Your kitchen countertop needs to be perfect. It should be durable, easy to clean and maintain, and not be prone to dust and stains. However, choosing that perfect kitchen countertop can be tricky and expensive. Before spending on such a big renovation, here are some pros and cons of the leading kitchen countertop materials to help you select the right one for your space.
One of the main reasons people select granite is its intriguing natural beauty. The color saturation does not alter over time so it will constantly maintain its natural level of vibrance.
Pros: Granite’s beautiful grainy pattern and natural color variations make each piece one of a kind. It also withstands water, heat, and other common forms of wear and tear. Polished and matte finishes resist most stains if properly sealed.
Cons: Like most types of stone, granite must be sealed every so often to avoid stains. Additionally, its heaviness means you’ll need very sturdy—and sometimes costly—cabinet construction to support the weight.
Marble is a very durable stone that has been employed as a building material for centuries due to its classic combination of strength and beauty.
Pros: Marble resists heat well and, because it remains perennially cool, it forms an ideal countertop selection for baking stations.
Cons: Marble is very prone to stains, even when sealed, and requires a bit more maintenance than granite. It is also easier to scratch and chip marble through everyday use. Because of these drawbacks, marble is not often used throughout an entire kitchen, but is instead limited to one or two small areas, usually for baking preparation.
Tile countertops are most often found in either kitchens or bathrooms since their makeup allows them to be convenient assets to these high-traffic areas.
Pros: Ceramic or porcelain tiles are recommended for countertops because they are very durable and not very porous. Tiles can tolerate heat and sharp blades, and even resist stains. If one or two tiles chip or crack, they are often easy and inexpensive to replace. They are also available in a variety of colors and textures for easy flair.
Cons: Many tiled surfaces are ridged and uneven, and can be inconvenient for basic functions like balancing a cutting board. Additionally, sealed grout is prone to staining, and standing moisture can damage it and contribute to unwanted bacterial growth.
Crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color, quartz surfacing (also called engineered quartz or engineered stone) is a tasteful compromise between the beauty of stone and the easy care of not-so-beautiful solid surfacing.
Pros: This mix of minerals, colors, and resins is meant to mimic stone, but is even more du¬rable and requires less maintenance. Hot pots, abrasive pads, and most stains are no match for quartz. Plus, it’s available in a far greater range of colors and patterns than natural stone.
Cons: This material doesn’t display the gorgeous natural patterns of granite and marble, but can be designed to closely resemble these stones. It is also relatively pricey, though its durability makes it a worthwhile investment.
Made of paper blended with resins and particle board, laminate has been a popular kitchen countertop material for decades. The latest designs mimic stone, butcher-block, and other pricier surfaces.
Pros: Laminate is the most affordable of all countertop materials, so it’s a desirable choice for a tight budget. It’s also very low-maintenance and easy to clean, and its light weight doesn’t require extra support.
Cons: Laminate is susceptible to scratching, burns, and, even staining. After much wear and moisture exposure, the layers may even peel. Because of its raw particleboard core, laminate cannot be used with undermount sinks, and is difficult to repair if damage occurs.
When considering new kitchen countertops, first determine your everyday needs and purposes. Then, by using this guide, you will be able to more easily determine the countertop material that will best fit in with your kitchen.