You’ve wanted to remodel for a while. Now that the process is underway, you’re looking for the perfect countertop material – but what is it? There are so many options for modern kitchen countertops that you can get lost trying to decide. Natural and synthetic options are in fashion, but what really matters is function. We’ve skipped the fads and focused on features to help you make a choice. In this article, we’ve simplified the most popular options for you, to make the choice easier. From granite countertops to butcher’s block, you’ll find all the information you need to make a smart choice that fits your budget and style in this article.
The chocolate lover’s dream, this material stays cold even on hot days. Marble is a great pick for avid bakers and chocolatiers. The wide range of color choices makes this a smart pick for individuals who like to keep color on the countertop – marble comes in blues, greens, grays, and many other shades. It stains relatively easily due to its porous nature, so if you have kids or are prone to spills, skip it.
Commonly used in laboratories due to its resistance to microbes, soapstone is a good option for some homes. It’s not the best pick for cooks who like to set hot pots or pans on counters – it can fracture, or for those who occasionally skip the cutting board – it scratches. Keep in mind that soapstone counters also require regular sealing with a specialized oil coating in order to maintain their color and luxe feel.
A low cost option, laminate is rising in popularity. It can be made to look like almost anything – a key feature for many families who prefer high end looks, but have a low budget. Newer laminates outshine their predecessors, and are more durable. That said, they are still laminate. The glue eventually wears out, edges break off, and what’s left is obviously cheap particle board. If you choose this option, do so for the short term – until you can save up for something better.
Made of hundreds of different materials and available in numerous sizes and textures, tile is a versatile option.Don’t consider it as a separate material. If you love granite countertops for example, but find them out of budget, granite tile is a great alternative. It can be made to look like a solid countertop, or you can intentionally leave grouting visible, and choose from several color options for the grout itself, as well.
One of the most recent additions to the high-end kitchen countertop materials is concrete. Tintable, moldable, and durable, this material is rising in popularity – as it should be. Just keep in mind that concrete is limited in color, and doesn’t appeal to everyone’s tastes. If you ever intend on moving, this may not be the right choice.
Popular for years but starting to fade, butcher’s block is exactly that – wooden butcher’s block. The primary problem with this materials is its porosity. Vulnerable to burns, very high maintenance, and with a short lifespan, this is a great material to use as an accent in an isolated part of the kitchen (such as a breakfast bar), but it’s not the best pick for all of your countertops.
By far the best material on this list, granite offers low maintenance, affordable pricing, and the same benefits as marble. The difference is that granite is difficult to stain or scratch. It’s a harder stone. If you want kitchen countertops that can handle the traffic and use of a family kitchen, this is an excellent pick.
Making a choice
Before you decide on a material, think about your goals. Is this a quick fix in order to sell your home? Are you looking to add a touch of luxury? Would you like a material that won’t stain or scratch easily, stays cool, and is durable? These factors will affect your choice. Weigh them carefully, along with any individual concerns. Talk to a countertop specialist in your area, and visit showrooms to see what you like.
Kitchen countertop materials come in a range of prices and styles. Laminate tends to be the cheapest, followed by tile. Soapstone and marble are on the high end. Granite comes in multiple pricing formats, thicknesses, and styles – making it a great pick regardless of your budget.
Now that you know what some of the top choices are, you can make an informed decision. There are other options available, of course – but this is a good place to start. As you can see, we favor granite. And not just because we sell it. We’re in the granite countertop business because we believe in the material. From what we’ve seen and researched, no other material comes close in its durability, temperature, resistance to staining, and ease of maintenance.