How do kitchen countertop materials compare in terms of cost, quality, maintenance and durability? Check out our helpful chart below and find out!
Granite Transformations Countertops
Granite Transformations’ countertops are made of a combination of granite, quartz and a unique, proprietary sealing ingredient called ForeverSeal®, which makes them extremely durable, resistant to stains, scratches and heat – which means they never need to be sealed like natural granite does. All Granite Transformations countertops are proudly manufactured in the USA, backed by a Lifetime Warranty and are installed by experienced craftsman who are employed by Granite Transformations, thus eliminating the need for subcontractors. You can rest assured your countertops will maintain their beauty for years to come.
Laminate is made of layers of paper covered by thin veneer that is affixed to particle board, making it less resistant to heat (when compared to other countertop materials). Laminate is easy to clean and does not need to be sealed. Over time, however, the surface may wear and peel. Laminate is among the least expensive countertop options.
Marble is a porous material that is softer than granite. Marble must be sealed regularly and it is more susceptible to scratches. It does not resist heat well, so great care should be taken when placing hot items down on the countertop. Marble is available in many colors and patterns, making it an attractive option for homeowners. Marble tends to be on the higher end of the cost scale for countertops.
Concrete countertops are new on the design scene and are getting a lot of buzz in the residential market. They can be customized to fit your kitchen and are available in a range of modern looks. Concrete is very porous, and it must be sealed regularly and properly, or it may be susceptible to damage. When properly cared for, concrete is very durable. The cost of concrete countertops can vary widely based on the thickness, construction and installation that’s required – custom or irregular shapes and edges can drive up the price significantly.
Natural Granite Countertops
Natural granite is a very durable surface but it must be cleaned and maintained properly. It requires a special cleaning regimen using certain polishes and it must be tested for resealing annually. Different types of require various amounts of sealing. Often times, the lower the price of the slab, the more frequently you need to clean and seal it.
Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surfaces are made from a combination of plastic and stone, and the primary benefit is that they have no seams and can be heated and molded into almost any shape. They are nonporous, so they don’t require sealing or special cleaning. They don’t resist heat well, and they scratch easier than granite. Solid surfaces are in the mid-range in terms of price, depending on the manufacturer.
Wood Countertops (Butcher Block)
Wood surfaces scratch easily and require monthly sealing with oil. They can be sanded down and refinished easily to remove stains or scratches. Without regular care, butcher block surfaces can be susceptible to absorbing odor, bacteria or moisture. The price can vary significantly based on the type of wood that chosen, but tend to cost less than stone countertops.
Tile Countertops (Ceramic)
The popularity of tile countertops has been on the downswing in recent years. This is because homeowners have found that tiles can easily crack or chip over time. Also, the surface is not flat making food prep more challenging and the grout is susceptible to staining. Although the tile itself is nonporous, the grout is not, thus making it difficult to clean and maintain a flawless look.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Like concrete, stainless steel countertops are becoming more popular in the residential market. Stainless steel is nonporous, which makes it impenetrable and durable. (It should be noted, however, that stainless steel can be dented with rough handling.) The surface is installed without seams, which diminishes the growth of germs and makes it easy to maintain. It can handle hot pots and pans and won’t stain or corrode easily. Stainless steel countertops are limiting in terms of design, and tend to be best for simpler, no frills kitchens. In addition, the surface tends to be noisy when items are placed on it and fingerprints show up more readily than on stone surfaces. Stainless steel countertops tend to be cheaper than most stone countertops.
Please post your comments below about your experience with various countertop materials.