square foot of marble can cost $100 to over $200. 

Marble tends to have veins — little snakes of a different color running through the base color of the marble — opposite to its base color (i.e. a white base will have dark veins). Some blocks of marble have veins so thick that you can barely see the base color, and some so thin that you would think it’s a solid color at a first glance. Another thing to mention is the chemical composition of marble, which makes it react with acids, but I’m not a chemist, so you might want to do some extra research. But seriously, keep the lemon juice and vinegar away

And finally, we have my preferred choice: quartz countertops. They combine the wonderful qualities of granite and marble to create the best possible countertops. Since quartz is engineered, it’s possible to get the look of marble for the price of granite. Quite a steal, am I right?

ashn Quartz doesn’t tend to stain, and it very rarely chips. But don’t go testing this at home. Leave it to the professionals in the countertop business to inform us of the heat-resistant, stain-proof and durable qualities of quartz.

When it comes down to your kitchen, you need to choose the countertop that’s right for you, no matter my views. And it doesn’t do any harm to do your own research or consult places that specialize in countertops for more advice. IKEA, Home Depot and Lowe’s are great places to start. Happy countertop consulting, everyone!