HOME HACKS | Choosing the Best Kitchen Countertops for your Home | Julie Khuu

hi guys welcome back to my channel

today's video is all about kitchen

countertops I know when you're designing

a kitchen there are like a million and

one decisions to make so I want to break

down all the different types of

countertops and why you should choose

one over the other let's jump right into

it when designing a kitchen

you clearly have so much to think about

you have the flooring the cabinets that

appliances the hardware the countertops

the accessories your China your silver I

mean there's just one endless decision

after another but the number one

question I get asked the most is how do

you pick a countertop we're gonna start

with the main questions you have to ask

yourself when designing your kitchen

we'll jump right into pros and cons of

each type of countertop material your

budget what your requirements are and

hopefully all of that information will

help guide you on how to pick the right

countertop for your kitchen you always

want to decide on function first

function should always be your top

priority when selecting pretty much any

material especially for your kitchen

countertops you first need to make an

assessment of how you and your family

use your kitchen for my home Lahab sand

i both cooked so clearly we needed

something that was durable we needed

something that was heat-resistant I

pretty much bought and remodeled this

house before we started our family so we

weren't even thinking about kids but if

you have you know kids are running

around and they're like dropping things

off on the kitchen countertops or you

have like a lot of spills that you need

to take care of you need to be able to

assess what your key requirements are

for that kitchen think about the

function and its use and then figure it

out from there the second question you

have to ask yourself which might even be

the most important question is what is

your budget I mean what can you afford

the different types of materials

actually range from like low to high end

it's a common myth that marble is the


spensive countertop material that you

can get but I've actually sourced some

like really high and exotic granite

before that even Trump's the most

expensive marble there is out there

so while there is a really great

variation between the cost per square

foot between materials you need to

figure out number one how much

countertop material you actually need

you can break it down by slab and to

whether or not that will fit into your

budget a designer's tip when you're on a

restricted budget but love like a really

high-end material is to kind of switch

it up maybe do that beautiful material

in the island that doesn't get a lot of

use and then you can install the less

expensive materials all around the


number three is maintenance how much

maintenance can you handle every single

type of material comes with this long

list of demands for instance if you are

someone who needs a completely sturdy

workhorse it's so durable you don't want

to maintain it you don't need a seal it

then maybe a porous material like marble

or granite it's just not for you however

if you don't mind regular maintenance

like myself I actually love to tend to

my countertop I constantly wipe them

down with a daily cleaner annually I'll

do like a surface peeler pour on it so

there's a long list of demands that

every material requires so you just have

to figure out how much maintenance do

you want to commit to that particular

material and lastly what is your style I

mean what's your vibe what's your

aesthetic my personal style is super

eclectic I knew the minute I stepped

into this lab yard I absolutely wanted

to go with an exotic granite I found

this really beautiful black slab with

all of this like pattern baning in it

and I just vibe with that look

so of course aesthetics were really high

on my list so you want to ask yourself

what your personal style is if your

style is a little bit more farmhouse

maybe butcher block is a way to go if

your style is really clean and modern

quartzite with this very minimal

variation in

this might be the style for you and of

course you can never go wrong with white


I know Carrera and Calcutta is high on

everyone's wish list and at the same


it matches a variety of styles depending

on what you pair it with so to recap you

need to ask yourself those four key

questions what are you using your

countertops for what's your budget how

much maintenance are you willing to

handle and what is your style so now

let's break down some of the most

popular countertop materials and talk to

you about the key characteristics of

each first we have our natural stone

countertops like marble granite

limestone or soapstone these are natural

stone materials that are typically

quarried from all over the world you can

get them anywhere from Brazil to China

to Italy you can even find them locally

here in the states in Colorado the great

thing about natural stone is that

they're natural you know some of the

veining and the patterns are inherent in

the stone which makes them really

