The Best Materials For Kitchen Countertops

A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Are you thinking about replacing the kitchen countertops in your Kirkland home? Wondering what the best materials for kitchen countertops are?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we take a closer look at 13 different materials that can be used for kitchen countertops and how they compare in terms of performance, durability, and cost.Β And if you’re wondering about the cost of a full kitchen remodel, be sure to check out our blog post on how much a kitchen remodel costs.

We also discuss the pros and cons of each type of kitchen countertop material. By the end of this article, you will feel confident making an informed choice about which countertop material is best for your kitchen remodel in Kirkland.

The Best Materials For Kitchen Countertops

When it comes to designing your dream kitchen, selecting the right countertop material is essential. Not only do you need a material that looks great and fits within your budget, but it is also durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. Let’s get started!

1. Granite

Granite is one of the most popular countertop choices because it’s both beautiful and durable. It’s also resistant to heat and scratches, so it’s perfect for kitchens that see heavy use. That being said, granite countertops do require periodic sealing in order to prevent permanent staining.

Granite countertops are available in two main styles: polished or honed. Both are functionally the same but provide different aesthetics. Polished granite has a smooth and glossy appearance, while honed granite has a more subdued matte finish. Per Countertop Guides, natural granite countertops typically retail for $95 to $225 per square foot, not including installation costs. (Note: All pricing data courtesy of Countertop Guides unless otherwise stated.)

Pros:

  • High-end appearance
  • Heat-resistant
  • Durable
  • Attractive

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular sealing
  • Limited color options
  • Very heavy, so DIY installation is difficult

2. Marble

Marble countertop in a kitchen

Marble countertops offer a timeless and luxurious look that many people love. They’re also heat-resistant and relatively easy to clean with just warm water and a cloth.

But like granite, marble requires occasional sealing and is susceptible to staining if not properly maintained. The cost of marble ranges from $127 to $250 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and luxurious
  • Heat resistant
  • High-end appearance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Vulnerable to scratches, not as hard as other natural stone materials
  • Porous stone requires regular sealing to prevent staining

3. Quartzite

Often confused with quartz (more on that in a little bit), quartzite is another popular natural stone material for kitchen countertops. Formed when quartz-rich sandstone is subjected to intense pressure and heat, quartzite is actually even harder and more durable than granite. Quartzite countertops typically retail for anywhere from $80 to $210 per square foot, according to Home Advisor.

Pros:

  • Very durable and scratch-resistant
  • Impervious to heat
  • Beautiful natural colors and patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular sealing
  • Limited color palette and patterns

4. Quartz (Engineered Stone)

Quartz countertops in a kitchen

Composed of ground quartz mixed with resin binders and pigments, quartz is the manmade version of quartzite. Unlike quartzite, quartz kitchen countertops are nonporous and highly resistant to stains. However, quartz countertops are also not as heat-resistant as natural stone due to the inclusion of resins for bonding. Quartz countertops cost approximately $105 to $187 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Extremely durable material and stain resistant
  • No sealing is required (unlike many natural stone materials)
  • Consistent and uniform material since it is manmade

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Not as heat-resistant as natural stone
  • Very heavy, so not practical for a DIY installation

5. Soapstone

Soapstone counters are perfect for those who want a rustic look in their kitchens due to the matte finish and its tendency to develop a dark patina over time. Composed of quartz and talc, soapstone has a cool and silky texture that is unique among kitchen countertop materials.

And unlike many other natural stone materials, soapstone has a nonporous surface that resists most stains without the need for sealing. Per Home Advisor, soapstone counters cost approximately $55 to $120 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Has a rustic aesthetic that works well in certain kitchen styles
  • Unique silky texture
  • Does not require sealing
  • Nonporous quality makes it naturally resistant to bacteria

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to denting and scratching
  • Limited color palette (typically only available in shades of gray)
  • Color will become darker over time
  • Must be occasionally treated with mineral oil

6. Concrete

Wooden kitchen cabinet, concrete countertop, plaster walls, concrete floor.

Concrete countertops are an increasingly popular choice in contemporary kitchens because of their durability and modern look. It’s easy to customize with various colors and patterns, as well as add texture through stamping or etching designs into the surface.

It’s also incredibly durable and long-lasting when properly sealed and maintained. Concrete costs range from $75 to $200 per square foot due to the wide variation in styles.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Many color, pattern, and texture options
  • Resistant to scratches and heat damage
  • Unique industrial aesthetic

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to stains
  • Perceived as low-end material
  • Needs to be periodically resealed

7. Laminate

Made of laminate sheets bonded to particle board, laminate countertops offer an excellent balance of practicality and cost. Laminate countertops are available in a wide array of colors and patterns, making it easy to match the style and design you have in mind for your kitchen.

