I love and really appreciate reading first-hand reviews of furniture and other home-related products - especially the ones that are big investments. Kitchen countertops definitely fall into that category and I wanted to share about our experience with our Caesarstone London Grey quartz countertops after living with them for over a year now.
I know that many of you who land here on the Mix & Match blog are taking on renovations or are decorating your home (or at least thinking about those things!), and I want to be a resource for you in those processes. Having gone through a kitchen renovation of my own last summer, I understand how overwhelming it can be to make all of those decisions for a space that you'll be living with for many years to come. You definitely want to get it right the first time! :)
So if you're in the research or decision-making phase for your kitchen reno, I hope this post will help guide you on one big aspect of that journey - your countertops!
Why We Chose Quartz Countertops
We should probably start by going back to why we decided on quartz countertops in the first place, shouldn't we? :) While I've always loved the look of marble, I knew from the beginning that I wanted a material that had that look and was low maintenance. Marble definitely does not fall into the latter category! It is porous, meaning that it can stain fairly easily, and needs to be sealed and maintained properly to keep its gorgeous look, and soft, making it prone to scratching and etching. Some folks are up for that level of care, but I am definitely not. Enter: quartz.
Quartz is an engineered material made from natural quartz mixed with polymers and resins that is designed to mimic many natural stones, including marble. The advantages are that quartz is non-porous (no staining risk!), nearly indestructible, and low maintenance. You don't need to seal it and it cleans up easily. The disadvantages of quartz are that it's not as heat-resistant as marble or granite and it can be pricey.
One other consideration that isn't really good or bad, but is just something to think about, is that quartz countertops tend to fall into a more contemporary or modern look. Though there are a ton of designs out there that work with many styles, this material does tend to work best in kitchens that aren't super traditional. I figured I would throw that out there in case that's one of you!
After taking those pros and cons into account we chose to go with a beautiful marble-look quartz from Caesarstone called "London Grey." It has a light gray background with subtle charcoal veining throughout. We purchased it through IKEA when we bought our cabinets during their kitchen sale - and yes, the sale included countertops! At full price, this particular quartz was $89/sq. ft., which is their highest level (of course the one I chose was the most expensive, ha!), but since we chose less expensive cabinets, it evened itself out.
After A Year, How Do We Like Them?
In other words, do quartz countertops live up to the hype?
In a word, YES. We've been extremely happy with our quartz countertops. They look just as good as they did on installation day, and I still love the design we chose. They work together beautifully with our modern white cabinets (the Veddinge from IKEA), and other materials and finishes like our brass hardware. It's neutral, but still visually interesting up close.
We love that we don't have to worry about spills or stains, especially since we entertain and host often. Our peninsula typically becomes the bar area during gatherings large and small, and not having to worry about the inevitable red wine spill gives me incredible peace of mind! We just wipe it up at the end of the night with a damp paper towel and it comes right off. We've also had countless things land on them like sticky liquids and pasta sauce and had no issues cleaning them off with either soap and water or a mild natural product like Method all-purpose cleaner.
Also, I'm not sure if it's the pattern and color we chose, but it hides minor messes and dried water spots well. Sometimes when we're cleaning, we have to lean down at strange angles to see places we might have missed, which means our countertops typically look clean even if they aren't actually spotless. Not having to wipe up the tiniest of spills or stray crumbs all the time is a great thing for someone who loves a clean kitchen, but is low maintenance.
The issue of quartz not being as heat resistant hasn't been an issue for us since we're not in the habit of putting really hot dishes on our counters anyway. If you are, breaking that habit might be a little bit harder, but I know you can do it! :)
So! All in all, would I recommend quartz countertops to a client or friends? YES.
It was an easy decision for us, and I'm confident we'll be happy with our choice for many years to come! They're certainly an investment, but because of all the advantages and our low-maintenance lifestyle, they were the best material for our kitchen.
I hope this review of our quartz countertops is helpful in your kitchen renovation journey, and as always, if you have questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me a message!