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Top Best Budget-Friendly Durable Kitchen Countertop alternatives to Marble

Kitchen countertop options have been my latest obsession lately, as I soon will be doing some kitchen renovation. When working with clients, sometimes it’s usually one of the toughest material choice decisions in a kitchen design/renovation. Personally, I rarely have a tough time deciding what I want but I still like to weigh out the pros and cons of my options in any decision that I make, so as to assure that I will be happy with my choice years from now. Originally, I was planning on sharing about six different well-known stone countertops, like quartz, quartzite, Corian, soapstone, granite and of course marble just to name a few with their pros and cons, but I decided to share my top best budget-friendly durable kitchen countertop picks instead and the reason why these are my top favorite options.

First, the secret to make choosing a countertop less difficult and right for you is to ask yourself the following questions:

1) Budget. How much are you realistically willing to spend?

2) What are your household needs?

3) Do you have children? There may be lots of spills and crayon use or the occasional days of banging on it from temper tantrums.

4) Are you a messy cook/baker?

5) Are you OCD about keeping things shiny and spotless at all times (like me – hey!)?

6) Are you a practical person who needs something that not only looks good but will last for a very long time without any high maintenance?

In spite of the fact that I have a touch of “OCD” (according to some) about having an organized spotless house with shiny clean countertops, I still fall in the sixth low maintenance category, as I’m a gal who would rather spend time enjoying life, instead of spending time maintaining things. True, I like things I own to look good (who doesn’t?) – nevertheless, I don’t consider it a luxury unless they last a very long time and high maintenance free. That’s precisely why it was a no brainer for my countertop material of choice for the upcoming kitchen reno project. Quartz! Here’s why: in addition to the reasons mentioned above, the crushed quartz mixed with resin combo of this engineered stone makes it one of the toughest countertops out there, one that beats even real stone. Annnd, it’s also more budget-friendly. 

I love the fact that I get the same polished look and veining details as you would in marble, without the drawbacks. Especially, given my obsessive-compulsive nature, I know I would never be able to deal with staining and round circle etching on my marble countertops, as I’ve already been dealing with on my current coffee table. This man-made nature stone is as beautiful as it is practical because it takes away the added weight of worrying about spills, stains and having to seal it annually. Also, the different options to choose from are innumerous, which adds to the excitement of picking the one. Since I do love the look of marble a lot, I had to find quartz countertops with similar characteristics of marble. I want one that is sleek – mostly a brilliant white background with subtle grey veining as opposed to the busy look of a speckled/flecks variety.

So, I scoured through the options out there and narrowed down my top eight favorites (in order of preference), that have the look I’m after. 
I can’t wait to get the samples so I can see them in person (since it's hard to really get a true feel of the stones in these small square images on the computer), and in the light of the space and hone down to the one that will make the final cut. Stay tuned to see the renovation project as it unfolds and find out which particular quartz counter I pick. So excited! 

*Top Image Via

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