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Property Pros: Stone Countertop Guidelines

This is a sponsored column by Jim Muldoon, a Northern Virginia native, Arlington resident and one of the real estate and remodeling experts at Legacy Home Improvement Consultants. Legacy HIC is your source for all real estate and home improvement needs. Please email with any questions or topics you would like covered.

Upgrading your countertops adds instant appeal whether you are doing a full remodel or not. Two great options are engineered or natural stone. Here is a quick run down when choosing stone countertops.

Engineered stone has gained a lot of steam in the countertop industry. The material is largely made up of natural quartz mixed with resins used for bonding. This makes the material stronger, lighter, and slightly more flexible than its all-natural counterpart. The material is not absorbent, so it has less maintenance and is considered more sanitary. Quartz products use specific dying patterns ensuring a consistent look, even when choosing an option with “natural movement” to it. Cambria and Silestone are two of the most popular brands of engineered stone.

Natural stone has proven to be timeless with a rich and unique look. Granite and marble have unique natural movements in their patterns, which allows you to find an incredible looking slab that no one else will have. It is a more porous material so sealants are necessary and recommended yearly. Granite has become the more popular option between the two because it is more durable and usually less expensive. Although on paper marble is hard to justify, it has a look that is second to none.

Granites are usually grouped A – E. Group A being the least expensive and Group E being the most. Quartz are priced by color. Once you have chosen the material the process for installation is very similar. I recommend a company that will digitally measure on site. Cabinets have to be set in place for this to happen. Confirm with your contractor or vendor the sink, faucet, faucet placement, and seam placement. From there it usually takes 7 days to fabricate and 1 day to install.

There are some fees to factor in when deciding on a square foot budget. There is usually a fee for templating the tops, sink cutout, holes for the faucet, delivery, and installation. This ranges from company to company but $400-$600 should have you covered. The cost of the sink, faucet, garbage disposal, and the plumbing connection also needs to be accounted for. You should be safe factoring in $500-$800. Upgrade options to consider are custom edge details, backsplash, waterfall options, built up edge for a thicker look, and extended over hang which is usually in bar areas. I recommend working with your contractor, even if you are just swapping out countertops, so that they can make sure all the factors have been taken care of.

Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to know which vendors we use for each specific type of countertop material. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @LegacyHomesDMV and like our Facebook page Legacy Home Improvements for project inspiration and breaking news.

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