An informed decision is always best, and this guide to countertop materials is the resource you’ve been looking for. Would something upscale and elegant suit your image of the perfect? Traditional or contemporary in style, or perhaps rustic or retro? With so many options, your answers to these types of questions will help you decide the right type of countertops for your kitchen.

See each individual countertop material guide for a full list of pros & cons. In other words, they’re made with smaller and larger pieces of wood. The traditional smaller pieces of wood produce a casual, somewhat rustic appearance. In the end, many concrete countertops resemble natural stone like granite, but the look can be easily customized too. Most countertop dealers have dozens if not hundreds of samples to show you. Quartz is a good choice in traditional kitchens but looks good in contemporary space too.

The crushed glass might be of one general hue or a rainbow of glasses can be used. Traditional, retro and modern kitchens employ stainless steel countertops. Even if your countertop is another material, tile makes great backsplashes! Your lifestyle is a factor in how much maintenance you’re willing to put into your countertops and how heavily they will get used. Grout on tile will also need occasional maintenance to counteract discoloration or stains. There are very attractive options with each recycled and repurposed material that are also very friendly to the environment. Those that stain easily include marble, some granite and concrete, wood that isn’t well-maintained and tile grout that isn’t sealed on a regular basis. Mid-range options include solid surface products, tile, some woods, and recycled glass countertops. A wide array of materials, colors, patterns, styles and prices mean that there are great kitchen countertops made for every home. It is super low maintenance and the seamless lines of an integrated sink are very easy to clean.

So, which type of kitchen countertop material is right for you?

Is a material that requires little maintenance a top priority? Let’s consider today’s top countertop materials and the look they’ll bring to your kitchen along with a few pros & cons. Butcherblock countertops were originally made from the grain ends of dimensional boards, but you’ll also find them produced with grain sides.

When the wood is cut in longer strips, the look is still rustic but in a more contemporary way. The concrete can be pigmented, but most often it is acid stained and then polished to a brilliant gleam. They are an excellent choice for high-end, elegant kitchens. The stone comes in a range of hues including lovely pinks, greens and neutral tones. This engineered material is pigmented in many colors, each one polished to a bright surface. Depending on the appearance of solid surface material, it works in kitchens that are traditional or contemporary/modern. They are embraced by those who do a lot of food preparation and want a material that assists them in their efforts while continuing to look fantastic.

Do you have a short list of potential countertops you’re considering after reading about appearance, pros & cons? Each has implications for what materials you should consider and which you should stay away from. Are you a person on the go who isn’t a big fan of housework?

All of these need to be sealed periodically and wood does better if it is oiled every 2-3 months. You’ll need to clean it and seal the grout to keep it looking new. If you prepare most of your own meals and give your countertops a workout, then you’ll want a material that is durable and easy to clean. If you choose solid surface or laminate, keep hot pads or trivets handy for hot pots and pans, because those materials don’t handle heat well. Other solid countertop types are made from a high percentage of recycled paper, particle board, wood and metal. Glass requires little maintenance; the others will consume a bit more of your time to keep them in top shape. If your kids are older and doing some cooking on their own, keep in mind that laminate, solid surface products and wood countertops don’t resist heat very well.

Use your answers to narrow your choices – it will make the ultimate decision that much easier!

Our 13 Favorite Kitchen Countertop Materials by hgtv.com

Retro, mid-century looks like the ubiquitous boomerang and bright, saturated colors are other trendy choices to consider. Both decorative and functional, this hardworking surface is ideal for food prep — properly sealed, wood countertops are sanitary even for chopping meat. With timeless appeal, this stone gives any kitchen a decidedly high-end look and, although the cost is comparable to some granites, marble is porous so staining can be a problem. Although it’s a pricier option, the popularity of glass countertops is on the rise thanks to its modern look.

For durability, choose glass that’s at least 1 inch thick and tempered.

