Educational Series: Surface Art Countertops

As part of our industry focused educational series we invited our partner, Surface Art Countertops President Marc Rumpler, to speak at our San Rafael Design Center. We’re sharing a few of the highlights from Marc’s presentation about materials and trends within the industry. Marc has been working with cabinets and countertops for 28 years and is Floortex Design’s go-to countertop fabricator. Read on to see what Marc had to say about countertops at our San Rafael Design Center.

    Countertop Trends

  • Natural Stone: “Everyone’s always asking me about the coolest, newest trends,” Marc said. Right now? It’s natural stone, in particular: quartzite, a metamorphic rock that originates as sand stone. Quartzite has filled a hole in the market. The flowing look of marble, combined with the durability of granite equals out to the “oh my god, what is that?” reaction we all crave for our home. “I wanted marble,” Marc joked, “I know better… but I wanted marble.” Instead, he got quartzite and not only does he love it, it also stands up to the tests of his 17-year-old ramen-making son.
  • Wood: Wood countertops are another burgeoning trend and are a great way to create a warm and natural environment within the home. Wood also works great when married together with another surface, like quartz. When marrying wood with another surface, Marc likes to drop the quartz ¼” down and dado ¼” into the wood to create a clean look that can accommodate the two product’s expansion over time.
  • Metallic Highlights: The metallic highlights that have been trending across interior design have made their way into countertops as well. Metal is suspended in a binder and sprayed onto accent pieces in wood countertops, the result is a beautiful metallic accent piece for your home.
    • Different Materials for Different Lifestyles

  • Harder Surfaces: When looking at materials, it’s important to think carefully about what kind of wear your surfaces will get. If you have young children or large parties at your home, you should go for a harder surface, like quartz, quartzite, or granite. When you use a material hard enough not to scratch, you will inevitably have some chipping down the road, but they’re fixable.
  • Softer Surfaces: Marble is a beautiful natural stone, but it can be trickier than other countertop materials. Marble is a softer surface with calcium in it, so it will etch and scratch. Marc’s advice is not to worry; let the stone be what it wants to be. Marble can also be damaged by acidic products such as citrus juice, vinegar, coffee, and many other everyday items. So, if you have a busier household, using a harder surface, like quartz or quartzite, is a good choice.
  • Edges: While a crisp edge can look great in a modern home, they will also be more prone to chipping. Like harder surfaces, rounder edges are better for livelier lifestyles.
  • Modern Family: Quartz is another good surface for active lifestyles. Quartz has a minimalistic and modern aesthetic, while also being resistant to stains, scratches, and reasonable levels of heat. Quartz is a great option for a modern home with a heavily used kitchen. Familiar quartz carrying brands include Caesarstone, Silestone, Cambria, Pental, Viatera, MSI Q, & EuroStone.
  • Outside Surfaces: Neolith is a newer material that is virtually indestructible. If you live in a part of the world that’s prone to heavy rain like we do, you know how important it is to have surfaces that won’t stain or show seasonal wear. Neolith is resistant to all kinds of weather, so you won’t need to run home and cover it up when the winter storms start.
  • Rentals: If you’re a landlord looking to re-do a kitchen in between tenants, Marc has two favorite options for countertops. Granite is his first pick for rental homes. “It’s the most durable, bulletproof countertop for renters,” Marc said. If you’re not ready to go for granite, Marc recommends formica, a laminated countertop that looks great for a great price point.
    • Thinking Beyond the Kitchen

    Matching your countertops throughout your home is a beautiful way to effortlessly bring your living space together. So, if you’re considering future updates to your home, think about all possible countertop spaces that could benefit from an update. Besides the continuity, you may also save money when purchasing a slab countertop by being able to utilize one slab in multiple locations throughout your home. For example, if you use a slab material on an island, you are already purchasing a full slab which could cover the island and a bathroom surface. Surface Art can work with you to map out the flow of your countertop, whether it’s with stone or wood, so you have a balanced flow throughout your home.

    Here at Floortex, we love working with Surface Art because they share our values; pride in workmanship, accountability, and attention to detail. Like us, Surface Art works with their clients to ensure that the product going into their home fits their durability needs, aesthetic desires, as well as their budget.

    Interested in learning more about countertop trends? Check out the great articles listed below or come speak with one of our Floortex Design experts.

    4 Design Trends with Staying Power

    Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design