Knowing which kitchen countertop materials will work best for your style and budget can be tricky with so many options available. To help you make an informed decision, here are eight popular countertop options perfect for any kitchen remodel project.
Few Factors to Consider First
With many possibilities, such as stone, quartz, solid surfacing, and wood countertops—it is essential to consider several key elements before settling on the right one.
- Where should it be placed? Will it still look great in your home's kitchen and other areas?
- How much wear and tear will your countertop endure regularly? Are you confident that it can withstand daily spills, as well as the presence of kitchen utensils and gadgets?
- How does this appliance coordinate with the rest of your kitchen? Will it seamlessly blend in, or will its presence stand out among other nearby elements, such as a sink or stovetop?
- How often are you taking the time for a thorough clean? Apart from quickly wiping off surfaces after meals, you must dedicate extra effort to maintaining your space regularly.
Here are some popular options when selecting the perfect countertop material for your home:
Kitchen Wood Countertops
Solid enough to handle mild heat yet delicate sufficient that it may show signs of burns or cuts, many enthusiasts consider this natural patina part of its allure! Anyone can easily sand most scratches away. If you opt for this countertop, avoid placing it in areas with high moisture levels, such as near sinks. Otherwise, you risk having your surfaces swell up over time.
Starting at around $35 per square foot, the cost of rarer woods can range higher.
Wood Countertop Pros
- Simple to maintain and repair, this countertop is a breeze to clean.
- It's the optimal choice for cutting and chopping, as its durable material won't cause your knives to blunt.
- Its resilience to chipping and the reduced risk of breakage when items are dropped on it make it an ideal material.
- Affordably creates a luxurious look for your kitchen at prices substantially below other surfaces.
Wood Countertop Drawbacks
- Susceptible to moisture, chemicals, and extreme heat that can cause lasting damage.
- Depending on the quality of the wooden material used may instantly reveal signs of use.
- Regular maintenance and a food-safe sealant are necessary.
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Kitchen Granite Countertops
Granite has been a dynamic kitchen design element for two decades and is an in-demand material. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, only engineered stone is more popular than granite among those surveyed.
Each slab's unique grain pattern sets it apart from the rest. Although incredibly hardy and heat-resistant, granite is slightly porous. Hence, you should seal it at least once yearly – an easy job you can do with just your hands or a sponge!
Beginning at an estimated $7.50 per 3X3 piece
Granite Countertop Pros
- It has high heat resistance.
- It has a rich spectrum/option of colors and grains to suit your style.
- Every slab is one-of-a-kind, boasting its distinct aesthetic.
- If taken care of properly with annual sealing, it will retain its value over the years.
Granite Countertop Drawbacks
- It will quickly show signs of wear from using knives and messy ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice, and oils. Therefore, it's wise to use a cutting board when preparing food on it.
- If not adequately mounted or hit by a heavy object, this may be susceptible to fracture or cracking.
Kitchen Marble Countertops
Marble is a naturally strong material resistant to heat, scratches, and staining.
Though pricier than granite, its variety and elegant appeal have maintained its popularity throughout the centuries—think of all the grand homes that featured it as the pride of place! However, due to Marble's porous nature and higher cost than other stones like granite, Marble should be applied sparingly—perhaps just for entertaining or baking areas where you want a genuinely discernable touch of luxury.
A great thing about Marble is its natural patina improves with age - giving it a unique antique-like feel. Unlike wood countertops, you don't have to worry about resealing any repairs, as Marble is more durable than other materials. However, taking precautions against moisture would help because excess water can quickly leave marks on the surface.
Marble countertops come in various shades and styles, so that the cost can vary depending on your choice. Generally speaking, though, expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for an average-sized kitchen (though this does not cover fabrication).
Marble Countertop Pros
- Adds an air of high-end luxury to any traditional or contemporary kitchen spaces.
- Perfect surface for creating dough for its temperature doesn't increase easily.
- It pairs elegantly with many materials, especially metal, and wood.
Marble Countertop Drawbacks
- It costs the most out of all the stone options.
- Only a few shades of white, gray, and black are available to choose from.
- More prone to staining, scratching, cracking, and chipping than other stones.
- Sealing is necessary monthly, and discoloration may still occur.
Kitchen Soapstone Countertops
Soapstone comes in black, gray, green, or blue-gray tones, so you can choose the perfect shade that works with your decor.
Unlike granite or Marble, soapstone does not require any sealing. However, it should still be treated with mineral oil every few months to bring out its deeper hues and protect against stains from acidic liquids such as wine and lemon juice. Cleaning soapstone is also incredibly easy since it does not harbor bacteria or germs – all you need is mild dishwashing liquid and warm water!
Compared to other stones like granite or Marble, soapstone is incredibly cost-effective for adding value to your home without breaking the bank. Prices for soapstone typically range from $70-$120 per linear foot, depending on the quality and thickness of the stone.
Soapstone Countertop Pros
- Has heat and water resistance.
