Your kitchen countertops should not only reflect your style but also accommodate your meal preparation needs. Learn the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials.
Eco-Friendly Composite Countertops
Formed from materials such as fly ash or recycled paper, composite countertops inhibit the growth of bacteria and resist stains, scratches and heat. Most are free of VOCs, emit no radon gasses, and are considered food safe. Composite countertops sometimes require sealing or special maintenance. Image courtesy of Paperstone
Natural Granite Countertops
One of the most sought after materials in kitchen countertops, granite serves as a beautiful, durable heat-resistant surface for meal preparation and daily use. Granite countertops are fairly low maintenance: a yearly resealing will help prevent stains and bacteria growth. Design by Christopher J. Grubb of Arch-Interior Design Group Inc.
Granite countertops come in a range of colors from warm browns and beiges to cool blues and grays to suit any kitchen design. While granite is one of the more expensive materials available, granite countertops can last a lifetime and can increase the value of a home. Design by Dan Heldenbrand of DH Interiors
Designer, Dan Heldenbrand
Durable Engineered Stone Countertops
An attractive alternative to natural stone, engineered stone countertops composed of 93 percent quartz particles are catching up with granite in popularity. LG Viatera quartz countertops combine the elegant look of stone with increased durability. Quartz countertops are scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant and require very little maintenance. Image courtesy of LG Hausys Co.
Benefits of Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone countertops come in a wide range of colors, from subtle and natural to bright and bold. Ideal for modern and contemporary kitchens, these vibrant Silestone countertops are scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant and contain Microban, an antimicrobial product, for increased protection against bacteria. Image courtesy of Silestone by Cosentino North America
Classic Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops offer warm, timeless appeal and an ideal surface for cutting and chopping. Scratches and burns on butcher block countertops are easy to repair just sand them out and apply mineral oil. Image courtesy of The Grothouse Lumber Co.
The Grothouse Lumber Company
Upscale Laminate Countertops
Today's laminate countertops can mimic the look of pricey stone and solid surface countertops for a fraction of the cost. Laminate countertops are very low maintenance, but they're not heat-resistant and are susceptible to chips and scratches. Image courtesy of Formica Corp.
Customizable Concrete Countertops
A hot trend in countertops, concrete can be custom cast to create one-of-a-kind designs. It can be ground, polished or stained, and embedded with embellishments from seashells to stones. Concrete countertops require regular sealing. Image courtesy of Buddy Rhodes
Low-Maintenance Solid Surface Countertops
Nonporous solid surface countertops are durable and easy to maintain, with no sealing required. Today’s designs take style to the next level by mimicking materials such as granite, quartz, concrete and glass. Sharp knives and hot pans can sometimes damage solid surface countertops. Image courtesy of DuPont Corian®
Elegant Marble Countertops
Marble countertops add unmatched beauty to a kitchen. Although marble does stain and scratch more easily than granite, its smooth, cool surface is ideal for baking and rolling out dough. Marble is one of the most expensive options in kitchen countertops. Design by Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design
Designer, Erica Islas
Timeless Soapstone Countertops
Durable soapstone countertops become more beautiful with age, darkening over time for a dramatic appearance. Unlike other stones, soapstone won’t absorb stains and discolorations, so it doesn’t require sealers. Surface stains can be removed with a gentle sanding, and scratches can be removed with mineral oil. Image courtesy of Soapstone International Inc.
Classic Tile Countertops
With a wide range of colors and textures available, tile countertops can be customized to fit the style of any kitchen. Tiles can crack and require grouting, so they are a little more high maintenance than other countertop surfaces. Design by Didier Michot
Designer, Didier Michot
Sleek Stainless Steel Countertops
A stylish option for modern and contemporary kitchens, stainless steel countertops provide a durable and easy-to-clean work surface. Though they're resistant to heat and stains, stainless steel countertops can scratch easily. Design by Barb Ince