On the other hand, most laminates have a much lower tolerance for heat and resistance to scratches than other kitchen countertop materials. Laminate countertops are one of the most affordable types of countertop materials, costing around $22 to $52 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Many color and pattern options
  • Easy to maintain
  • DIY-friendly countertop installation

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to damage (heat, scratching, etc.)
  • Perceived as low-end material
  • Difficult to repair

8. Wood Or Butcher Block

kitchen with white tiles wall and wood countertops

Wood and butcher block countertops add warmth to any space and work especially well in farmhouse-style kitchens. They are also easy to maintain and can last for years with proper care. Wood is also more forgiving than other countertop materials, as any scratches or dents can usually be sanded down and refinished with minimal effort. Butcher block and wood countertops typically go for anywhere from $32 to $200 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Many wood types and color options
  • Beautiful, classic aesthetic
  • Easily repairable (just sand and reseal)
  • Relatively low maintenance

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to cuts, staining, cracking, and moisture damage
  • Not impervious to heat damage
  • Must be regularly cleaned and oiled to maintain wood
  • Some types of wood are expensive

9. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel counters resist staining, heat, and bacteria buildup better than almost any other countertop materials. Just be sure to use cutting boards when prepping food, as stainless steel can scratch easily. You can expect to pay $70 to $145 per square foot for stainless steel countertops.

Pros:

  • Impervious to heat, stains, and rust
  • Hygenic and easy to clean
  • Considered a high-end material

Cons:

  • Can be scratched
  • Noisier than other countertop materials
  • Fairly expensive

10. Recycled Glass

recycled glass counter samples

Composed of post-consumer glass pieces embedded in resin, recycled glass countertops are the perfect choice for the eco-conscious homeowner. Recycled glass countertops come in a variety of colors and patterns that will add texture and visual interest to your space without compromising on durability or functionality. Recycled glass countertops typically sell for $52 to $127 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Environmentally-friendly material
  • An excellent way to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen design
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Resin surfaces can be damaged by harsh cleaners
  • Vulnerable to cracking if put under too much stress
  • Not impervious to heat damage
  • It may be perceived as low-end material

11. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile has been used as a kitchen countertop material for centuries due to its low cost, ease of installation, and wide range of design options available. Tile counters are highly resistant to heat and scratches, which makes them ideal for busy kitchens. Tile countertops have a wide price range due to the different types of tiles available, but they typically cost between $23 and $124 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Many color and style options
  • Easy to clean
  • DIYers can install
  • Impervious to heat
  • Easy to repair if damaged (just replace individual tiles)

Cons:

  • Their utilitarian aesthetic may be perceived as a more low-end countertop material
  • Vulnerable to cracking if heavy objects are dropped on them
  • Grout between tiles is vulnerable to staining
  • Some tile types can be very expensive

12. Solid Surface

If versatility is what you’re after, then look no further than solid surface counters. Sold under various brand names, such as Silestone, solid surface countertops are available in almost every color and texture imaginable. The solid surface material is nonporous, so it resists staining better than many other materials while still being incredibly durable. The cost of solid surface countertops ranges from $70 to $130 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Many color and pattern options
  • Nonporous and stain resistant

Cons:

  • Sometimes perceived as low-end, even though it’s not
  • Not as heat resistant as natural stone
  • Vulnerable to scratches
  • It can be expensive (depending on selection)

13. Terrazzo

close up swatch of artificial stone samples showing various texture and color for example terrazzo

Terrazzo has recently seen a resurgence in popularity due mostly to its unique appearance. Terrazzo is a composite countertop material made with chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other material and a cement-based binder (or epoxy). Since it’s a manmade material, it has a wide arrange of color and pattern options. According to Marble.com, you can expect to pay between $50 to $100 per square foot for terrazzo.

Pros:

  • Heat resistant
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly since it reuses chips that would otherwise be thrown out

Cons:

  • Unique speckled appearance may not appeal to everyone
  • Some may consider terrazzo a dated trend (but trends return!)
  • Can be expensive

Bring Your Ideal Kitchen To Life With Wise Choice Construction

When it comes to selecting a new kitchen countertop material, there really is no “one size fits all” option–it depends on what fits your style, both aesthetically and functionally. We hope the information provided in this blog post has given you the confidence to find the countertop material that works best for your kitchen.

Now that you’ve explored kitchen countertop material options, you may be thinking about doing more substantial updates to your kitchen. If you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, we’d love to help! Just fill out our contact form, and one of our representatives will get back to you ASAP.

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