beautiful however something like silk

stone which is also a natural material

there's less veining in the overall look

at the material so if you like a natural

stone but you don't want too much

pattern it's soap so make the right one

for you then there's engineered quartz

which is like Silestone or a Caesar

stone engineered stone just means that

they need to pour a resin into the cork

compound so that it creates a super

durable material quartz is probably one

of the most typical materials you find

in kitchen countertops today they're

really made popular by HDTV and along

those home remodeling shows but of

course you still need to determine

whether or not it's right for you and

then we'll go through the pros and cons

of each next we have a butcher block

material which is pretty much just a

really beautiful slab of wood there's

different ways you cut out the wood

there's a faith grain and edge grain so

depending all the wood is cut up and

glued back together that's how you get

your butcher block material BAM

after becoming increasingly popular as

well so it kind of has that look of wood

but clearly it's not hood it's a little

bit more sustainable you also have your

metal or stainless steel counter tops I

mean I love the look of that in like an

industrial kitchen or a really modern

kitchen you'll also see a lot of

kitchens now are trending towards

concrete which I absolutely love it's

not like concrete of the 80s guys I mean

you can't just like put a pan right down

and the whole thing cracks today's

concrete is precast and they come in a

variety of colors so it's really

beautiful you get a lot of variation and

at the same time it's a really modern

has a super cool vibe then there's solid

surface countertops like Corian which

are poured but since it's not

heat-resistant and it's completely

engineered I absolutely don't even

recommend it for a kitchen you'll also

see laminate countertops or a tile

countertops which to me are like

absolute no nose so we won't even

discuss the pros and cons do away with


I mean who won grout marks in their

kitchen when there's dirt and oil flying


so now let's jump into the pros and cons

of my favorite materials so you can

decide which one is right for you let's

jump right into marble marble is my

absolute favorite material to use I mean

I probably use it like 90% of all of my

projects I absolutely love marble

because it always looks high in its a

natural material each piece is unique it

comes in a variety of patterns and

colors and paintings so I never really

can go wrong with choosing marble

because it's just so unique not only is

marble heat-resistant it actually

develops a patina over time so with you

subway gauge and with where you actually

get like this really beautiful patina

that comes out of it if you guys don't

know what a patina is a patina is really

just the look of a surface as a

and where's just think about copper once

you started using copper for a while

you'll see the different areas where

copper starts turning green or hash like

this bluish tint to it that is what a

patina is marble also works with so many

different aesthetic I've put marble in

like a European farmhouse type of home I

put it in like a really modern home

before it depends on the surface

finishing of marble marble can be

polished or honed depending on your

aesthetic one of the cons of marble is

that it could be expensive I've actually

sourced a slab that cost more than like

a small car so if you're restricted by

budget absolutely rethink whether or not

you want to use marble another con is

that since it is a porous material which

means the surface has pores in it it

requires ongoing maintenance you can

have it professionally sealed properly

annually and what I usually tell clients

is if you have marble installed in other

rooms of the house like a bathroom you

could have your professional sealer come

and kind of seal everything out once so

that you don't have to think about it

in between use I mean it is susceptible

to staining as well red wine and acidic

liquids are not marbles friend I mean

you have to really just wipe it up right

away and if you feel as though you can't

do that then marble probably isn't the

countertop material for you it also has

very low abrasion which means it could

scratch easily for me I just love the

inherent look of it so I find the

aesthetics more valuable than whether or

not I see a little bit of scratch if you

polish the surface you'll see more

scratches but if the surface is hone

you'll actually see less scratches

another con that was also a pro is that

it develops the patina over time

depending on how you look at it it's a

pro or a con some people love that their

kitchen shows exactly how they use it

and other people don't like that so much

so you need to determine whether or not

that patina works for you

moving on to granite granite is probably

one of the most durable materials

there that is an absolute pro but since

it is a porous material it does me to be

sealed a lot of people love the heat

resistance and the scratch resistance of

