There's another top contender on the market in the form of engineered quartz. Quartz countertops are a low-maintenance, super-hard, natural stone look that's available in a dazzling range of colors.

Quartz Countertops are Getting Lots of Attention in Kitchens - Stone Blog

Just like natural stone, quartz countertops allow for edging options. But, unlike stone, engineered quartz also allows for other design possibilities because it's more flexible to work with.

Engineered quartz kitchen countertops contain 95% quartz, which is an inexpensive and abundant natural stone, making it ideal for homeowners who want high-quality countertops. Combine ground quartz with a binding agent and color pigments, and you get one of the most exquisite, durable engineered surfaces in the world.

Engineered quartz is non-porous, so it's more difficult for mildew, mold and bacteria to grow. Some manufacturers mix an antimicrobial compound with the quartz to help fight germs. It won't protect you from food-borne illnesses, so you still have to clean your quartz kitchen countertops, but it will provide an extra measure of sanitation.

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