Different Types of Countertop Materials for Your Kitchen

Countertops are the most used area of the kitchen. From chopping to cooking in the heat, the countertop has to bear it all.

Choosing a suitable material for the kitchen countertop is vital as it has a profound effect. Before making a choice, find an answer to questions like- whether you need your countertop to be heat, stain and, scratch-resistant, whether it should be durable, whether it matches the concept of the kitchen, etc.

We have a variety of options to choose from which might make you feel overwhelmed. The article will introduce you to them, their pros and cons, and help you make your decision.

Courian Kitchen Counter top in White Color

1. Granite

Granite is one of the most popularly used natural stone for kitchen countertops. It gives an elegant look to the entire kitchen.  It can be bought from the local countertop specialist.

Pros of Granite Kitchen Countertop

  • Outstanding strength
  • Impervious to heat
  • Variety of colors
  • Maintenance free
  • No or negligible visible seams

Cons of Granite Kitchen Countertop

  • Requires sealing to resist stains
  • Requires professional installation
  • Expensive
Granite as Kitchen Countertop

2. Marble

It is the most coveted and up-scale materials and indeed one of the best options in terms of look and durability. It is a composite of materials such as calcite, graphite, etc.

Pros of Marble Kitchen Countertop

  • Elite choice
  • Offers luxe and classic look
  • Unique designs and veins
  • Heat resistant
  • durable

Cons of Marble Kitchen Countertop

  • Porous, may stain permanently overtime
  • Requires regular polishing and finishing
  • High price tag
  • Prone to etching
White Marble used as Kitchen Countertop

3. Quartz

It is an engineered stone, basically a man-nature combo of quartz crystals and synthetic resin. The natural look makes it indistinguishable from natural stone. It is a cutting-edge material in the market.

Pros of Quartz Kitchen Countertop

  • Incredibly durable
  • Stain-resistant
  • Maintenance-free
  • Easy installation with perfection
  • No sealing required

Cons of Quartz Kitchen Countertop

  • Since a manmade material, not created equally
  • Not an economical choice
  • Heavy
  • Direct contact of hot cookware can cause damage
Quartz Kitchen Countertop

4. Quartzite

Not to be confused with Quartz, a natural stone usually used as an alternative to marble.

Pros of Quartzite as Kitchen Countertop

  • Durable
  • Less susceptible to stains and scratches
Quartzite Kitchen Countertop

Cons of Quartzite As Kitchen Countertop

  • Quite porous
  • Not fit for heavy and regular use
Quartzite Kitchen Countertop 2

5. Terrazo

A composite material made of chips of marble, quartz, granite glass, and many other materials, poured into a chemical resin cast. It was popular during the 80s but has made a comeback nowadays.

Pros of Terrazo as Kitchen Countertop

  • Timeless look
  • Durable
  • Environmental friendly

Cons of Terrazo As Kitchen Countertop

  • Can be a costly affair or some, depending upon the materials used
  • Must be sealed properly
  • Needs regular maintenance
Terrazo or Mosaic Kitchen Countertop

6. Soapstone

An exotic natural stone usually used as an alternative to granite. It was used earlier in homes. But it can be seen nowadays as the top layer of patina gives a rustic and antique look to the kitchen.

Pros of Soapstone Kitchen Countertop

  • Smooth texture and feel
  • Gives an antique look
  • Non-porous, require no sealing
  • Impervious to heat
  • Extremely durable
  • Deep color resists stains

Cons of Soapstone Kitchen Countertop

  • Usually available in dark grey color
  • Color darkens with time
  • Professional installation required
  • Regular mineral treatment required
  • Soft, may show knife marks
  • Corners crack due to brittleness
Soapstone Kitchen Countertop

7. Solid Surface (Corian)

A manmade luxury material made of acrylic and polyester blend. It is sold by companies named Avonote, Corian, Swanstone, etc. It is made used acrylic particles and resin. Used for the last fifty years but is still in trend for a premium choice.