granite which means you can take a pot

right off the stove throw right on your

countertop and it won't damage the

granite I love that about my granite but

honestly it's not a big deal you need to

lay something out for your surface

anyways since gran is one of the most

durable materials out there it won't

scratch or chip easily but it doesn't

mean that it's indestructible I mean if

you took like a hammer to it or you like

accidentally rub like a huge pot on the

side of it or a cast-iron skillet I mean

you are going to damage it guys but

since it's one of the toughest materials

out there that's why people usually pick

granite another Pro to granite it's it's

beautiful veiny and patterns which I

mean honestly at the same time you can

actually see that as a con so depending

on what your style and aesthetic is you

might love the veiny or you don't some

of the most exotic Granite's are like

super high-end and visually just make a

statement in any type of kitchen in the

kitchen just imagine you have like a lot

of straight lines it's just a lot of

cabinets and a lot of drawers and all of

a sudden is broken up by this beautiful

pattern in the center of your kitchen

that's why I always gravitate towards

natural stone for countertops I mean it

just gives off a very luxurious vibe and

no two slots are the same in any type of

kitchen you're absolutely going to see

seams depending on the material and your

fabricator you either gonna see them

less or more but we've granted since

there's so much pattern variations

sometimes you could hide the seams a

little bit better versus like of course

granite countertops are actually

considered one of the lower maintenance


they don't need professional sealing

like marble you can really just go out

to Home Depot and buy like a topical

sealer and then just kind of wipe that

down periodically granite is also a

genuinely natural material so if you're

worried about sustainability I mean

granite is

as well as they know another Pro for

granite is that they are absolutely

resistant to chemicals

if you accidentally pour like an acid

like a vinegar or bass right onto your

countertops you can just wipe it right

up without it harming the natural porous

surface let's move on to soapstone what

is soapstone soapstone is also a natural


it's a metamorphic rock that got its

name from its soapy texture that soapy

smooth texture is thanks to the presence

of talc in the stone there are two

varieties of soapstone architectural and

artistic the artistic soapstone is the

ones where you see them carving statues

out of you can kind of like chip and

carve into it but the architectural ones

are the ones that I've used for

countertops in your kitchen

the architectural great soapstone has a

lower talc content usually about fifty

to seventy-five percent which makes it

super durable for kitchen countertop

although it's not as durable or hard as

granite or marble people love it because

you can literally install it in any

design shape or form one of the biggest

pros of soapstone is that it doesn't

stain it's a dense and non porous

material which means it's heat resistant

it's super durable and it can stand up

to acidic materials as well because

soapstone is also non-porous I mean the

maintenance on it is super low it

doesn't need to be sealed so sometimes

when you Nick it or crack it or chip it

that becomes inherent in its beauty to

me that's what makes soapstone really

unique it almost looks like a grayish

marble sometimes you can get it in like

a dark blue or even like a tinted green

but typically it's like this really

beautiful gray that could also be a con

with soapstone there's not a whole lot

of variety in colors so if you're

looking for something outside of that

color range soapstone isn't for you

another con is that you can't find like

huge old slabs

usually they quarry them at about 7 foot

slabs so if you know that you have a

linear countertop with that is more than

7 feet you're going to have

so soapstone like marble does develop a

patina over time so definitely consider

that when making your decision

let's get into the pros and cons of

engineered quartz quartz countertops are

just as strong as granted but with that

added resin in it makes it a little bit

more flexible quartz is non porous which

means it never ever ever requires

sealing these types of slabs offer a

virtually maintenance-free kitchen

workstation which is why homeowners love

it while they're super durable they're

not indestructible either

however they are stain resistant so if

you drop a glass of red wine on it you

can easily clean it right up but the

other thing about quartz is that since

there's resin mixed in if you have a

part of your kitchen that IV seems like

a whole lot of sunlight and a portion of

your kitchen that doesn't that part that

receives a sunlight can discolor over

time there's a lot of new quartz

material out there that is made to look

like marble so if you're restricted by

budget love the look of marble you can

actually choose a quartz that looks like

it but of course it's less maintenance

