TIPS & GUIDES
The Top 10 Countertop Materials for Any Style and BudgetBy Hauslane ∙ 8 mins read
When redesigning your kitchen, selecting the right countertop material is probably pretty high on your list of things to get done. You want materials that reflect your personal style, are functional, and suit your budget. Countertops are the most common feature replaced by homeowners during kitchen renovations, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study.
However, selecting the right one isn’t as easy as it may sound. There are so many options on the market! To make choosing the best countertop material for your tastes and budget, we’ve compiled a list of the most common options as well as their pros and cons. You’re sure to find one that works perfectly for your kitchen amongst the options below.
10 Kitchen Countertop Materials
Granite is one of the go-to options for countertops. This natural material is resistant to stains, heat, and scratches. Granite has can crack if not installed properly, so take care during installation. A more luxurious choice, granite is on the expensive side. However, you may find the splurge is worth it if you’re after an elegant, timeless style.
Soapstone is another nice option if you want a material with heat resistance. It is a dense material as well, meaning it won’t scratch easily and any scratches that do occur can be hidden in its veining. Soapstone doesn’t have as many colors as granite, but its natural feel and dark gray color are easy to match. It also develops a lovely patina over time. Like granite, soapstone is one of the more costly natural stone countertop materials.
Now if you love luxury, you’ll love marble! This natural stone has a unique look as no two sheets are the same. One of the most expensive options on our list, marble requires special care. It isn’t stain or scratch-resistant, but it is good with high temperatures. If you decide to go with marble, make sure to use a professional installer. That way, you can ensure it is installed and sealed properly from the get-go.
Quartz countertops are the most popular and sought-after materials for countertops today. There is a wide range of colors, and the nonporous surface is resistant to stains and scratches. The manmade material is produced using a specialized process and is considered an engineered stone. It can be customized to any size and shape with resistance to heat and acid. Prices range based on the quality of the manmade quartz, but you can expect it to be more affordable than granite, soapstone, and marble.
Quartzite is a natural stone that's similar to onyx and marble. Its porous surface makes it pricier than quartz but not quite as much as granite. This precious stone is more heat and scratch resistant than most natural stones. Quartzite has aesthetic veining that gives it a marble-like feel. This material can be easily installed and requires minimal care and assistance.
A solid surface is a manmade surface made from synthetic materials, usually acrylic and resin. This is a budget-friendly material that is stain and bacteria- resistant. It doesn’t quite have the depth of granite or quartz but is of higher quality than laminate. Its seams are virtually invisible, and it has different patterns and colors. However, it isn’t heat resistant and requires professional installation.
Next up we have ceramic tile. One of the more affordable options on our list, this material has a classic, if retro look. It’s also perfect for DIY installation. The material is durable and easy to maintain. Just keep in mind ceramic tile may require regrouting over time and may crack or stain easily.
Wood or Butcher Block
Wood or butcher block gives you the ease of making food directly on the countertop surface. The material has a rustic brown look and offers heat resistance. Maple and oak are some of the most common types of wood used. You may like this countertop material if you want something easy to clean and maintain. You’ll find that its price is less than natural stone materials but more than laminate or other types of particleboard.
Now if you something incredibly durable that has a modern look, try stainless steel. This material is typically custom-fabricated, making it one of the more expensive options. They are easy to clean but take care to avoid scratches. The satin material is more delicate than others. (Need tips on removing rust from your stainless steel? We’ve got them!)
Concrete countertops are custom cast for your kitchen. The material is quite easy and resistant to cracks and chips. Because of its highly porous nature, it will need to be re-sealed from time to time. This unique material is heat resistant and provides a sophisticated look. It’s not a good choice for DIY installation, but you can get it professionally installed in decorative fixtures with various colors.
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