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Modern Countertop Trends For House Flippers
It seemed to happen almost overnight, like a military coup. Quartz superseded granite as the pre-eminent high-end countertop material. For years, granite had held supreme reign. The attractive swirls of natural stone, the multitude of options, and the durability of the material over its other closest rival, marble made it the go-to products for higher end kitchens. But now no more.
Things started to change around 5 years ago when quartz, an engineered material not to be confused with the naturally occurring mineral,began to compare more favorably to granite and homeowners took notice. Granite needs to be sealed to remain non-porous and thus hygienic. In addition, unlike granite, it's highly resistant to staining. The Scavolini showroom in Brooklyn uses a wide array of Quartz countertops.
It offers great flexibility, says Lada Mihaylovskaya of quartz. She's one of the in-house kitchen designers at Scavolini's Brooklyn store. Not only is a there a wide variety of colors and finishes, but we can install a countertop at say 1 inches and the backsplash can be made of the same material so it matches and yet can be half the thickness, which saves money, she says.
The #1 Choice For House Flippers
For house flippers, quartz has become the go-to material. The days of contractors walking past huge slabs of granite in a warehouse to choose for countertops from is over. Now they leaf through quartz selections in a showroom.
That's not to say that it's cheaper than granite. Expect quartz countertops to vary from $80 per sq ft and more depending on the thickness and applications (it can be crafted to include a sink of the same material all in one).
Another advantage with quartz is that it's much more predictable in all stages of renovation. Being a composite of ground stone and other recycled industrial material and bound together by polymers, it's not as susceptible as other materials to cracking and breaking during transportation and installation.
Popular for years in commercial kitchens, this is a new trend in residential homes and works well with a wide variety of kitchen types, from the upscale and ornate with La Cornue ranges to raw, industrial spaces appointed with Wolf and Viking appliances. It needs very little in the way of maintenance and retains its look.
It's growing in popularity, says Mihaylovskaya. One of the biggest drawbacks, compared to quartz, is that it has to be moved in large sections and can be dented quite easily, particularly during transportation.
Although many people think of there only being one stainless steel style, there are variations including brushed, omnidirectional brushing, a custom grind pattern, and machine hammered finishes. The more customized the finish, however, the greater the potential of alienating buyers who might not like it.
Stainless steel alternatives are zinc, copper, and pewter. These materials acquire patinas over time, giving a warm, natural finish, which explains their increase in popularity.
Good old wood is back in fashion. It seems odd in many ways that wood could be en vogue for all the reasons that the shine's come off of granite's star. It is quite susceptible to damage, needs to be resealed regularly, and is not suitable for high heat. But what it does provide is a certain natural, rustic charm that homeowners are gravitating towards to counterbalance the high-tech appliances in the kitchen. For that reason, many house flippers have had success with butcher block countertops.
There are a number of different woods to choose from when installing a butcher block countertop. The most common grade is an edge grain, being stronger and more stable and less pricey than others. However, an end grain butcher block is the strongest and most expensive.
If you want wood in your kitchen, purely from a functional point-of-view, I wouldn't say that a counter-top would be the best place to have it, says Mihaylovskaya. Cabinets would be the place to go. Having said that, people seem to like the butcher block look and if you don't use your countertops intensely it can be quite beautiful.
Concrete countertops have been around for some time. Though the industrial look it provides, along with its undoubted durability, has its admirers, installation can be an involved, messy affair and expensive. Because of that, they haven't really caught on in the residential home market and are not considered a big seller for house flippers. They are more commonly used in commercial applications (bars etc) or outdoor kitchens.
Whatever your countertop preference, the Scavolini store in Brooklyn can design and install your kitchen.