Marble Countertop

What’s the difference with Kitchen Countertop Materials?

When starting you kitchen redesign, you may be thinking heavily about what kind of material you want to use for your new kitchen countertops. There are so many choices, what is best? In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the most popular — and most trendy — kitchen countertop materials to help you make an informed decision about your new kitchen counters.

We’ll be rating these on a scale of price ($ to $$$) and durability (+ to +++), and give you some good information you may need to know before you make your decision.

Laminate

Formica Laminate in Mineral Sepia Radiance
Formica Laminate in Mineral Sepia Radiance

Price: $
Durability: +

Laminate is a great choice for a lot of different styles and if you need to stretch your buck a little bit further. It’s easy to use and comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It’s very versatile to use, and may be a good choice for DIYers. However, it can chip easily and because the inside of the countertop is often times either MDF or particleboard, if it gets wet, it can swell, so you’ll have to make sure all your seams are securely covered and caulked.

Solid Surface, a.k.a. Corian, Avonite

Solid Surface Countertop in Arrowroot
Corian Solid Surface Countertop in Arrowroot

Price: $$
Durability: ++

Solid surface countertops are not like laminate where they have a softer material like particleboard or MDF in the middle. Instead, the material you see on the top and bottom is the same all the way through. This is great because if you scratch or chip it, not only will it be not as noticeable, but you may even be able to sand out the scratch. The only downside is that solid surface countertops often look and feel like plastic — because they’re usually made of such. Sometimes this can cause the countertop to crack if exposed to high heat as well.

Engineered Stone

Engineered Stone Countertop

Price: $$$
Durability: +++

These countertops, sometimes also called quartz, can function a lot like solid surface countertops, but without the plastic feel of solid surface countertops. The reason being is that these are usually created of waste stone materials, bound together usually with resin. Unfortunately with a more premium feel comes a more premium cost.

Natural Stone

Marble Countertop
Marble Countertop courtesy of HouseBeautiful

Price: $$$
Durability: ++

Natural stone such as granite, marble, or soapstone makes beautiful counter tops. We’ve all been envious of gorgeous marble counter tops we’ve seen in home supply stores or in magazines. Everyone wants to have a natural stone counter top, so natural stone will also do well on the reselling market. However, natural stones are porous, meaning they need to be treated from time to time and sealed to keep from bacteria growing or flourishing in the counter top. Natural stone, despite being pricey, can also crack under heavy strains or weight.

Concrete

Price: $$$
Durability: ++

This new trend in countertop design can have an interesting look, but comes with a premium cost. Concrete countertops are extremely heavy and are made to fit. While you may be thinking that anyone could simply just pour some concrete and this would be a cheap option, the opposite is actually in effect. Concrete countertops are often polished to perfection, and a lot of care has to be put into making sure they don’t crack. Like natural stone, they are also porous, meaning it will have to be sealed from time to time.

Stainless Steel

Price: $$$
Durability: ++

Stainless steel might look great on your appliances and good in an industrial or restaurant kitchen, but it might not be the best choice for your home kitchen. It’s very expensive to install and, despite the name, it can be subject to staining, oxidation, and pitting.

Need help with your kitchen remodel? We can assist! Contact us today!

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One Comment

  1. It got me when you explained how the engineered stone countertops are made. I like that you said that it is built from waste stone materials bonded together. I like the idea that it is like a recycled product which really got me because I am an avid supporter of recycling. With that in mind, I will be picking this material for my future house’s countertop.

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