Choosing the right kitchen countertop can be quite tricky. You have to consider the cost, design, durability and so many other factors. Similarly, you also have to look at the most popular countertops to narrow down your options before you choose.
In addition to this, some materials cost a lot more than others and choosing the right kitchen countertop involves thorough research of all these factors.
Before splurging on such a major update, check out the most popular countertops along with their pros and cons in order to select the right one for your remodel.
Quartz is an engineered stone product that contains 93% quartz particles and other materials, shaped into slabs using resins. It is a better and more adaptable alternative to granite and marble, making it one of the most popular countertop materials.
Quartz is sold by companies like DuPont Zodiaq, Cambria, and Silestone. Besides being available in a more extensive range of colors than granite, it also has a nonporous surface that resists scratching as well as staining.
In fact, you can also find some excellent copies of natural marble with similar veining if you opt for a quartz kitchen countertop. Best of all, unlike natural stone, engineered quartz requires no annual sealing.
- Quartz slabs are uniform with no imperfections.
- Easy maintenance and does not require any sealing.
- You can custom fabricate quartz countertops in any shape and size.
- Quartz countertops are expensive
- They are very heavy, making it difficult for DIY installation.
Cost: $55 to $155 per square foot
Granite has always been a popular choice for countertop material. Apart from this, granite is known to define elegance in a kitchen. Even the simplest kitchens begin to look like luxury spaces when accented by the beauty of granite countertops.
Granite has always been an expensive material. However, the increased popularity of quartz and increased supply has brought its cost down. In most places, the cost of granite vs quartz are relative, but natural granite needs a bit more care than quartz to keep its good looks.
- Completely resistant to heat
- Ultra-strong and durable
- Increases real estate value
- Nearly available in 3000+ colors and types
- Very expensive
- DIY installation not possible
- Strong, but can crack you install improperly
- Requires annual sealing to avoid stains
Cost: $45 to $200 per square foot
Soapstone is also a natural stone that has a smooth and silky feel. Interestingly, it has seen a recent surge in sales as an alternative to granite. Soapstones are often seen in old homes but also used in modern homes as both a kitchen countertop and sink material.
As time passes, Soapstone takes on an antique patina that seems to be attractive in some kitchens. Contrarily, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually harder and stain-resistant.
- Mildly stain resistant
- It cannot be damaged by heat
- You can sand out damage
- It offers an antique and rich look
- DIY installation is not possible
- You must treat Soapstone with mineral oil.
- The surface can scratch and dent.
Cost: $60 to $185 per square foot
Marble is also a natural stone that is commonly used in kitchen countertops. However, due to its extremely high price tag, most people don’t buy marble to use on the entire expanse of countertops of most kitchens. Instead, its luxurious look is limited to use on an island or a section of a countertop with less use.
- Heat resistant and waterproof
- Drastically increases real estate value
- Gorgeous natural stone with unique veining throughout
- Very Expensive
- DIY installation is not possible
- Repairing marble is difficult
- Porous and needs to be sealed regularly
Cost: $75 to $250 per square foot
Solid Surface Material
Solid surface is an artificial material that consists of a blend of acrylic particles and resins pressed into sheets and other shapes. The solid surface countertops and sinks have now been around for more than 50 years, but homeowners still regard it as the best alternative to natural stone.
Although once considered as premium and luxury, solid surface material is now a mid-tier countertop material. Nevertheless, high-end kitchens with a lot of countertop space can also use it that would either be expensive to cover with granite or marble.
- Solid surface resists stains
- Invisible seams
- You can sand out damages easily
- Available in a variety of colors and patterns
- Integrated sink countertop units are available
- Susceptible to damage from hot pans
- Requires fabrication, hence needs professional installation
Cost: $35 to $85 per square foot
Ceramic tile is durable, easy to clean, and considerably less expensive than other most popular countertops. Recent innovations in porcelain tiles offer more design options than ever before. That includes tiles that look like wood, marble, or even leather and cork.
Interestingly, ceramic and porcelain tiles offer endless design possibilities that you won’t find in any other kitchen countertop material.
- Easy to clean and usually affordable
- Endless design options and colors available
- Custom tiles are expensive
- May crack under impact
- Grout lines usually stain and are difficult to clean
Cost: $60 to $100 per square foot
Laminates are plastic-coated synthetics with a silky smooth surface and are easy to clean. Moreover, countertops are made by bonding the laminate sheets to a particleboard core. You can purchase laminate countertops as formed segments or custom fabricated.
Regarded as an ordinary material, Laminates have seen a recent surge in popularity due to their availability in thousands of colors, styles, and patterns. Further, laminates are usually popular in midcentury modern kitchens with retro designs.
- Easy to maintain
- Lots of options available
- Inexpensive countertop option
- Visible seams
- Sometimes potential home-buyers see it as too average
- Surfaces can be easily scratched
- Impossible to repair
Cost: $15 to $40 per square foot
Stainless steel is a great choice for contemporary and industrial design and is among the most popular countertops for your kitchen or bathroom. They are heat-resistant and durable. Further, stainless steel offers a seamless countertop because it is reconstructed according to your specifications.
- Resistant to heat damage
- Excellent for modern kitchens
- Easiest to clean among all other countertop materials
- Adds real estate value
- Fabrication is very expensive
- Not cutting surface; you can easily scratch them.
Cost: $80 to $225 per square foot