Aside from its eye-pleasing appearance, it is energy efficient — when the temperature in your home rises, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down. Unlike other natural stones, it doesn’t require yearly sealing but regular applications of mineral oil will help to disguise any surface scratches, add sheen and deepen the stone’s color over time.

Because granite is a natural material, variation in the stone’s pattern is common and, for most people, adds to its appeal but can make matching up slabs tricky. Unlike other budget-friendly options, like laminate, wood is highly heat-resistant so you don’t have to worry about putting hot pots and pans on the surface. Regular sealing and special care with anything acidic to prevent etching will keep the creamy surface looking its best.

Glass can be cut into any shape and texture and the color options are endless. Best of all, if you’re handy, a tile kitchen countertop is a do-it-yourself project that you can tackle in a long weekend.

Quartz Countertops: The Look Price Of Natural Stone With No Maintenance by money.com

Quartz has many advantages over granite, including that it’s impervious to stains and stands up to acidic foods, and it does this without ever needing to be sealed. The downside to quartz—at least for some people—has always been that the patterns looked so uniform and consistent that they don’t quite pull off the look of real stone.

Quartz is another way of referring to “engineered stone” countertops—manmade surfaces created from chunks of stone mixed with resins and coloring. But lately manufacturers have figured out how to create irregularity in their quartz, effectively mimicking the natural-looking variegation of granite and even the swirls of marble, in a nearly indestructible material. She no longer even displays granite in her showroom and only shows marble as a backsplash material.

Best Countertops For Busy Kitchens by consumerreports.org

In our countertop tests, performance varied from one material to the next but there was little difference among competing brands of each type, so be sure to shop around for the best deal on your countertop material of choice. For the pros and cons of each type, see the numbered entries below. It comes in vibrant colors in addition to patterns that look like granite and marble. Most glass counters we tested resisted stains, cuts, scratches, and heat.

Varnish improved stain resistance, but penetrating oils diminished it.

Or you could easily spend 10 times that on quartz, granite, or recycled glass. Polished and matte finishes resisted most stains when properly sealed, so pick the look you prefer. Like quartz, edges and corners can chip and must be professionally repaired. Small scratches can be repaired by sanding finely and applying mineral oil. Limestone also has a natural-stone look without heavy veining or graining, and it resists heat. Limestone and marble also have those drawbacks, and heat damaged our marble.

Solid surfacing is resistant to most stains, and small nicks and scratches can be repaired.



Best Kitchen Countertops | Duration 6 Minutes 17 Seconds

What Is The Best Countertop For Kitchen? by marble.com

Since buying new countertops can be a rather large investment, you should know your options and their advantages and disadvantages before making any decisions. Being made of wood, or compressed particle board, it is fairly durable and has edging options.

It meets a handful of the aforementioned criteria, but is that good enough?

Moreover, hot objects placed on it will melt the surface, and it is extremely susceptible to water damage. Additionally, it will fade and warp over time and with prolonged usage. Though they are slightly more expensive than laminates, they are attractively priced, and can even be repaired with little difficulty. Cleaning grouting is not only time-consuming but can be very tiresome. Ceramic tile counters fare well on most counts, but its major drawback –that of maintenance –makes it an impractical solution for kitchen use. It is unaffected by chemical use in cleaning agents and is repairable. Corian is essentially synthetic, and its finish cannot match the timbre and antiquity of natural stone. It won’t stain or scratch and is resistant to heat, water, and chemicals. Granite is expensive but offers many benefits in a high usage area like a kitchen. Considering the facts at hand, granite countertop would be the best option for your kitchen.

It is obvious that your kitchen countertops should be able to withstand all that activity without having to compromise its aesthetic appeal.

The most common factors in choosing a type of countertop are aesthetic appeal and cost. They are durable, stain, water and heat resistant and practically scratch-proof. However, tiling needs frequent cleaning because grouting easily gathers dirt, a situation not desirable in a kitchen. It is water resistant, does not usually stain and is easy to clean.


