The 15 Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Kitchen built with the best kitchen countertop materials

Are you learning how to plan a kitchen remodel and wondering which countertop material is best for you? Are you overwhelmed by the numerous options out there for kitchen countertops? 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each material, how much maintenance each requires, and which may best fit the type of aesthetic you are trying to achieve. 

After reading this post, you’ll have a good understanding of the most popular kitchen countertop materials so you can make an informed decision. 

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or building a new one, choosing the right countertop material can be a daunting task. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular kitchen countertop materials available, from marble countertops to recycled materials.

1. Quartz

Closeup of quartz countertop

Quartz is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops due to its durability, beauty, and ease of maintenance. Quartz is a manmade material that consists of approximately 90% quartz crystals mixed with polymers and resins for strength. This makes it nonporous and highly resistant to stains and scratches.

It’s also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making quartz countertops a versatile material that fits any type of kitchen aesthetic. However, quartz can be expensive, so it may not be ideal if you’re on a budget. It is also not as heat-resistant as natural stone due to the inclusion of resins for bonding.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Stain resistant
  • Lots of color and pattern options

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not as heat-resistant as natural stones

2. Granite

New white kitchen with granite countertops

Granite is a natural stone that has been used as a countertop surface since ancient times. Granite countertops are composed mainly of quartz and feldspar, which makes them highly resistant to heat and scratches, making them ideal for use in kitchens. Granite countertops offer a timeless look that works well in almost any kitchen renovation project.

The downside of granite is that it needs to be sealed periodically because it is porous and prone to staining if not properly maintained. Additionally, some varieties are more expensive than others due to their limited supply or higher demand in certain areas. 

Pros:

  • Heat resistant
  • Durable
  • Attractive

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular sealing
  • Limited color options

3. Quartzite

Quartzite countertops in kitchen

Quartzite is often mistaken for quartz countertops because they both have similar properties; however, they are two very different materials. Quartzite is another natural stone similar to granite but much harder and more durable than granite. Its hardness makes it highly resistant to scratches and chips, while its attractive appearance makes it perfect for adding style to any kitchen design.

However, quartzite tends to be more expensive than other stones, such as granite or marble, so it may not be the best choice if you’re trying to stay within a certain budget range. Quartzite is stain-resistant but can be susceptible to staining if it is not properly sealed.

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Impervious to heat

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular sealing

4. Marble

Marble countertops

Marble has long been used as a luxurious material in interior design projects due to its beautiful veining patterns and unique texture. Marble adds an air of sophistication to any room, making it an ideal choice for those who want their kitchen countertops to stand out from the rest.

While marble requires some extra maintenance (it should be sealed regularly), its stunning aesthetics may make up for this extra effort required in upkeep over time. The biggest downside to marble is that it is prone to scratching, making it less than ideal for kitchens that see heavy use.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and luxurious
  • Heat resistant

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular sealing
  • Vulnerable to scratching

5. Soapstone

Soapstone kitchen countertop

Soapstone has recently become popular among homeowners looking for something truly unique for their kitchens–especially those looking for something eco-friendly, as soapstone does not require sealing or treating like other stones do. Soapstone also feels cool and silky to the touch, which makes it excellent for rolling out dough or working with chocolate without melting it.

Soapstone typically comes in a dark gray color, so it works best in kitchen designs where dark countertops are called for. Soapstone also tends to get darker over time until it reaches a rich patina, a quality that may not fit your kitchen unless you are aiming for an attractive antique vibe. Lastly, soapstone is not as hard as many other natural stone countertops materials, so it is vulnerable to scratches and dents.

Pros:

  • Unique silky texture
  • Does not require sealing

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to denting and scratching
  • Limited color palette

6. Solid-Surface Material

Solid-surface countertop

Solid-surface countertops are manmade materials consisting of acrylic particles and resin binders. It is sold under various brand names and comes in a wide array of colors and textures. One of the main benefits of using this type of material for a kitchen countertop is its resilience, durability, and ability to resist staining.

One of the biggest drawbacks to solid-surface material is that it can be damaged by heat, such as from hot pans. It is also relatively expensive compared to some other countertop material options.

Pros:

  • Stain resistant
  • Durable
  • Many color and pattern options

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Not heat resistant

7. Butcher Block Or Wood

Wood kitchen countertops

When considering the best kitchen countertop materials, classic butcher block countertops should not be overlooked. Wood has a warm, pleasant aesthetic that is reminiscent of homey kitchens from the past, so it works well in farmhouse-style kitchens. Butcher block countertops are also relatively easy to maintain compared to other surfaces, such as granite or marble, which require special sealants or cleaning solutions. 

That being said, wood is vulnerable to cuts, staining, cracking, and moisture damage, especially if you don’t regularly clean and oil it. It is also fairly expensive in comparison to many other kitchen countertops. However, butcher block and wood remain popular options due to these surface imperfections being repairable.

