Best Kitchen Countertops

Best Countertop Material

When it comes to kitchen countertop materials, there are so many to choose from. The great variety of options can be overwhelming. Some examples of popular materials include granite, quartz and marble. However, there are plenty of other options such as butcher block, solid-surface and laminate. Each of the materials come with their own unique pros and cons, which can make picking a countertop material a difficult choice. Countertops play a major role in the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen. In the following article, we will break it down to make choosing a countertop material less stressful.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Countertop Material

There are a few different factors to consider when you’re choosing the right countertop material:

  • Price: First, consider the price that you are willing to pay. Are you looking for an inexpensive option? Mid-range option? Or are you looking to have a luxurious option?
  • Maintenance: Are you willing to keep up with extensive maintenance? Looking for annual maintenance? Or are you looking for minimal maintenance?
  • Heat Resistance: Do you want a countertop material that you can set a hot pan on? Or is heat resistance not a quality you’re prioritizing? 
  • Durability: Consider how resistant the material is. Some materials are easily scratched and stained. While other options have high durability and can sustain different conditions with minimal to no damage. 
  • Availability & Options: Some materials are available in many colors and patterns. Some materials are very unique and do not come in as many options. Additionally some materials may have limited availability, which often results in a higher price.

Types of Countertop Materials

Granite

Many luxurious kitchens have granite countertops due to their elegance. This has been a popular option due to the appeal it adds in a kitchen. It costs around $35 to $75 per square foot, making it an affordable option. This option is heat resistant and durable. Because of its popularity, it also adds value to your home. There are tons of different colors and types to choose from. Additionally, it requires minimal maintenance when properly sealed. The sealing is crucial because stone is porous, so sealing will protect the material from staining and damage. Occasional resealing is recommended to ensure that it still has protection. Each slab of granite is one of a kind. However, this means it could have some imperfections. This material must be installed carefully, otherwise it can crack. 

Soapstone

This material usually comes in a dark gray that adds an antique yet modern aesthetic to a home. Because of its dense and nonporous qualities, this material is resistant to stains and heat, making it an appealing option. However, this material is not scratch resistant. But small scratches can be easily fixed by sanding. The cost of this material ranges from $40 to $100 per square foot. There are some downsides to this material. For one, the color of the counters may darken over time. Additionally, it should be periodically treated with mineral oil as part of regular maintenance. 

Marble 

Marble is a popular material due to its essence. Each slab is one of a kind, adding significant value to your home. Additionally it is waterproof and heatproof. The cost ranges from $40 to $140 per square foot, making it a higher end option. One major downside of this material is that it is not resistant to stains or scratches. Sealing will help with preventing stains, but scratches are hard to prevent and repair. Because of sensitive qualities, this material requires regular maintenance. 

Quartz 

This material was created to be a better alternative to granite and marble. Quartz is made from ground quartz, resin, and pigments. This combination mimics the appearance of stone. It comes in many colors and styles that can be customized. It is also scratch, heat and stain resistant. This material does not require sealing or resealing, making it a low maintenance option. The price range is from $50 to $130 per square foot. Some popular and quality brands of quartz are Cambria and Silestone. These slabs are uniform and do not have imperfections. Some disadvantages are that it is a very heavy material and an expensive option.

Solid-Surface Material

This is also a man made material created from acrylic and resins. It has been around for many decades. The most popular brand of solid-surface material is Corian. The price point can fall anywhere between $75 to $120 per square feet. This material is stain resistant and can easily be repaired if scratched. Slabs come in various patterns and pigments. This is an option that is popular due to its mid price point and unique look. However, this material is not heat resistant and can sustain damage from hot pots. 

Laminate 

This material is made from plastic synthetics. They are sold in pre-formed segments which allow for easy DIY installation. There are endless options of colors and patterns in laminate materials. It costs between $20- $50 per square foot, making it an inexpensive and budget friendly option. Laminate countertops are resistant to heat and stains. However, they can be scratched and repairs are difficult. This material is also commonly viewed as “ordinary” by many potential homebuyers.  

Wood (Butcher Block) 

Wood countertops come in different finishes and pigments, providing plenty of unique options. It costs between $35 to $200 per square foot. It is a durable option when properly cared for, but it does require extensive maintenance. It is not scratch resistant but it can be sanded and resealed if there are any damages. However, it is an expensive option for countertops. It is also not stain resistant due to its porous qualities. 

Countertop Material Comparison

At I-4 Kitchen and Bath, our expert design and installation team has over 80 years combined experience. We offer the highest quality workmanship and customer service on every countertop installation project. Contact us today to start your custom countertop installation process.For more information, call us at (407) 246-0636 or make an appointment online. Ask us about available financing options.

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