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TMD’s Guide to Kitchen Countertops


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Based in McLean, VA

Creating inspired interiors for discerning clients since 2003. Accepting clients in DC, Virginia, Maryland, and select cities throughout the United States.

TMD’s Guide to Kitchen Countertops

You have done all your homework. You have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen design. Now is the time to decide what type of kitchen countertops you would like to install in your home. Many clients find this to be a very difficult decision.

The kitchen is the hub of your home, and your countertops must reflect this. Perhaps the hardest-working surface in your home, they must complement the space as well as your design style and lifestyle. Here are some questions to ask before deciding on a countertop material:

  • How often do you cook? Entertain?
  • Will children be using the countertops on a regular basis?
  • What types of cabinetry and fixtures do you plan to use in your new kitchen?
  • How important are integrated sinks, seamless appearance, and vibrant colors?
  • Consider which surface you find appealing: the look, feel, texture, and shades. Should it be warm or cool to the touch?
  • How long do you plan on living in your home?
  • What types of upgrades are typical/expected in homes in your neighborhood?
  • What is the style of your space?

Taking the above questions and answers into consideration, here are some of the pros and cons of the most popular countertop materials that we use in our designs.


Considered an engineered stone, quartz is a blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments. Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Quartz offers options that mimic natural stone or that have a uniform look for a more modern look. It is ideal for areas that get plenty of use (and possibly abuse) and can survive spills, hot pots, knives – basically anything that comes its way. Quartz doesn’t have to be sealed for stain protection and is waterproof, so it can be paired with an under-mounted sink.


No two slabs of this natural stone are alike. It remains one of the most popular choices for heavily used areas and, like quartz, can withstand spills, heat, scratches, and more. It can also be used with an under-mounted sink. Granite does require periodic sealing for stain protection. Edges and corners are also prone to chipping.


This beautiful and classic material has been used in kitchens across Europe for ages. Small nicks and scratches from everyday wear and tear can be polished out. Marble chips and scratches more easily than other materials and must be sealed to protect it from staining. Also, if you live in an area with hard water, be wary: attempts to take away hard-water deposit may leave a permanent mark, even on properly sealed stone. Over time, marble takes on a patina that some like and others don’t care for.

These are just three of many choices our clients have when choosing countertops. Please contact us today if you have any questions.