- The color of the slab is usually consistent from end to end.
- Creates a seamless and blended look suitable for sinks.
- Offers a budget-friendly choice for natural stone material.
Soapstone Countertop Drawbacks
- This material is prone to scratching and can become stained, although sanding can help remove these flaws.
- Any roughness or mishandling might easily lead to chipping and cracking.
- With age, it develops a patina that may or may not be to your taste.
Kitchen Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surface countertops are manufactured material made from a combination of acrylic polymers and natural minerals, offering a durable look that is easy to clean.
Unlike other materials such as granite or Marble, solid surface countertops are nonporous and resistant to staining and bacteria. The seamless design makes them highly hygienic since there are no cracks or crevices where dirt can build up. The material is also heat resistant and won't chip or crack when exposed to hot pots or pans.
Prices can range from $50 per square foot to about $140, depending on the pattern and color.
Solid Surface Countertop Pros
- Has fade resistance.
- The seams are seamlessly fused, allowing for no visible joints.
- The moldable material can be customized to any shape, from a backsplash to an integrated sink.
- No sealing is necessary; use a gentle, mild detergent to clean.
Solid Surface Countertop Drawbacks
- Easily damaged by scratches, cuts, and long-term exposure to substances such as wine or ketchup; use a cutting board for protection.
- Faux stone is not an exact imitation of the real thing.
- The material or the countertop itself is non-recyclable.
Kitchen Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone or engineered quartz countertops are the toughest available on the market, composed of 90 percent quartz mixed with pigments and polyester resin. This mixture is then compressed into highly durable slabs under high pressure.
Many manufacturers have enabled homeowners to get the look they want without compromising quality. Even better, these countertops are tough, stain-resistant, fade-proof, and heat stable — making them an excellent choice for kitchens. Plus, the cost isn't much higher (if at all) than other natural stones!
The average price for Engineered Composite Countertops ranges from $10 to $600.
Engineered Stone Countertop Pros
- Unrivaled in resistance, this countertop is impervious to heat, stains, scratches, bacteria, and fading.
- It has an immense array of colors and patterns for a wide selection, ranging from faux stones to many custom hues.
- With its malleable design, you can request to manufacture this material in almost any form you prefer.
- No sealing or maintenance is needed - making it hassle-free.
Engineered Stone Countertop Drawbacks
- Faux stone doesn't possess the same visual characteristics as genuine stone.
- Prices are comparable to authentic stone.
- If you opt for solid-colored slabs, the unsightly seams will be visible.
Kitchen Laminate Countertops
Laminate countertops are the most budget-friendly choice for many homeowners. Manufacturers make laminates from plastic, paper, and resin, which makes it an affordable option. The laminate surface is typically overlaid on top of particleboard or plywood for added strength and stability.
Finding laminates similar to granite or Marble is even possible – all at a fraction of the cost.
Regarding durability, laminate countertops stand up well against scratches and stains but can be heat-sensitive. To protect them from hot pots and pans, use trivets or place pads between the pan and the countertop surface.
The cheapest on this list, ranging from $10 to $20 per square foot
Laminate Countertop Pros
- Easily maintained and no sealing required.
- With its sleek feature, it's effortless to trim and install in tight spaces.
- Offered at an incredibly reasonable price, especially for a product with so much variety in terms of styles.
Laminate Countertop Drawbacks
- Prone to damaging scrapes and scorches- often beyond repair.
- Drop-in sinks are uniquely built to be the only type of sink allowed for this type of countertop.
- Edging treatments that go beyond the basics will result in a higher cost.
Kitchen Stainless Steel Countertops
Businesses in commercial kitchens widely use stainless steel countertops due to their robust design and anti-bacterial capabilities. These types of counters can easily stand up against knives, high heat, and most spills.
Polished and brushed finishes make concealing scratches on a stainless-steel countertop easy. Although you can't remove dents without replacing the whole surface, you may even want them as a badge of honor for an attractive professional look!
Beginning at just $80 to $200 per square foot
Stainless Steel Countertop Pros
- Waterproof, stainproof, colorfast, and resists bacteria growth
- You can easily clean it with just soap and water.
- Integrates perfectly with sink drainboards, sinks, and backsplashes for a seamless look.
- Can be crafted with exact detail or specifications based on preferences or specifications.
Stainless Steel Countertop Drawbacks
- A board must be employed to guard against any risk of cutting; you should not use knives directly on top of this material without using a board.
- Reveals even the most minute scrapes and dents, which can be extremely hard to get rid of.
- When kitchen tools rattle to it, they can easily make noisy sounds.
- Unless you opt for a pre-made sink and drainboard, fabricating your own will drive up the cost significantly.
And that is all for this article about countertop materials! Hopefully, it gives you all the information you need to decide which type of countertop is right for your needs. While paying attention to the beautiful features, you will also use durable countertops to maximize both sides.
If you're looking for a reliable contractor to handle your countertop remodel or installation, drop Green Home Installations a message.