From fancy to functional and everything in between, there is a perfect countertop for every home. Lucie Hasek, owner of Creative Elements, has remodeled many kitchens and knows a thing or two about matching the perfect countertop to each client.
“It’s very important, because each family functions so differently,” Lucie says. “Most of the time, families with kids want an easy-maintenance kind of countertop … Some, on the other hand, may be empty nesters that finally have the chance to remodel or build their dream home. They may want something a little more glamourous and are often willing to have a little more maintenance with some of the natural stone choices,” she says. “It really just boils down to lifestyle.”
Depending on the homeowner’s lifestyle, Lucie recommends quartzite, quartz, granite and marble countertops.
Quartzite, she says, is one of the strongest materials available. “It’s definitely harder than granite and it withstands heat very well.” In addition, she says, it’s aesthetically pleasing. “It’s natural beauty is absolutely stunning. It’s quite pricey, so we don’t get to install it as often,” she says. Because it’s a natural stone, quartzite requires annual maintenance and a proper daily cleaner.
Quartz, on the other hand, is extremely low maintenance, Lucie says. “It’s perfect for kitchens with kids and lots going on.” Because it is man-made, it most often has a modern appearance with intentional clean lines and not as much movement as natural stone.
Granite is another favorite of Lucie’s – because of its durability and uniqueness. “It still amazes me that we mine stone out of quarries and carefully mill and polish it to look so amazing. The veining shows all sorts of history, how the stone was formed over hundreds of years,” she says. Granite can be honed or brushed to bring out its texture. “These techniques also allow for the sealer to soak deeper into the stone and make it a little easier on the maintenance.”
Marble countertops are an option for those who favor beauty over practicality. “That beauty, however, also comes at a cost,” Lucie says. “They can be very expensive and very finicky. They can scratch, etch and chip quite easily. I do not like to install marble in kitchens, especially if I know there will be lots of activity.”
Lucie says homeowners don’t have to commit to just one countertop. “It is not uncommon to mix, for example, a more solid color of quartz and possibly a more ‘veiny’ granite or quartzite,” she says.
Before making any decisions, Lucie says, homeowners should seek help from an experienced designer. “I would highly recommend interviewing a few professionals and finding one that you connect with and one that understands your lifestyle and the vision you are trying to achieve,” she says. “Try not to get discouraged and keep your focus on the end result. It will be beautiful!”
For more information about Creative Elements, visit CreativeElementsbyLucie.com.