Pros:

  • Relatively low maintenance
  • Classic kitchen aesthetic

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to damage
  • Somewhat expensive

8. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a classic kitchen countertop material that is durable, easy to clean, and affordable. Thanks to the wide range of colors and styles available, you can find ceramic tile that works in almost any kitchen design.

Although ceramic tiles are resistant to heat and scratches, their hard surface can be prone to chipping and cracking if large objects are dropped on them. The grout used to seal the gaps between tiles is also vulnerable to staining.

Pros:

  • Many color and style options
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Tiles can crack
  • Grout can be stained

9. Laminate

Laminate countertop

Made of laminate sheets bonded to particle board, laminate countertops are one of the best kitchen countertop materials for their affordability and ease of installation. With an array of colors and patterns, you’re sure to find a laminate that best meets the style and design you have in mind for your kitchen.

However, laminate can be highly prone to scratching, chipping, and even burning; as such, it has a lower tolerance for heat than other surfaces like quartz or granite. It also has a reputation for being a low-end countertop material, although newer laminates are much more attractive and durable than earlier versions.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Many color and pattern options

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to damage
  • Perceived as low-end material

10. Concrete

Kitchen with concrete counters

On the plus side, concrete countertops come in an array of colors and finishes, which can be stained, tinted, or otherwise modified to become virtually any hue or texture. However, the industrial look of concrete countertops best complements a contemporary kitchen aesthetic. Concrete is extremely resilient against scratches and chipping that plague many other kitchen countertop materials. 

The main drawback of concrete as a kitchen countertop material is its low stain resistance; acid-based spills like coffee and red wine will inevitably leave a mark if not wiped immediately after use. Like many natural stone materials, concrete requires regular resealing to minimize its vulnerability to staining.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Many color and pattern options

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to damage
  • Perceived as low-end material

11. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel’s industrial look is modern and sleek, and its stain-resistant properties make it easy to clean. More importantly, stainless steel is surprisingly durable–able to withstand heat better than many other best kitchen countertop materials.

On the other hand, scratches may appear in heavily used kitchens over time, which can become quite noticeable if the surface isn’t well maintained. Since it is metal, stainless steel can also be noisy if you are more accustomed to stone or wood countertops.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Impervious to heat

Cons:

  • Can be scratched
  • Noisier than other countertop materials

12. Glass

Glass has an upscale look and comes in many different colors and styles, so it’s no surprise that it ranks highly among the best kitchen countertop materials. It is nonporous and stain-resistant, making it ideal for messy kitchens. Glass has a sleek and modern look that works best in kitchens with a contemporary aesthetic.

One of the biggest drawbacks of glass is its cost. While glass countertops are durable and sleek, they can be quite an investment. While tempered glass is quite durable, if it does get damaged, it will likely need to be entirely replaced rather than repaired, like many other countertop materials.

Pros:

  • Impervious to staining
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to repair damage

13. Recycled Material

Recycled material countertops can be made from a diverse range of materials, including glass, concrete, paper, and plastics. For this reason, recycled material countertops are one of the most eco-friendly countertops materials around. It is also available at a range of different price points and styles.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider when it comes to recycled material as a kitchen countertop–chief among them is its susceptibility to damage due to excessive heat. Depending on the type of recycled material that is used, they can also be vulnerable to scratches. 

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Many style options

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Vulnerable to scratches

14. Silestone

Silestone is actually a brand of engineered quartz countertop material, so it shares many of the same pros and cons associated with that countertop material. Like quartz countertops, Silestone is composed of a durable mixture of ground quartz and resin binders. Silestone also contains Microban, an antimicrobial product that gives this countertop material extra protection against bacteria.

Like quartz, Silestone is not as heat-resistant as natural stone since it is partially composed of resin binders that can melt under high heat. Another drawback is that Silestone can be relatively expensive compared to other quartz countertop options.

Pros:

  • Antimicrobial qualities
  • Many color and style options

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Somewhat expensive

15. Travertine

Travertine is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful kitchen countertop materials. Its subtle graining and impressive natural beauty add an element of elegance to any kitchen. 

On the other hand, it’s a relatively soft stone, so it could potentially scratch and stain over time. Like many natural stone materials, travertine requires regular sealing to protect it from staining. Travertine is also fairly expensive compared to other countertop options.

Pros:

  • Naturally beautiful stone
  • Perceived as high-end

Cons:

  • Porous so requires sealing
  • Somewhat expensive

Get Your Perfect Countertops With A Kitchen Remodel From Rea Pro

When choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen remodel there’s no one size fits all answer–all of these options have their pros and cons depending on what your specific needs are. We hope this breakdown gave you a better understanding of the various types of kitchen countertops available so that you can make an informed decision about what will work best for your home needs.

If you’re ready to start your kitchen remodeling project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Rea Pro Construction. Fill out our contact form today, and one of our design experts would be happy to chat with you about all the different options available.