Installing Marble Kitchen Countertops | Duration 3 Minutes 36 Seconds

It is expensive, and scratches easily, though the scratches can be removed through a repair. Corian meets some of the criteria of a good counter top, but its lack of resistance to heat and scratching, and its synthetic finish do not offer a conscious customer a justified purchase. They are easy to clean as well and you can remove scratches with sandpaper. It is strong, very durable, easy to clean and doesn’t gather dirt. Granite is one of the hardest materials in existence, it does not usually chip or crack, but is repaired with little difficulty in the event of a mishap. Additionally, its aesthetic appeal is unmatched by any alternative.

It is not as hard as granite and therefore not as durable and does not react well with chemical cleaning agents.

Comparing Carrara Marble Countertops To Other Types Of Marble by countertopspecialty.com

And what about a satin finish instead of honed for kitchen counters?

Marble is marble meaning that every marble slab regardless of color or pattern or name will have similar characteristics with a few exceptions in the brown and green marbles. But if porous enough to take a sealer, then applying an impregnating sealer will control and minimize staining, so stains are rarely a major issue. The main problem with marble countertops in the kitchen is etching. You must simply avoid contact with acidic foods, drinks (impossible in a kitchen) and harsh cleaners. It will still etch, but like a honed finish etching just isn’t as noticeable as on a shiny polished finish. Again, not because a honed or satin countertop finish doesn’t etch, but just that you don’t notice many of the minor etch marks. The surface finish can make a small difference, but if you don’t like the idea of constant marble maintenance to keep the surface looking new, then go with granite.

In general, all marbles will fall within a range of hardness / softness, but can vary.

Yes, etching can be repaired easily enough, but it’s this extra ongoing maintenance that can be a bother for many homeowners. But some marble colors and finishes will hide the etching better, so it theoretically reduces the maintenance needed to keep the marble countertops looking their best. But the real question you should be asking yourself is if it’s a wise decision to install any marble countertops in the kitchen. But nothing will prevent you from repeatedly etching them for as long as you own the tops.
How To Choose An Edge For Your Countertop | Marble.Com | Duration 2 Minutes 38 Seconds

So, if you like a lot of extra maintenance and the frustration of unsightly etch marks, then go for it. This is a point of confusion among many marble slab salespeople and consumers. Not because marble is not durable, but simply because most people these days want the marble to remain in like-new condition and that just won’t happen in the kitchen without a lot of constant marble maintenance. You can perform the lemon juice test on samples of stone you are interested in to see how reactive and easily etched they are. But these people are just as naive and uniformed as most people about using marble in the kitchen. Staining can happen, but is not much an issue, especially with polished marble.

It really isn’t that absorbent and often doesn’t even need to be sealed when polished. And once etched, the etched area is much more susceptible to stains and often you get a stain and etch mark in the same spot. You’d most likely need to seal a honed marble kitchen countertop to guard against staining since honed marble is a bit more absorbent than polished. Vinegar is highly acidic and will etch (eat away and destroy the surface) of your marble each and every time you use it. Now if you did this the marble would be much more prone to staining since you are constantly destroying the surface and exposing the marble pores as much as possible.

It will keep the surface looking relatively uniform, but it’s eating away your marble and it still won’t look “new”.

All marble slabs are relatively soft, so they will scratch much more easily than granite, which can be an issue for a kitchen countertop, but not a biggie. You can easily determine how porous a particular marble slab is by performing the water test on a sample off the slab. This is especially true of polished marble since the process to polish marble closes down pores and makes the surface even less absorbent. Meaning all marbles will etch, however, a difference in sensitivity does exist and some green marbles (actually serpentine sold as marble) hardly etch at all or not at all. Typically as long as a person is aware of the particular marble cleaning and marble repair issues with marble countertops in the kitchen and still wants them, a honed or otherwise non-polished surface is recommended.