Pros of Solid Surface Kitchen Countertop

  • Stain resistant
  • magnificent look
  • variety of colors and patterns
  • undetectable joints
  • non-porous
  • repairable

Cons of Solid Surface Kitchen Countertop

  • expensive
  • Heat might damage the surface with time
  • Might develop scratches with time
Soild Surface Courian Kitchen Countertop

8. Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are an all-rounder material. From being economical to maintenance benefits, tiles make it effortless for the consumers when it comes to choosing from a myriad of options. The tiles rated for floors are the best option for countertops.

Pros of Ceramic Tiles kitchen Countertop

  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Stain resistant
  • variety of colors and designs
  • less expensive
  • immune to heat
  • easy to install
  • non-porous

Cons of Ceramic Tiles Kitchen Countertop

  • might develop cracks with time
  • grout lines are difficult to camouflage and clean
  • relatively less prestigious as compared to other materials
Ceramic tiles Kitchen Countertop

9. Linoleum

It is a natural and interesting material to design ‘Nowadays`’ kitchen. It was quite popularly used during the 70s.

Pros of linoleum Kitchen Countertop

  • Easy to clean
  • Elegant look

Cons of Linoleum kitchen Countertop

  • Not an affordable pick
  • Sensitive to scotches
Linoleum Kitchen Countertops

10. Crushed or Recycled Glass

The newcomer to the countertop material market and quite loved too. The recycled concept makes it more eco-friendly and in-demand choice. When used on acrylic, it looks like it’s floating in a lake; when setting in cement, the glass creates a shimmery mosaic. Finely crushed glass makes it even more attractive.

Pros of Crushed or Recycled Glass

  • Unique look
  • Variety of designs
  • Do not develop scratches
  • Non-porous
  • No sealing needed
  • Does not fade

Cons of Crushed or Recycled Glass

  • Corners might crack due to weight
  • Few acids might cause a reaction if not cleaned immediately
  • Expensive
  • Might crack under immense heat

11. butcher Block

A traditional wood option and very functional as a countertop material. “According to a 1993 University of Wisconsin study in which microbiologists intentionally contaminated wooden cutting boards during testing, 99.9 percent of the bacteria introduced died within 3 minutes of exposure to the wood’s surface.” It offers a warm look to the kitchen. Hardwood such as maple and oak are the best options.

There are three styles:

  • Edge grain- counters are made of long, thick strips of wood that are glued together with the edge grain facing up.
  • End grain- counters have relatively short, square sticks of wood that are joined together with the tough end grain facing up.
  • Wide plank- counters are made by edge-gluing wide boards together. It’s beautiful, but also most susceptible to cracking and warping, if not maintained.

Pros of Butcher block Countertop

  • Elegant look
  • Easy to clean
  • Can last long if maintained with proper care
  • Hygienic option
  • Heat resistant

Cons of Butcher Block Countertop

  • Can be used for small areas like islands
  • Wears with time
  • Fairly expensive
  • Develops scratches with sharp items
  • Requires regular oiling
Butcher Block Kitchen Countertop

12. Stainless Steel

It is a combination of elegant and practical material. It is a perfect choice for chefs and intense work. It is a material used in appliances that proves its durability and resistance capacity.

Pros of Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop

  • Impervious to heat damage
  • Highly durable
  • Gives an industrial look
  • Easy to clean

Cons of Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop

  • Might develop scratches over time
  • Vulnerable to dents
  • Noisy
  • Expensive
Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop

13. Concrete

It is one of the newly introduced materials for countertops. It is cast in the kitchen itself and can be shaped in unusual forms.

Pros of Concrete Kitchen Countertop

  • Highly polished look
  • Heat resistant
  • Scratches resistant
  • Hard and durable
  • Cab be customized with colors, textures, and glass

Cons of Concrete Kitchen Countertop

  • Professional installation required
  • May develop cracks
  • Customization can be costly
  • Needs regular sealing
  • The surface may become porous if not sealed regularly

– Harsha Bajoria