What is the Best Kitchen Countertop Material?

When it comes to designing a kitchen, there are a lot of choices to be made, from appliances, to cabinets to flooring. One choice that has a big impact on the look and function of the kitchen is the countertop material.

It’s one of the first things you see in a kitchen, and you interact with it every day. Countertops come in all kinds of colors and styles, but there is more to them than looks.

To help you choose what’s best for your kitchen, here are some of the more popular countertop materials.


Quartz countertops are manufactured slabs. They come in a huge variety of colors, including red, blue and green, as well as patterns that resemble granite or marble. The patterns that mimic stone are very popular as unlike stone, the color and design of the slab is always consistent. You can get the look of real stone, without the maintenance.

Quartz is very durable and requires zero maintenance. However, it is susceptible to extreme heat, so don’t put hot pots and pans directly on it.


Granite is a natural stone countertop, since it is an all-natural product, each slab is different. That can be a pro or con, depending on the look you are aiming to achieve. Granite can take all kinds of everyday kitchen punishment, from spills to extreme heat, and look just as good as the day you installed it. This durability makes granite a great choice.

It doesn’t require much maintenance. However, since it is a natural stone, you will need to seal your countertops and take care not to stain them.


Few materials offer the elegant look of marble. It’s a popular material for bathroom countertops, and it has made its way into the kitchen, as well. Carrara marble, in particular, offers a luxurious look that’s almost unmatched, while being unmatched.

While it is durable, marble countertops do have some maintenance requirements. It’s a highly porous material, meaning it soaks up liquid. That makes it susceptible to stains from spilled wine or other household liquids. To avoid this, you’ll need to seal the marble frequently, and even then you’ll have to be diligent with how you clean up spills.

Marble also shows scratches, which can be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. A softer material than granite, it will show wear over time, which gives it an old-world charm. You’ll also want to avoid prolonged exposure to acids, such as lemon juice, which can remove the polish and make the marble more prone to scratches.

Perhaps not the best material for a growing family, but marble sure looks amazing.


Not to be confused with quartz, quartzite countertops are growing in popularity. It’s similar to granite in that it’s a natural, quarried stone, and it offers distinct veining and variations that give it unique character.

Quartzite is actually harder than granite, and therefore extremely durable. It will last basically forever, showing no scratches or damage, and requires virtually no maintenance.

Like every other design element in your kitchen, the countertops come down to personal choice. We can help you measure the pros and cons of each and choose a countertop that fits your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Wood vs. Gas: The Fireplace Showdown

When you live in a place with cold winters, like Wisconsin, having a fireplace is almost a necessity. But which is better? Gas or natural wood?

People love fireplaces because not only do they warm up your home, but they make your home feel warmer. There’s just a sense of coziness and comfort that comes with having a fire burning in the fireplace.

The question of gas versus wood has been around since gas fireplaces were invented. If you’re having a hard time deciding, we’ve dissected the pros and cons of each to help you decide.


Efficient Heating

Gas fireplaces are hands down the more efficient choice. They are designed to pump a lot of heat into your home while using minimal energy.

Wood-burning fireplaces are surprisingly inefficient. Unless you live near a forest and are willing to chop, split and dry the wood yourself, a gas fireplace will cost much less to run.


Cost of Installation

Gas wins again, unless you already have a fireplace and chimney in place. Gas fireplaces can be installed in just about any home and just require a simple vent.

Wood fireplaces require a lot more materials and labor to build. If you already have a wood fireplace and chimney in your home, modernizing it might be relatively easy. But if you’re starting from scratch, a gas fireplace is much less expensive.



Once more, gas wins.

Wood fireplaces require much more maintenance and cleaning to keep them in safe working condition. There is ash and soot that needs to be cleaned, and the chimney needs to swept to prevent creosote build-up.

Gas just needs to be inspected and cleaned every year, but they don’t come with the daily headaches that wood fireplaces do.



Safety is an issue with every fireplace, especially if you have small children or pets in the home.

Most modern gas fireplaces are designed to eliminate hot surfaces that can burn curious fingers.

With wood fireplaces, you have to be diligent to make sure sparks don’t fly onto your rug or smoke doesn’t build up inside your home.



With all factors coming down in favor of gas fireplaces, why would anyone want a wood fireplace?

But there’s nothing like cozying up in front of a crackling wood fire, watching it slowly burn out as your evening goes on. The smell of the wood, the warm glow of the coals. Gas fireplaces can’t do that.

Sometimes, the practical reasons for gas can’t make up for the ambiance a wood fireplace provides. And if you’re up to the task of maintaining them, wood fireplaces are perfectly safe and functional.

If you’re still not sure which is best for your home, give us a call and we’ll help you think through the options.