Eventually, you will see etch marks on any marble kitchen countertop. Carrara marble is not really any better or worse for a kitchen countertop. You may notice surface scratches after some use, but typically nothing severe. Now, it’s a natural product of course, so etching can occur more quickly and more severely on one marble vs. There are just too many acidic foods and drinks to keep from etching marble kitchen countertops. Yes, you can hone marble to make etching less noticeable , but it still occurs. Many believe that “honing” the marble slab somehow “prevents” etching. Different marble slab colors can have a differences, but like people when you get down to it there are far more similarities than differences. Now, some green “marble” (it’s actually serpentine, but sold as marble because can look similar) has less calcite and is not as prone to etching. Any true marble will etch, but this test is useful if you are interested in a serpentine to check and see how reactive it is.

They love the look and only after installation realize what a pain cleaning marble is in the kitchen. Granite and quartz countertops will require far less maintenance and will maintain their “like new” look easily and forever.

We expect this expensive showpiece to maintain a pristine “like new” look effortlessly and forever. That’s what you have to swallow and that’s why marble is typically not recommended for the kitchen. Most people quickly realize that marble will etch (dull spots caused by corrosion) in seconds upon contact with any one of hundreds of acidic foods and drinks. It is simply impossible to avoid or prevent etching marble in the kitchen. You could have the marble honed, which makes etch marks more difficult to see, but they still show up. However, with honed marble there’s no product to quickly remove etch marks.

Sealing won’t help, because as the vinegar eats away the marble the sealer goes with it as will stains, but do you see how this method would also require near constant marble maintenance? And installing marble kitchen countertops in a rental where it’s guaranteed to receive far less attentive care makes even less sense.

Countertops Or Backsplash by marble.com

Conversely you may find granite counters and tile backsplashes that look great together, but you don’t like independently. Since it takes up a larger surface area than the backsplash, it often seems like the sensible place to begin. Backsplashes options include all of these natural stone choices in addition to a seemingly endless array of mosaic tiles and other materials. You also could use the same material as your countertop, however, be wary of trying to match a tile perfectly to your granite or marble counters. When both are fighting for attention, the kitchen will feel overwhelming. You’ll want to have a hue that’s consistent in both your countertops and backsplash, even if it’s slight.

On one hand, your kitchen counters are a fundamental focal point, but your backsplash could also be if you pick a bold option. You could spend months collecting samples only to realize that you love them on their own but not together. We’re going to decode the process of selecting your kitchen countertops and backsplash. The first way of tackling your kitchen renovation is to start by selecting your countertop.

Our massive inventory makes it easy to start with a countertop material and work forward. It may sound overwhelming to sort through 2, 000 different colors of kitchen counters, but rest assured it’s nowhere near the number of backsplash possibilities. Once you’ve decided on your kitchen countertop, you’ve effectively narrowed down your choices for a backsplash. You’ll have the option of picking a complimentary or contrasting color. If you’re using a complex granite, marble or quartzite, then going with a subtle neutral option will prevent the area from looking too chaotic. Just as the previous option did, this will narrow down your countertop possibilities. You want the countertop or the backsplash to take the visual lead.

What’s The Best Counter Top Granite Quartz Or Corian? by quora.com

They are elegant, come in over 2500 colours, durable, and require minimum maintenance. Quartz countertops are a great way to add life to space without breaking the budget. Is granite or quartz more popular for kitchen countertops in 2017?

Granite countertops are some of the most popular worktops out there right now, and with good reason.

They are the second hardest material, after diamonds and add value to a home.

It also offers multiple colour options, minimal upkeep, durability and has resistance to a variety of elements. What are some alternatives to granite counter tops that are more durable and upscale than laminate? Which is a better kitchen counter top option, granite or quartz and why? What counter top materials are just as rich looking as granite but less expensive?

How much is the white spring granite counter top installed price? Which is better for a kitchen counter, silestone, granite or tile?

Top Kitchen Countertop Ideas 2018 Best Material Options by diyhomedesignideas.com

Kitchens are a great room in your house to renovate to give your space a brand new look. By changing the counters and keeping the existing cabinetry you can easily alter the appearance of your kitchen at an affordable price. This type of renovation can be done on your own or by professionals.

