A Guide To Kitchen Countertops: Which Material Is The Right Choice For Your Home?
Your kitchen countertops set the tone and character of your kitchen. It can be a difficult decision to determine which material is the right choice for your home. Replacing or installing new countertops in your kitchen is a significant investment designed to last many years. But, what countertop material is right for your home?
Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite countertops have been popular in the United States for kitchens and bathrooms for many years. Granite is a natural stone, so every kitchen countertop is unique with its own coloring, patterns, and shading.
Among the most durable materials available for countertops
Available in a nearly limitless variety of colors and patterns
Each granite slab is one-of-a-kind natural stone
Easy to clean
Resistant to scratches, stains, and heat
Water-resistant when sealed
Can be expensive depending on the rarity of the stone, or the difficulty to fabricate
Can break during transportation or installation
Its heavy weight will require durable, sturdy cabinets for support
May show some seams if granite has to be installed in sections
Resistance to wear and maintenance vary greatly based on the stone itself
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Quartz kitchen countertops can give you the look and durability of granite without the higher maintenance. Though not completely heat resistant, quartz countertops do not need sealing. The price of quartz countertops is close to that of standard granite, though it can be far less than high-end granite.
Available in a wide range of colors
Flexibility increases strength
Glossy and matte finishes available
No sealing needed
Stain and crack resistant
Not as resistant to heat as granite
Seams are usually visible between pieces and more visible than in granite
On average, more expensive than other countertop materials
Solid Surface Kitchen Countertops
Manmade solid surface kitchen countertops offer a seamless counter with a hygienic and nonporous surface.
Completely customizable for soft curving designs for integrating sinks, backsplashes, and drainboards
Easy and quick installation process
Highly resistant to stains
Generally less expensive than quartz
Wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes available
Nicks and chips can be repaired easily
Very easy to clean
Easily damaged by heat
Can be scratched, dented, or chipped
Wood Kitchen Countertops
Natural wood countertops have been used in kitchens for centuries, providing a warm, unique space utilizing various kinds of wood and finishes to create a look that fits in with your kitchen’s décor and character.
Warm, natural look
Can be used with all kinds of design options
Made from recyclable materials
Can be less expensive than other options
Highest maintenance top
Water and moisture can damage wood
Not resistant to scratches and dents
Susceptible to stains and warping
Concrete Kitchen Countertops
Concrete kitchen countertops are made from a mixture of mortar, sand, and coloring pigments. Concrete is visually appealing and nearly indestructible, however, it can stain easily and may develop a film or coloring over time.
Extremely resistant to heat
Easily customizable to match your kitchen’s style
Filler can make the countertop
Absorbs and retains moisture
Can be hard on dishware and glasses
Marble Kitchen Countertops
Modern technical advances in extraction techniques and cost-efficient freighting costs, marble kitchen countertops have become more affordable than ever. Cultured marble is not quite the real thing, but it is far less expensive.
Available in a wide range of colors
Marble has some of the most unique appearances in materials available naturally
Despite its softness, marble is still hard enough to withstand the high traffic a kitchen counter wil endure
Resistant to heat
Susceptible to scratches and stains
Difficult to repair
Heavy weight requires extra support
Sealing required at least annually
The material you use for your kitchen countertops will depend on the style of your kitchen, budgetary limitations, and personal preferences, but choosing high-quality, durable materials will increase your property values and the enjoyment of your home simultaneously.
Mandy Lee is a contributor to Innovative Green Building Materials. She is a blogger and a content writer for the building materials industry. Mandy is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.