Pros and Cons of Different Kitchen Countertop Materials

Pros & Cons of different countertops

Remodeling a kitchen can be very exciting, as well as very overwhelming. Between finding the right appliances, choosing cabinets and picking tile and flooring combinations, there are so many decisions that need to be made. Today we are here to help make one of those decisions a little bit easier.

Kitchen Countertops. There are literally dozens of materials and thousands of colors to choose from. We have narrowed down to the seven most common options that you cannot go wrong with. 

1. Stainless Steel

  • What is it? Sheets of metal that are fitted to your unique kitchen layout.

  • Why? Stainless steel countertops add an modern and industrial spin on a kitchen design. Chefs especially love how they are antimicrobial and super easy to clean.

  • Downfall: The metal will scratch and etch over time.

Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless Steel Countertops


2. Butcher Block

  • What is it? These gorgeous tops are made from hardwoods like maple that is planed and sealed.

  • Why? If you love the warm, rich look and feel of wood, these are right up your alley. These make a great surface for chopping and cutting. They are typically made 2" thick (unlike a regular countertop) and can be sanded and resealed to buff out scratches and dents.

  • Downfalls: These tops are high maintenance and need to be sealed regularly (we are talking monthly for long term durablility.) Unfortunately due to the porous nature of wood, these can scorch, stain and scratch.

butcher block countertops 2.jpg
butcher block countertops


3. Laminate

  • What is it? Fabricated sheets of high pressured plastic that are highly durable and impact resistant.

  • Why? These tops are available in thousands of colors, patterns and textures. They are inexpensive, very durable and low maintenance. You can get a high end look for an affordable cost.

  • Downfalls: They can scorch if a hot pot is put directly on the surface. If the surface is regularly exposed to heat the glue will dry out overtime.

Laminate Countertops
Laminate Countertops 2.jpg


4. Granite

  • What is it? A strong natural stone that can be polished or hones

  • Why? Granite can be found in many color variations. It is chemical resistant and relatively easy to maintain if you seal it regularly. Great option for undermount sinks. The definition and natural beauty of stone is hard to beat.

  • Downfalls: It is not wise to place hot pots directly on the surface as stone is naturally cold, the combination of cold and sudden heat can cause cracking and damage.

granite countertops 2.jpg
granite countertops


5. Solid Surfacing (Avonite, corian)

  • What is it? Plastic resins with a stone look

  • Why? This material can be made nearly seamless and it comes in many colors and patterns.

  • Downfalls: It is not a heat resistant as a natural stone.

corian solid surface countertops
corian solid surface countertops 2


6. Marble

  • What it is? An elegant natural stone with notable veining and markings.

  • Why? Marble is classy and timeless so a great choice if you are looking to keep your home looking fresh for a long time. Marble is a natural surface that is fairly heat resistant.

  • Downfalls: Very porous surface and will stain and etch with time and use. Not the best choice for a high traffic area like a kitchen, but better for a lower traffic area such as the bathrooms. Fairly expensive. Needs to be resealed regularly.

marble countertops
marble countertops


7. Quartz (Cambria, caesarstone)

  • What is it? A combination of natural quartz stone (one of nature's hardest minerals) and manmade resins

  • Why? It is extremely durable, non-porous and it resists heat. It also needs very little maintenance as quartz countertop surfaces don't need sealing, treating, polishing or any other form of maintenance, except a simple wipe clean with regular detergent and water. Quartz is extremely hard-wearing and will withstand virtually all the challenges of everyday life.

  • Downfalls: This one is pretty expensive and you will see some seams depending on your layout.

Quartz Countertops
Quartz Countertops


8. Soapstone

  • What is it? A talc-schist, which is a type of metamorphic rock.

  • Why? Soapstone is a dense and non-porous surface. It is easy to disguise small surface scratches with mineral oil.

  • Downfalls: Can be susceptible to scratches and nick. Soapstone is typically found only in gray tones with varying veining patterns.

Soapstone Counters
Soapstone counters 2


9. Concrete

  • What is it? A composite material composed of coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time.

  • Why? Variety of design options. Can replace tiles easily and affordably. Scratch and heat resistant.

  • Downfalls: More susceptible to stains and etching. Tiles can chip and crack easily. Needs to be sealed.

concrete countertops
concrete countertops 2

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