You can find companies that perform inexpensive countertop resurfacing so that you can get the look you want at an affordable price. Another way to update your existing space is to paint laminate kitchen countertops. A glass backsplash creates an edgy, glamorous, and futuristic look in your kitchen. Some popular modern style counters for kitchens include stainless steel, glass, or concrete. Browsing can provide you with options you wouldn’t normally have thought of. If you have an island in your kitchen you can also find unique ideas for this unit. Kitchen islands can either match the rest of the cabinetry and counters in the room or they can have a completely different look. These types of materials are usually on the more expensive side, however there are places that you can find cheap granite tile countertop. These materials are much more affordable countertops for a kitchen because they are manmade. Other manmade and inexpensive counter materials are formica and laminate.

Formica laminate countertops with a sold surface are easily cleaned by wiping the plastic material with a cloth.

Because the cost to replace kitchen counter tops is lower than completely gutting and renovating your room, this project can fit into any budget. The best part about redoing a countertop is that almost any material can be resurfaced. Refacing kitchen cabinets and existing counters can drastically cut down on the amount of money you need to spend on room renovation. This material is easy to paint and can be very inexpensive to remodel.

Concrete is great if you want solid countertop options but can be a little difficult in leaning and upkeep. A great modern look is installing white popular kitchen cabinets with black countertops in your kitchen. You can find cool pictures of kitchen granite countertops online to give you inspiration for unique ideas. Using tile instead of granite or other stone can add a beautiful look to your room. If you have a high enough budget, granite counter replacement can give your room a beautiful appearance. Installing silestone quartz countertops in your home is a great idea because this material is non-porous and very hard and durable.

Corian is an extremely durable substance that was made to imitate the look of granite. There are numerous corian colors for countertops because it is a manmade material and can be created in any hue. Installing formica countertops in your kitchen is perfect for the low budget renovation.

The Best Countertop Choices For Old House Kitchens by oldhouseonline.com

When it was present, the worktop was usually a dry sink or a wood table, both of which endure as inspiration for the vintage-look counters we prefer today. Over time, it oxidizes from light gray or green to charcoal or dark green. Marble is a softer stone that pits and stains easily, but remains a time-honored choice for pantry countertops. Dense and nonporous, slate resists stains and etching from acids like wine and fruit juices; as an added benefit, it doesn’t need a sealer. If you want the look of marble without the maintenance issues, consider a manmade quartz blend.

Many granites are nonporous, an advantage over traditional soapstone or marble. Hone it for a subtler look more in keeping with many old-house styles.

Choose wood for a dry prep or pantry area, marble for rolling out dough, and stone or a manmade surface for wet/ hot areas. You’ll get a sleek look that’s both of the moment and timeless—as well as easy care. For example, pull out a darker tone from a light stone countertop for the tile backsplash and another for the cabinets. Tile first appeared in kitchens in the late 19th century, as the “sanitary” movement began to sweep the country. Grout joints were kept deliberately thin, no doubt to diminish opportunities for encroaching dirt. Whatever work surfaces you choose for your kitchen, aim for materials that suit the style of your house and the era when it was built. Luckily for those of us living in 20th-century homes, there’s more than enough diversity to go around.

Wood, marble, and the occasional metal counters usually appeared only in the pantry, even in the most stylish 19th-century homes.

Like other stones, soapstone can be polished to a shine or honed to a traditional matte finish. In the early 20th century, slate laundry sinks were so common you could buy one from a plumbing catalog. Ubiquitous in kitchens for more than 20 years, granite remains a versatile option because the choices, colors, and patterns are so diverse.

