1. Avoid what’s common.
There are so many options in stone and tile today. Don’t make the mistake of choosing before you’ve looked at what’s on the market. If you take just a little time, you may find something that fits your budget and half of your neighbors don’t have exactly the same thing.
2. Rethink the edge.
One way to get more for your money is by choosing a simpler edge. The money you save here can buy you a nicer piece of material.
3. Seal your stone.
Unlike tile, stone is porous. Protect it by sealing it or you’ll be paying when someone spills a glass of red wine on it or drops a piece of blueberry pie.
4. Porcelain beats ceramic.
For durability, choose porcelain. It is fired at a higher temperature than ceramic and it has through-body color so if it chips, it’s not so noticeable.
5. Keep it neutral.
You’ve heard it before because it’s true. If it is expensive to replace, keep it fairly neutral. If you choose something “out there” and you don’t like it in six months, you’re pretty much stuck with it.