Top 7 Materials for Kitchen Countertops
Looking to replace your kitchen countertops for home improvement? Without question, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to kitchen countertop materials. And, every last option has its positives and negatives when it comes to attributes like durability, maintenance, or even design flexibility.
While there are literally dozens of choices, there are seven top kitchen countertop materials that customers choose more often than not. Check out the top seven kitchen countertop materials you may want to consider for your kitchen remodeling project, as well as the pros and cons of each one.
Quartz countertops are engineered stone. Even though the material usually contains more than 90 percent quartz, the countertop contains quartz particles instead of being a solid slab of rock. The particles are combined with resins or other materials and then engineered into the shape of a slab. Just the same, quartz kitchen countertops have grown to be some of the most preferred out there. Quartz is innovative in its design; built to offer a natural stone look with more resilience and durability than something like granite or marble.
- Practically maintenance-free with no ongoing sealing involved
- Uniform slabs with no imperfections like natural stone
- Engineered build means kitchen countertop can be custom-built for any shape
- Convincing natural appearance with tons of options
- Resilient to acids, heat, and stains
- The finished countertops are extremely heavy
- Costs can be expensive compared to other engineered products (between $50 and $200 per square foot)
Hands down, if you have the room in your budget to work with and prefer natural stone for your kitchen countertop, granite is one of the most popular ways to go. Granite is the epitome of upscale elegance and can totally make a kitchen look more luxury-level with just this one fixture. Colors can range significantly, and the costs have actually come down a bit since engineered options have grown to be more popular.
- Relatively resilient to heat
- Can be maintenance-free for the most part when treated properly during installation
- Many styles and color options are available
- Durable material that can last for the lifetime of the home with proper care
- This home improvement instantly ups a home’s real estate value
- Most expensive kitchen countertop option (Up to $250 per square foot)
- Granite slabs may have visible imperfections
- Cracks when mishandled or stressed
- Can be porous without the right sealer
Marble is a second choice when it comes to natural stone kitchen countertops, and it is easy to see why. This monochrome-toned stone exudes absolute luxury. No two quarried slabs of marble are exactly the same, either, which means in spite of the similar colors, every slab is somewhat different. As gorgeous as marble can be, it can also be less durable and resilient than some other natural stone options.
- Resilient to both water and heat
- Instantly elevates a home’s real estate value
- Beautiful stone with natural veins and hue variances
- One of the more costly kitchen countertop options ($100 per square foot or more)
- Prone to scratching and marring
- Difficult to repair after the damage is sustained
- Stains are common unless the stone is properly sealed
4. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile adds geometric flair to the kitchen, is relatively inexpensive, and can be relatively easy to keep clean and maintain. Even though ceramic tile countertops are not as popular as they once were, this material still gets picked over others for a lot of kitchens. One advantage today is the sheer volume of style and color choices available makes it easy to create a completely unique kitchen countertop with tile.
- Highly affordable home improvement in comparison to something like quartz or granite
- Easy to maintain and keep clean
- Stands up well to heat exposure and moisture
- A large array of different tile styles to choose from to go with any design idea
- Tiles can crack or break with direct impact
- Grout between the tiles can stain and potentially be hard to clean
- Not the most value-inducing kitchen countertop option when it comes to home value
Solid surface material has been in use for kitchen countertops for about half a century, and their popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years. Just the same, solid-surface countertops from brands like Swanstone and Avonite are a top option for homeowners. One reason solid-surface countertops have retained their popularity is their affordability, but the material is also relatively resilient.
- Available in just about any color or pattern you could desire
- Can be made with an integrated sink for a one-piece unit
- Resilient to stains
- Easier to repair after damage with s bit of sanding
- This kitchen countertop material cannot handle heat from hot pans
- The material is moderately expensive compared to some other mid-tier countertop materials (up to $50 per square foot)
- Not as durable as engineered or natural stone
The laminate kitchen countertop is one of the oldest and most-used low-tier options. This material often comes under brand names like Formica or Wilsonart. The countertop is made by bonding a laminate sheet to an MDF core, which does create a relatively resilient fixture that is highly versatile in terms of design. Also, the countertops can be purchased pre-formed, which is good for DIY home improvement purposes, but can also be fabricated custom according to homeowner specifications.
- Literally, thousands of unique designs are available
- One of the most inexpensive kitchen countertop options
- Relatively easy to maintain
- Material is not resilient; prone to scratches, chips, and even stains
- Seams in the countertop will be visible with larger countertops
- Very difficult to repair without completely replacing the laminate cover
- Often deemed as a low-quality countertop option
7. Wooden or Butcher Block
Wooden kitchen countertops were once the norm, but today, homeowners looking for a warm, traditional home improvement veer toward wooden or butcher block counters. Wooden countertops can be created from a number of different wood species, but they can also be finished and treated in different ways for more unique outcomes. Oak and maple are two hardwood options most often used for kitchen countertops.
- Extremely durable when properly sealed and taken care of
- Easier to repair with sanding and refinishing
- Provides a nice traditional look for the kitchen
- Fairly easy to maintain and clean
- Can be an expensive kitchen countertop option
- Surface of wood can be prone to scratches, marring, and stains
- Wood is porous and prone to bacteria if not sealed properly
- Higher-maintenance option; needs ongoing resealing to protect the wood
Ready to discuss kitchen countertop options for your kitchen remodeling project? Be sure to trust the professional insight of the team at Oasis Builders. Reach out to get a conversation started about your ideas of the perfect kitchen and get a free estimate.