best countertops for small kitchen

Top 10 Types of Kitchen Countertop Materials

kitchen countertop materials

kitchen countertop materials

When designing a functional kitchen, one of the first things to consider is the type of material you want for the countertop.

Don't get overwhelmed by how gorgeous the material would look, but how well it will serve you. Look out for the pros and cons. Will it be easy to clean? How long will it last?

There are tons of materials on the market from different manufacturers. But this article will focus mainly on the best 10 countertop materials to consider for your kitchen with their pros and cons. One of these should be your choice.


Types of Kitchen Countertops Materials

1. Engineered Stone

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    Popularly known as quartz, this material is made of about 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals. It is usually shaped in slabs and bound with resins. The material was created to be more resistant to household cleaning supplies and chemicals. It has a hard surface, just like other stones.

    There are different colors of these quartz slabs. Quartz does not need to be sealed regularly, like other stones. It is easy to install and maintain and you can even DIY the installation. The slabs are uniform and can be fabricated into different sizes or shapes as you please.

    Quartz is resistant to heat and stains. It can withstand potent chemical substances like acid. The material has a more impressive natural appearance than other stones.

    As good as it seems, quartz is expensive and bulky. But if you can afford and find a means of transporting, it's an excellent material for kitchen countertops.


    2. Granite

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    Granite speaks elegance anywhere you use it in the home. Imagine how lovely it will look on your kitchen countertops. Even your modest kitchen can have luxury looks with granite countertops.

    Beauty is not the only feature that makes it popular. It is also strong and resists cracks and chips, which makes it very suitable for kitchen countertops. You can place a hot pot on it and have no worries because it is impervious to heat.

    Having a granite countertop can increase the resale price of your house. It comes in different colors and is easy to maintain. You might not need any maintenance if it was treated with newer sealers.

    Granite, however, comes with some cons. It is expensive and unsuitable for someone planning under a budget. Also, it is not easy to install; you'll need professional help. Granite made from natural stones needs sealing to avoid stains.


    3. Solid-surface

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    This material is sold under a famous brand, Corian, and others like Avonite and Swanstone. It is human-made and is produced from a combination of acrylic particles and resins.

    This material has been available for about five decades. It comes in different colors and patterns to allow you to choose a color that will blend into your design. This material is non-porous and doesn't need sealers. It's easy to maintain and easy to clean.

    Solid-surfacing used to be seen as luxury countertops, but it is now a mid-tier and excellent choice. If you have ample kitchen space and a marble or granite will cost too much, you can replace them with solid surfacing.

    The seams are not so visible. If there is any accidental damage on the surface, it can easily be sanded out.

    Solid-surfacing is moderately expensive. It falls under the mid-range and doesn't cost as much as stones. But you need to pay professionals to install it as you won’t be able to do it yourself.


    4. Marble

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    Marble is another type of natural stone used for countertops but rarely used in the whole kitchen. It is often restricted to the island area for a more luxurious look. And this is because it is expensive.

    All marble sheets are unique; they don’t look the same. They’re made from a composite of different materials including calcite and graphite.

    Marble stones are soft, so they are not as durable as other types. And they’re prone to scratches and stains.

    Marble is waterproof and heatproof. It doesn't allow water through and can handle any level of heat. It improves the resale price of your house.

    Marble is exceptionally stunning but expensive. It's difficult to install, and repairs can be complicated. If the stone is not sealed correctly, it becomes prone to stains.


    5. Soapstone

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    Soapstone is smooth, silky, and comes in a dark gray color. It used to be popular in historic homes but gradually became a part of modern homes. It can be used as a countertop and sink material.

    Soapstone is beautiful and fits into many kitchen styles with its antique-like look. It is durable and stain-resistant. You can't have a hot pot placed on it all the time because it is not so impervious to heat.

    This material can darken over time, and it is literarily impossible to install it yourself. Expect scratches and dents on the surface, although, they make it more beautiful.

    Soapstone is not easy to maintain. It has to be treated regularly with mineral oil.


    6. Tile

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    Tiles are great for walls and floors. They are also excellent materials for kitchen countertops. If you want something that looks very good and affordable, you should go for tiles.

    There are various types of tiles like wood, marble, and cork designed to give you different looks. You can have a marble-look and a wood-look, depending on your taste. Ceramic and porcelain tiles have more varieties of design than any other kitchen countertop.

    Tiles are suitable for DIY installation and not prone to heat damage. They are usually cheaper than other stone materials.

    This countertop material can break under massive impact. But this isn’t something to worry about since you can easily change a broken tile.

    Although they are easy to clean, once grout lines are stained, they are difficult to clean.


    7. Laminate

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    Laminate is another material that comes in numerous colors and patterns. It's an excellent choice if you are on a budget.

    Laminate comes from brands like Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsomart. It is a nonporous plastic-coated material with a smooth and beautiful surface. The counters can be purchased as pre-formed or fabricated to precise specifications. They are conventional in a modest kitchen, whether mid-century or modern.

    The material is cheap and easy to maintain and install. It doesn't need sealers or special cleaners. Unlike solid-surface materials, the seams of laminates are apparent.

    The surface is prone to scratches and dents. When damaged, it is almost impossible to repair.

    Laminates cannot stand heat because they’re plastic. So, you can't have a hot pan directly on the surface.


    8. Wood

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    Do you know wood kills bacteria quicker than any other surface? Yes, it does, and that's ideal for kitchen surfaces. This timeless and classic-looking material is warm and easy to maintain.

    Buy wooden countertops from excellent and reliable manufacturers and seal them to prolong their durability. Hardwoods from oak trees, maples, and many others are the appropriate wood types for countertops.

    Wood gives your kitchen a country look. It is an easy-to-clean material that can be resealed when needed.

    The downside is that it is a bit expensive and requires proper maintenance to avoid having cracks over time. It scratches easily and a knife can cut through it.


    9. Stainless Steel

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    With stainless steel, you can get a real contemporary look for your kitchen. It is usually constructed according to your specifications. This means that you can have a seamless top if you please.

    Of all the kitchen countertop material, this is the easiest to clean. Just wipe it with a regular cloth, soap, and water.

    Steel is heat resistant and very durable. And it adds value to your house if you wish to resell.

    Stainless steel does have its downsides too. It can be very noisy. Plates, spoons, and pans will keep making sounds as you work on it, and this may be very disturbing. It is also expensive to fabricate and can scratch easily.


    10. Concrete

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    Concrete gives you a distinctive industrial look. It can be used to form countertops in unusual shapes and give you a unique kitchen. A concrete countertop is constructed on-site because it is heavy.

    Don't confuse it with sidewalks as it is highly polished and textured to produce colors, unlike sidewalks. It’s good to know that it is heat resistant and immune to scratches.

    You cannot do the installation of a concrete countertop yourself. There is a need for professionals, and this makes it expensive. Concrete can crack over time and develop a porous surface if not sealed frequently. It doesn't add value to your house and can be viewed negatively by buyers.


    Wrap Up

    Choose the type of material that suits your need and meets your budget. Materials made from stones are durable and expensive but give your kitchen an exquisite look.

    Tiles come in varieties, laminates are cheap, and wood is also a good option. For an industrial and contemporary look, go for concrete or steel. But that's if you don't have plans to resell the house.

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