Beyond the brand names, your options for countertops essentially only include a limited number of materials. Here are twelve of the most well-liked.
Your timing is ideal if you’re considering upgrading your kitchen counters. The days of having only two options—wood butcherblock or plastic laminate—are long gone. Many countertop options are now available, ranging from colored concrete and quartz composites to real stone and renewable acrylic sheets. Furthermore, countertops are available in a vast array of hues, designs, and textures to suit any design need. The best material for your kitchen will depend on several aspects, including color, overall aesthetic, durability, stain- and scratch-resistance and of course, pricing. No one countertop is perfect for every home. Here, we’ll examine twelve common countertop materials, including wood, concrete, plastic laminate, ceramic tile, solid-surface countertops and natural stone.
Which one of these options do you like?
Granite has gained popularity in recent years as a countertop surface and is offered in a variety of grades, often ranging from 1 to 5 (ratings depend on where you buy it), patterns, hues, and thicknesses. A slab can cost anywhere from $25 per square foot for modular pieces of very basic stone bought at a home center to more than $1,000 per square foot, depending on what you choose. Costs might substantially increase with thickness. If you need granite but are on a tight budget, you might want to choose a three-quarter-inch slab rather than an inch-and-a-half slab because you will most likely recoup your investment.
- Dramatic, high-status countertop option that tends to increase the value of houses when they are sold
- Heat and scratches won’t damage hard surfaces
- A sustainable substance with enduring appeal
- Granite needs to be sealed sometimes because it is a porous material
- Permanent stains may appear due to improper sealing
Quartz surfaces are a popular option for kitchen counters and are frequently thought of as an alternative to granite. Quartz is one of the world’s hardest materials and is more resilient and long-lasting than granite, making it a good option for a kitchen countertop. Because of the fact that quartz countertops are created, there are countless color and pattern options, including types that are nearly equivalent to granite or marble. Brands include LG Viatera, DuPont Zodiac, Silestone, Avanza and CaesarStone. The fact that quartz surfaces are heat- and stain-resistant and thus simple to maintain may be one of their greatest advantages. Quartz is very resistant to mold and bacterial contamination due to its non-porous nature.
- Samples and the finished product are identical (what you see is what you get)
- Midrange price
- No seal is required
- Able to withstand stains and scratches
- Seams might be more noticeable
- Consistency in color and pattern can appear manufactured.
The material is plastic-coated, available in a variety of hues, including surfaces that resemble granite, and is usually referred to by the brand name Formica. This is a workable alternative if money is limited and you’re performing a short and filthy kitchen remodel. You must balance the benefits and drawbacks of resale. Can granite increase the value of your home? (Checking out comparable properties in real estate is a good idea.)
- Easily maintained
- There are numerous available styles
- Simple to install
- It’s not long-lasting
- Hard to fix
- Delamination and burns are most likely to occur with water damage.
Natural, quarried soapstone is a non-porous stone that comes in a variety of gray tones, from light to dark, all with subtle veining. It is highly stain- and bacterium resistant. It doesn’t require annual sealing like other natural stones do, but regular applications of mineral oil will help to cover up any surface blemishes, add gloss, and gradually deepen the stone’s color. These pewter-colored countertops are perfect for repairing older buildings. They need routine care with mineral oil applications because they darken over time, but customers enjoy their rich character and silky feel.
- Works in classic, rustic, and modern kitchens
- Does not need to be sealed
- You shouldn’t cut directly on soapstone or drop heavy objects on it due to how delicate it is
The creamy travertine countertop gives a kitchen a timeless Old World appearance. Its pitted surface can retain food and bacteria, absorb liquids, and require more upkeep than other countertop surfaces if you don’t fill and seal it. Despite the upkeep, this material is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options and gives any kitchen design style a warm, welcoming vibe.
- Installable in slabs or tiles
- Reacts with acids like citrus juice and stains when exposed
- Regular sealing is required.
- Bacterial growth may result from its ability to absorb water
- Simple to scratch
- Heat can harm it
Recently, smooth, low-maintenance surfaces have become more popular in kitchen design. As a result, there are fewer types of ceramic or porcelain tile countertops. That does not, however, imply that you should completely disregard tile for your kitchen. Tile is a great material for secondary work surfaces including butler’s pantries, islands, eat-at countertops, peninsulas, wet bars, and backsplashes. Just make sure to choose tiles that are approved for usage on counters or floors. On a counter, never use wall tile. It is too flimsy and will break easily. Recovering an existing surface is another option, which DIYers find appealing. The alternatives are also apparently unlimited because there are so many different colors and textures of tiles available nowadays. However, keep in mind that tiles do crack. The largest drawback of all may be the need to grout tiles.
- Resistant to heat and moisture
- Dirty grout
- Uneven surface
- Tiles are prone to scuffing and chipping
Solid-surface countertops, which can be made from dense acrylic, polyester, or a combination of the two, require minimal maintenance and come in a huge selection of colors and patterns. They are completely renewable and repairable, as well as stain and scratch resistant. Deep gouges can be filled; scratches and burns can be polished out. A solid surface is ideal for long or wide areas of counters, as well as larger island tops, since the seams are bonded together to create virtually imperceptible connections. Solid-surface sinks are also available in hues that complement or contrast the countertop.