and a lot more durable moving on to

butcher block I love how the look of

wood just warms up an entire kitchen the

natural coloring of would just really

advise with modern farmhouse styles I

love that it's like a really soft

material so every time you put like a

dish or a glass on it you don't get this

like big loud banging in your kitchen it

maintained properly it's a really long

lasting and durable choice I actually

really love would mix with marble so if

you do like marble on the outer

perimeter you can have good as your

Center Island and it's just a really

beautiful mix another pro to wood

countertops is that it's really

repairable if you get like a scratch or

a nick in it all you have to do is just

sand it down and it's good as new one of

the biggest cons with butcher block and

wood is that it's not heat resistant you

can't put a hot pan down without a

trivet or a towel underneath or else

it's gonna burn your wood wood can also

swell or crack in extreme heat or dry

climate whereas excessive witness could

also brought the wood and again like

some of the other natural stones it does

develop a patina over time so of course

you can see that as a pro or a condom

when your style is lastly let's talk

about the pros and cons of concrete

countertops concrete countertops are

like so trendy right now I literally

cannot open Pinterest without seeing a

concrete countertop unlike a super chic

kitchen typically you think of concrete

for really industrial spaces but I

actually love how the inherent look of

concrete and make a space look so modern

and so chic at the same time one of the

pros of concrete countertops is that it

could be formed and shaped and molded

and poured into any type of

configuration for your kitchen so if you

have like an angular kitchen or like a

curved kitchen

you really can't specify concrete to the

design of your kitchen there are so many

options when it comes to colors and

staining concrete isn't only that cold

hard grade that you typically think of

you can add stains and colors to it so

it can match pretty much anything that

you dream up concrete is rock hard solid

I mean it's completely heat resistant

it's stain resistant it doesn't a

scratch is super durable and

long-lasting you can pretty much pour

anything into concrete to make the look

unique what do I mean if you want it

like glass fragments or shells or rocks

or stones you go pour it right in there

and it'll be cast alongside with your

countertop I mean which i think is

pretty cool I've never done that myself

but I've seen it done and I think it's

just like a really beautiful unique way

to make a personal statement the surface

is really easy to clean providing that

you regularly seal it concrete nowadays

is considered like a super premium

high-end material so it actually adds

value to your property one of the

biggest cons for concrete is that it is

expensive I mean it usually starts like

around 150 dollars a square foot

I've actually specified marble for that

cost but if you're like constantly

thinking of concrete if you're

constantly pinning images of you know

kitchen countertops that use concrete it

is definitely a valuable investment

another thing about concrete is that it

is a heavy I mean sometimes it can't

with stain like really cheapy cabinets

and drawers underneath it make sure you

have high quality materials as I found

for the concrete countertops to sit on

the biggest con about concrete is that

the repairs are gnarly even though

they're super hard material if you

accidentally crack it or chip it I mean

you have to replace the entire thing

which a lot of people don't like but at

the same time if you can afford it hey

why not so the bottom line is treat your

countertop like a huge investment

besides your bedroom a kitchen is the

most used room in your home you want to

make sure that you make quality

investments you really consider all the

questions when determining which

countertop material is right for you of

course style and aesthetics plays such a

huge role in whether or not that

countertop will buy with your space I

hope this video has helped you Widow

down your selections I know there's so

much to consider when specifying your

countertop material for me personally I

buy the best that I can afford any time

it comes to selecting materials for my

home I think of two things number one

what can I not live without and number

two what can I afford that I won't

regret later if you keep these

principles in mind when selecting any

types of materials for your home you

really can't go wrong coz to me you

really thought it out the more thought

you put into it the less regret you'll

have later I know that there are so much

information in this video guys and it's

one of those content and heavy posts so

if you like this type of content please

give this video a thumbs up let me know

in the comments below if you have any

questions when trying to figure out

which countertops are best for your

kitchen and of course subscribe to my

design channel you haven't already thank

you so much for watching I'll see you in

the next one