Quartz or Butcher Block?

4/25/2013

In the next month or so, we plan to do a few updates in the kitchen. Nothing major, but we really would like to get new countertops, an undermount sink, and a new faucet.

For reference, here'e the history of our kitchen, starting with what it looks like today

 When we moved in we installed the cabinet knobs and pulls, the subway tile backsplash, new light fixtures, and the stainless steel appliances.


Our current laminate countertops.

Our progress somewhere in the middle

The kitchen when we bought the house

Looks totally different right?!
Okay, now that you've seen my kitchen in all of it's stages, let me continue.

The problem is that I keep going back and forth between quartz and butcher block. I absolutely love the look of both, which obviously doesn't help me any. The big difference between the two is the price. Butcher block would run us under $500, and we can do it ourselves. Quartz is going to easily be $3000, and we would have to hire out. I don't mind investing in my home because I know we are only increasing it's value, but at this point anything would be better than the laminate we have now. The reason I'm uneasy about dropping 3 grand on the quartz is because this is not our forever home. This is our home for the next few years, and then will become a rental space. Our townhome is only so big, so we're definitely going to outgrow it sooner or later. 

So do I do the butcher block now, and save the quartz for our forever home? This is the way I'm leaning.

I would love your opinions! Especially if you have quartz or butcher block in your homes!

If we decide to go quartz, I absolutely LOVE the Cambria Torquay


If we decided to go the butcher block route, we would probably look at Ikea's options

Source: This and That

What are your thoughts? Should we go big or go home and pick the quartz? Or should we save the quartz for our dream home, and thriftily upgrade with the butcher block?

xx, Shannon

P.s. Have you heard the news that Google Reader is going away July 1? Another great option to stay up to date with your favorite blogs is Bloglovin! Feel free to follow me there. :)

24 comments:

  1. Great work so far on the kitchen! Love the hello kitty toaster, lol. I love the look of butcher block, but isn't a pain to keep clean? Maybe I'm wrong about that, but it just seems like you'd have to clean it and make sure you oil/wax it ever so often too?

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    1. Hahaha my hello kitty toaster! I love that thing! :)
      I think butcher block would definitely be higher maintenance than quartz, so definitely a factor to think about.

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  2. Honestly? Neither. Butcher block is gorgeous, but it requires upkeep. Unless you're willing, as the homeowner, to come by and sand and refinish your countertops once a year for your tenants, forget it. And quartz is about as expensive as you could get for a countertop.So unless "top of the line" is going to be a theme of your rental agreement (along with solid wood cabs, quality flooring, cast iron etc) it'll be a huge waste of money. Save up for your forever home.

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    1. Thanks for your input Megan! So are you recommending to leave as is? Or do you think a less expensive choice like Granite would be better suited?

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  3. I vote butcher block! I love the look of quartz as well but I think it would look really great with a wood tones countertop to play with the wood floors. I've been on a kick of wood tones lately, though. Megan has a good point too, that butcher block is upkeep but perhaps if you rent in the future upkeeping the butcher block could be a part of the lease agreement. Maybe painting the laminate would be a cheaper, not as high maintenance option? Either way, I'm excited to see what the future holds for your kitchen!

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    1. So many options. I didn't even consider just painting the laminate. Thanks for your input!

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  4. We're not living in our forever home either, although we would plan to eventually sell rather than rent. So I always think to myself, "would we get back the money we would be putting in?" I think going with the butcher block counter top rather than quartz is the way to go, especially if you like them equally. And I have to admit, I suggest this out of selfish reasons too. I want to replace our countertops with butcher block and would love to get some tips from someone who installed it themselves :)

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    1. Hahaha Laura! I love your honesty!! :) If we go with the butcher block I'll be sure to provide some tutorials and advice! :)

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  5. I vote butcher block, because I looveee it and it would look great in your kitchen. It does have a lot of upkeep though.

    I guess I'm no longer a lurker ;)

    (From YHL Forum)

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    1. Ahh Melanie! This made me laugh. A lot.

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  6. I've never used either but I love the look of both. If I had to pick solely on looks for your space I'd go butcher block. I just think the wood and white will be a knock-out combo, and give your space some major personality. I personally have granite and love it. It doesn't mark easily, I can put a hot pot down without worries and I'm not worried that my kitchen won't sell in the future. Just a little side note ;)
    Can't wait to see what you choose!

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    1. Granite is another option I wasn't considering, but after hearing everyone's suggestions I definitely think we're going to factor it in! Thanks Elisa!

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  7. i would say quartz...only bc i think it looks amazing, and want that in my house! but the butcher block looks awesome too, i would just be leary of upkeep. i feel like our kitchens are eerily similar! and i totally want your backsplash!

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    1. Kate, our backsplash was super easy and cost under $30 if I remember correctly! You can do it!! :)

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  8. I would say go with butcher block for now, since this isn't going to be your forever home.

    xx Denysia Yu
    http://thatlaitgirl.com

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  9. If it was longterm, I would say the quartz (and it would appeal to more buyers if you sell your home.) BUT, I adore butcher block and I would personally want that in my kitchen. Butcher has my vote, I love it!

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  10. Seems like I agree with the majority of what has already been said. I vote butcher's block and save the quartz for your long-term home. If you were going to sell it, it might pay to go higher end, but I don't think you'd get that much bang for your buck as a landlord. That being said, it would be tough to have butcher block and tenants. As a tenant, I take good care of my home, but after seeing many rentals... I know not everyone does the same.
    {lamourcheznous.wordpress.com}

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts Lauren! I have so much to think about!

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  11. Wow, your kitchen has already come so far with just a few small updates! I feel you on the laminate, I'm dealing with some uuugggly brown laminate right now. I definitely vote for the budget friendly option since this won't be your forever house - no sense in dropping big money on countertops other people will eventually enjoy :) Can't wait to see what you decide!

    (www.stuckonsmith.com)

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  12. I have butcher's block in my home, it's a stunning look but a fair amount of work to maintain (and I'm easily distracted and keep forgetting to re-oil). I love it, and the look, but sometimes wish (especially with a cat and a large dog who try to get on the work surfaces) that I'd gone for something a little easier to clean. Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

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  13. Both of those options are wonderful. However I don't think either one are appropriate for a rental. I would investigate and find the most cost effective solid surface material that you can live with. You could do a 3 foot section in butcher block in a spot where you do a lot of prep work etc. The other option is to do whatever makes you happy for now. I've made enough plans in my life to know that we don't really know what the future holds...

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  14. We have been having the same debate. I LOVE the sparkly white quartz. But we don't plan to do a full remodel for a few years and I don't think I can justify the $$ on top of old cabinets. Hard decision, can't wait to see what you go with - you have made fabulous progress so far!
    Krista @thehappyhousie

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  15. Our grocer stop kitchen countertops could possibly be the most popular part of our home. If we redesigned each of our home recently, My spouse and i instructed my husband that will our ONE PARTICULAR prerequisite ended up being i wished grocer stop kitchen countertops.
    Butcher Board

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