- Lots of options for colors and patterns
- Heat can harm it
- Simple to smudge and scrape
In contemporary kitchens, this surface with industrial strength offers a streamlined finish. It can easily handle hot pots and is simple to clean with soap and water. But, stainless steel is not suitable for cutting since it can scratch and dent. It’s also an expensive surface. You may choose to utilize stainless steel in only a portion of your kitchen, such as the eating area or the area beside the stove.
- Heat and stain-resistant
- Simple to install
- Recyclable, environmentally friendly materials
- Sanitary surface
- Maybe dented and scratched (go with higher gauge stainless to avoid this)
- Can give off a frigid appearance and might not be suitable for classic kitchens
- Increases the amount of noise in the kitchen
When you think about marble, images of beautiful sculptures and opulent pillars come to mind. When selecting a marble countertop, which is a wonderful match for a traditional kitchen design, the feeling of luxury is present in the same way. The gorgeous hues and textures of marble include beige, milky white, black and slate gray. For a seamless and uniform appearance throughout the kitchen, think about using a gray-toned marble countertop in a space with white cabinets and a white subway-tile backsplash.
While marble can be expensive, you might want to think about a less expensive option, such as Carrara marble. This marble not only resembles its more expensive sibling but also may hide unsightly chips and stains that are typical of classic marble due to its softness. Natural stone countertops, like marble, should be cleaned with moderate liquid detergent and water. Moreover, marble should be sealed yearly. A high-maintenance marble countertop might not be the greatest choice for your kitchen surface if it sees frequent use and is used for food preparation. Nonetheless, bakers who prefer a chilly surface for rolling out bread and cookie dough have found that marble surfaces are useful.
- Lovely, traditional, high-end appearance
- For bakers, a great work surface
- A variety of colors and textures
- Natural materials can raise the value of a real estate
- Regular sealing is required.
- Easy to smudge and scrape
- Extremely hefty
Due to its non-porous nature (unlike marble, concrete and granite), this natural stone is suitable for countertops since it repels stains. Slate is sturdy and resistant to heat and chipping. The cloth has some light veining and is available in the colors pink, blue, purple, brown, black, red and green, in addition to gray and dark gray. In general, slate is less expensive than marble and granite.
- Maintenance-free compared to marble, granite, or concrete
- Lovely with delicate color nuances
- Heat-resistant, tough, and long-lasting
- Comparably reasonable
- Certain corners may be sharp
Wood countertops are an excellent choice for a work surface. In reality, a 1993 University of Wisconsin study found that 99.9% of the bacteria introduced died within three minutes of exposure to the wood’s surface. In this study, microbiologists artificially contaminated hardwood cutting boards during testing. According to the study, wood-cutting boards are less susceptible to bacterial contamination than plastic ones.
Like a tree in its natural setting or a chic coffee table centerpiece, a wood countertop may give a variety of kitchens a finished appearance. Unfinished, raw wood countertops are best for rustic kitchen spaces, while finished wood countertops made of teak look stunning in traditional kitchens. Countertops made of wood can be both stylish and practical. For food preparation, practical ones like a butcher block are great. Installing decorative countertops can give a room a more opulent appearance. Properly sealed, wood surfaces are hygienic for slicing meat and can easily accommodate the placement of hot pots and pans on the surface.
Oak, walnut, maple and cherry are just a few of the several types of lumber that may be used to create wood countertops. For a distinctive surface, think about staining your countertop with food-safe blue, green, red, and yellow stains. A gorgeous countertop material option for the kitchen is teak wood. It has an alluring charm in addition to being strong and water-resistant. Reclaimed wood, on the other hand, is a top choice for accenting a country-inspired kitchen design. Mineral oil should be used monthly on wood countertops. Sanding can remove stains, but remember to re-oil the area to save the surface.
- Add warmth and beauty
- Available wood species include maple, birch, teak, cherry, and oak
- Compatible with a variety of design motifs
- Regular sealing is required to prevent stains
- Refinishing could be necessary to prevent wear and tear over time
- Less durable than stone or tile
Recycled countertops are an environmentally responsible option. They are made from several sustainable materials, including concrete, glass, paper, composite, and plastic. Recycled countertops are offered in multiple colors and textures and are typically made from a combination of pre- and post-consumer items.
- Greener alternative
- Simple to clean
- To safeguard the surface, you need to reseal
- More pricey than travertine or Formica-type goods
- In most cases, professional installation is necessary, which raises the price
There are even more countertop choices out there, like glass and concrete. Figure out your wants, needs and kitchen theme before picking the right countertop for your kitchen. If you want to replace the countertops in your kitchen, our skilled small projects team is happy to help. Valor Home Services can also help you with a full kitchen remodel, which includes updating the countertops. For more information or to book your consultation, give our team a call.