Light granites can stand in for marble; grays and blacks offer the look of traditional stones with less maintenance. While not a traditional material, granite’s durability and range of colors work well in historic kitchens. Consider an integral sink or a backsplash made of the same material as the counter. Coordinate the textural style and colors in the stone with those of cabinets, wood trim, and backsplashes. Butcher block counters or islands are formed from strips of hard maple or oak bonded together with the grain edge facing up for stability. Because wood can burn and will turn black with repeated exposure to water, it’s best used away from the stove or sink—topping for an island or pantry, for instance. Clean white 3×6 subway tiles and 3″ or 4″ squares were standard on both counters and backsplashes. In the 1910s, many counters were trimmed with bullnose caps in contrasting colors like black and green. Ceramic tiles were popular from the 1920-40s, like this 6×6 example laid on the diagonal and trimmed with black bullnose edging. As the name implies, it won’t stain, lasts practically forever, and is easy to clean.

Because they were novel and expensive, laminates didn’t catch on as surfacing materials until the 1920s (on radios) and ’30s (in diners and movie theaters).

10 Of The Hottest Kitchen Counter Top Materials Currently Trending by freshome.com

Generally, life lifetime of kitchen decor last less than 10 years, so when creating your dream kitchen you want to consider a look that will last the course of its time. They offer a natural, organic look for those who are wanting such in their kitchens. Its appearance improved with age, as opposed to many others that start to look weathered and dingy after just a few short years. Likewise, cutting boards should be used as well as chopping directly on to the concrete could damage the sealant. A nice butcher block surface should be sealed and oiled about once a month. The only potential negative is that the surface, if not well maintained can dry or crack and excess water should always be wiped off. Reclaimed wood that was used from older trees is much sturdier than the newer counterparts made from younger trees. If you are concerned about the environment, want a “greener” feel to your kitchen and love the casual elegance that wood has to offer, you should see how you can obtain reclaimed wood products near you. It is a sustainable product (another good choice for those of you who want environmentally friendly alternatives) that has sound-cutting properties that may appeal to mothers of noisy children world-wide!

It invokes the feeling of an up to date, modern, trend-setting material.

Like stainless, this material is not impervious to dents and scratches. They are easy to care for and clean but may require to be re-sealed every few years. It has a beautiful look and offers a more gentle look as in contrast to the more clinical look of its stainless counterpart. While the look of pewter is more of a traditional one, it could look right at home in a more modern or eclectic setting. Slate has a naturally uneven surface that many find aesthetically appealing. Slate has a dull matte finish and would not be the material of choice for those who prefer more of a high gloss look. So now you know more about some of these popular materials, is there one that you like best?

There are classics with looks that will last a lifetime and there are trends that come and go. So now you’re ready for an upgrade and you’ve given careful consideration to your appliances and the overall look, but how much have you thought about your counters? These counters need to be sealed well, perhaps more than once, to prevent staining.

If sealed it is stain resistant and can be cast and poured into any shape you desire. While concrete is heat resistant the sealer is not and hot pots and pans should not be placed directly on top of the concrete. Concrete, requires just a little bit of maintenance and is a very desirable option at a very desirable price. Cleanup is easy, requiring simply mild dish detergent and a light cloth or sponge. Reclaimed offers a look and feel that the newer butcher blocks simply can’t. When purchasing reclaimed wood for your kitchen you are, in effect, doing wonders for the environment. It’s a softer surface composed mainly from mineral talc, but the varieties used for kitchen counter tops are generally sturdier as they contain more quartz. Soapstone has a beautiful natural grey color, offers smooth, matte feel. While recycled glass does cost less than granite, it is probably not for the budget conscious. It will show nicks and dents so one must take some care when working on this surface.

A hammered antique look would mask some of the natural dents and dings that naturally occur on many kitchen surfaces. A natural, fine-grained rock, slate is softer than granite but harder than marble. Many find this particularly appealing as these natural occurring dents make it hard to detect nicks and scratches that inevitably happen on well-used kitchen surfaces.

To prevent staining and uneven coloring or discoloration it is best to use trivets under hot pots and pans and coasters under glasses and other items containing liquid. Wiping stains from its surface is easier than even granite, making it a very desirable choice for your kitchen counter top. For those wanting a natural mineral counter top in your kitchen, but wanting to stay away from granite for a slightly different, more unique look, quartz could be for you!

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