When you go out to select a countertop material, you are bombarded with hundreds of options and thousands of claims and promises. So which countertop material should you choose? It is not a trivial question, but a choice that you must make with extreme care as in all kitchen configurations, the countertop is a central element.
Many factors come into play when it comes to deciding which is the best kitchen counter to invest in. While selecting a kitchen countertop, you should ensure that it is durable, practical, and functional.
Additionally, it must complement the layout and design of the kitchen. Selecting a countertop material may come down to personal preferences and budget, but you should still weigh in the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials before deciding.
Pros and Cons of Quartz
Quartz kitchen countertops have quickly established themselves as a benchmark for designers and trendy kitchens. The primary reason behind this is that it offers a variety of colors because it is an engineered stone countertop.
The material of quartz (reconstituted stone with 90% to 95% natural crushed quartz and acrylic resin) is often preferred for another advantage – its good resistance and low maintenance, unlike, for instance, glass or laminate.
Whether you decide to go for compact quartz or Silestone quartz countertop, you will have no shortage of choice regarding the color of your kitchen countertop. The remarkably modern aesthetics of quartz countertops also remain a definite advantage for all kitchen remodel designs.
Price: $15 to $70 per square foot
- Wide variety of colors available, from the most traditional to the most vibrant.
- Uniformity of colors and patterns from one section to another, making the joints almost invisible.
- Easy maintenance because it is non-porous.
- Very resistant to corrosive products and stains as well as scratches.
- It has to be installed by a professional countertop installer near you.
- Extreme heat can cause microcracks on the surface of your quartz countertop.
- Poor quality quartz can have discoloration problems.
Pros and Cons of Marble
Marble kitchen countertops have retained their position among the list of popular countertop materials for a reason. However, marble is not free from defects, and you must take the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials like marble to make the right decision.
Marble’s aesthetic appeal and luxury look are the primary reasons for buying a marble countertop for a kitchen. This natural material also has an exceptionally varied range of colors; from Thassos white to Alicante red or a Guatemala green. Besides, its polished finish gives a shine and certain originality that draws remodelers towards it.
Price: $15 to $190 per square foot
- Heat and water-resistant.
- Exceptionally beautiful and gives an elegant look to the kitchen.
- Adds to the overall value of the property.
- One of the most expensive countertop materials.
- Heavy and not suitable for DIY installation
- Porous, prone to stains and scratches.
Pros and Cons of Granite
Whether it is heat, scratch, or spill, a granite countertop excels in terms of resistance. Granite is indeed one of the most rigid and most robust kitchen countertop materials. Further, its overall resistance and durability ensure longevity and helps you make the most of your investment.
Granite is a particularly beautiful natural stone countertop. It brings a modern touch that is sure to appeal to people looking for a contemporary kitchen remodel. Similarly, there are various granite countertop colors to choose from.
Whatever your color preferences are, you will most likely find the shade that meets your design expectations.
Price: $15 to $170 per square foot
- Modern feel and traditional look
- Extremely heat-resistant
- Allows the sink to be fitted into the countertop
- Easy maintenance and good durability
- Not suitable for low-end kitchen remodels owing to its high price.
- Very heavy, so no DIY installation possible.
- Porous nature makes it vulnerable to scratches and stains, but you need to seal your granite countertop.
Pros and Cons of Solid Surface
Solid surface is a composite material and can be produced to perfectly imitate natural stones, such as quartz or granite. The best known synthetic resin solid surface is Corian. Solid-surface material is a mixture of mineral powder and acrylic resin. Moreover, this material is very smooth to the touch and is coveted for its durability and excellent impact resistance.
The solid surface kitchen countertop can be as tough as stone and is extremely resistant to physical damages, like scratches. Besides the durability and toughness, it also offers great resistance to high temperatures. When it comes to maintenance, you can easily clean it with a damp cloth. Varied color options also allow solid surface countertops to easily blend in with any kitchen’s design.
Price: $20 to $75 per square foot
- Ultra-rugged and stain resistant
- Several finishes: matte, satin, nuanced, or glossy
- Multiple colors are available.
- Extremely flexible to shaping. You can mold it to any shape and size.
- Easily repaired by re-injecting material and sanding the surface
- Less scratch-resistant than stone because it contains resin
- Not highly resistant to heat due to the presence of resins.
- Fabrication requires experts, so no scope for DIY installation.
Pros and Cons of Ceramic
In terms of composition, ceramic is similar to granite. In contrast, it is an artificially produced stone manufactured by subjecting the constituents to high pressure and high temperatures. Also, ceramic countertops offer more scratch and heat resistance than granite.
Ceramics are very versatile in terms of finish. They can be easily made to mimic natural stones like marble and granite or even wood. The color options for ceramic tiles surpass any other countertop materials.
Moreover, ceramic can be produced in very thin sheets, which makes it extremely light. So it’s an ideal solution if you want a slim and, at the same time, robust countertop.
Price: $5 to $15 per square foot
- It is an affordable countertop material.
- Easy installation, very suitable for all DIY enthusiasts.
- Ideal for any decor, from the most rustic to the most contemporary.
- An almost endless variety of colors and textures.
- Resists heat and humidity.
- May crack or break easily.
- Unless you take huge slabs, some joints will be visible on the countertop.
- Does not offer the same high-end value as the granite or marble countertops.
Pros and Cons of Laminate
Laminate is among the most popular kitchen countertop material for most homeowners. It’s inexpensive and beautiful. Further, when you coat it with water-repellent protection, it becomes non-porous and does not require any specific maintenance.
They are also easy to clean. All you have to do is just wipe, and they will be shiny and good as new. They are also colorful and vivid and can imitate stone, wood, and metal. So in terms of decor, there is something for everyone.
Price: $8 to $27 per square foot
- Very economical.
- Easy installation and maintenance.
- Wide choice of colors and patterns available.
- Can produce a high-end look due to very realistic imitations of other countertop materials.
- Several possibilities of textures and finishes like granulated, crisscrossed, matt, or glossy.
- Sensitive to heat.
- Difficult to repair.
- Low-quality laminates have the risk of formaldehyde emissions.
These are the top materials that are generally preferred for the kitchen countertop surface. Some are more towards a luxury end, while some are more budget-friendly. Still, each of the given materials has its positives and negatives.
You must evaluate the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials and then make a decision.