Kitchen Countertop Surfaces - What to Know
A well-chosen countertop makes your kitchen more useful and easier to maintain, and it can also serve as an important design element of your kitchen. With all the options out there, it can be tough to know what material is going to be best for you and your home. We’ve created a list of what you need to know, so you can pick the perfect surface for your spaces.
Marble's unique appearance and veined patterns make it one of the most attractive of all natural stones. But marble is a relatively soft and porous stone that MUST be carefully and repeatedly sealed if used for kitchen countertops.
Marble has a natural veining that makes it the most beautiful of all natural stone.
Because each slab has slightly different veining, each marble countertop will be entirely unique.
Marble is porous and can be easily stained unless it is regularly sealed with a top-quality sealing product.
A relatively soft stone, marble is easily scratched by knives and other kitchen utensils.
Like most natural stone, marble is a rather expensive material for large expanses.
Although a uniquely beautiful choice, marble is a relatively soft and porous stone that has drawbacks when used in kitchens. A better choice might be granite, an engineered stone, or solid-surface material that resembles marble.
Quartz is composed of pulverized waste rock plus resins for hardness and binding. Thus, quartz countertops are not solid slabs of quartz mineral but instead are an engineered stone product. Many quartz counters have antibacterial agents added. Quartz is rapidly overcoming solid-surface material as a convincing alternative to natural stone for countertops.
These are very beautiful countertops due to the inclusion of quartz crystals and other natural minerals.
Quartz countertops are highly sought after, creating high resale value in a home.
Many different colors and styles are available.
These countertops are more durable and less susceptible to scratching than a solid surface.
Quartz countertops are exceedingly heavy.
Quartz countertops are quite expensive—on a par with natural granite.
Must be installed only be experienced installers. There is no DIY option.
Quartz countertops offer the best of all worlds—a countertop with the beauty of natural stone and the flexibility of solid-surface material.
Quartzite looks and feels like marble but is more durable, like granite. There is a lot of confusion surrounding quartzite and for good reason. True quartzite is a natural stone and looks very similar to marble, but it is less susceptible to staining or scratches. The problem today is many fabricators or stone suppliers are labeling stone as quartzite but the properties of the stone are more in line with marble.
Looks like marble
Resistant to staining and scratching
Resistant to UV rays, which means no fading
Limited color options
Knife cuts can damage the sealant used
Quartzite is an all natural stone and needs to be sealed and resealed once a year. It is a sister surface to quartz and is a more expensive option than quartz.
Concrete countertops give a home a one-of-a-kind look. They are usually fabricated and poured on-site by a specialist crew who creates forms to match the space. The concrete can be colored and textured, if you wish, or the concrete can be highly polished to a shiny gleam.
Concrete countertops are a great conversation piece: everyone who visits your home will comment on them.
Concrete can be shaped to fit any size.
Concrete countertops are very heavy, requiring special bracing.
These are very expensive countertops, requiring the work of custom craftsmen.
Concrete countertops are not for everyone, but they may be appropriate for high-end homes for a truly unique, modern look.
Butcher block is a wood surface that is made of narrow strips of wood glued together and sanded to create one thick, smooth slab. It is a durable countertop material, as well as an attractive one. Butcher block counters are sanitary once they are properly sealed. If left unsealed, they will absorb germs and bacteria and will be unsafe for food preparation. Properly sealed, they are perfectly safe and sanitary for food prep. They do need to be resealed regularly.
Wood countertops are the epitome of green and eco-friendly.
These are highly unique countertops for a kitchen—a conversation piece.
Imparts a classic look in your kitchen.
Requires some research and legwork to find the right materials.
Wood requires significant sealing with tung oil. Craft Art recommends that a certified service provider does this.
If not carefully maintained and sealed, wood countertops can harbor germs.
This is a questionable choice for kitchen countertops. With wood being an organic material that does not mix well with water, most homeowners envision rotting, moldy wood that needs to be replaced after a few years of use. That vision is partly true: if you don't keep up on the constant maintenance, wood will rot quickly. Are you willing to take on the upkeep?
Many types of natural stone are popular choices for a kitchen countertop, and of these, the most popular option is a countertop made from a solid slab of granite. Beginning life as a quarried slab of solid natural stone, granite countertops are fabricated to specification and installed by professional crews.
Solid granite slabs make very heavy and durable countertops.
No two pieces of granite are alike, making each countertop entirely unique.
Considered a premium building material, granite countertops tend to improve home real estate values.
No-seam countertops are usually possible.
Granite is a fairly expensive material.
Like many other types of natural stone, granite requires periodic sealing in order to protect it from stains.
Granite is not a DIY-friendly material—it must be installed by pros.
Of the natural stone options, granite slabs are the most popular, and for good reason. Solid granite slabs make very heavy and durable countertops and improve home values. Slabs are a better choice than the other granite options—modular granite and granite tile.
As promised we have also provided a detailed list of the pros and cons of each surface so you can ensure you choose the best kitchen countertop surface for your home. Please feel free to contact us with any questions! We would love to help you with your next home project!