Kitchen countertops add style and personality to your kitchen or bathroom. With so many options available, choosing the best kitchen countertop materials best suited for your space can be overwhelming.
With the help of our expert design services, choosing the best natural stone surface for your home can be easy. Before you begin the process of choosing a countertop material, it is important to know the pros and cons of some of the most popular options.
Note: Firenza Stone offers stone surfaces in a wide range of styles, finishes, colors, and textures to create the perfect look for your home and cabinet style.
1. Semi-Precious Stone
Semi-precious stones are naturally occurring gemstones that are considered less in value compared to precious stones such as diamonds. An example is turquoise and amethyst. Semi-precious stone countertops are beautiful; they offer vivid colors and have a very luxurious appearance. However, these countertops tend to be rather expensive. They also may have soft spots or other inconsistencies throughout the slab.
Homeowners looking to add color and luxury to their kitchen or bathroom may choose to integrate handcrafted slabs of amethyst, jasper, or other semi-precious stones into their plans and designs.
- They have naturally beautiful and vivid colors
- They have a luxurious appearance
- It is said to bring an excellent mood to any space
- Resistant to stains and scratches
- Resistant to heat and Bacteria
- They are quite expensive
Learn more about the 12 Different Types of Kitchen Countertops: How To Choose The Best
Granite has become one of the most popular stones for kitchens and bathrooms. This is largely because granite is available in many different colors and patterns to fit any design aesthetic. They are durable and hold up well against general wear and tear. But you need to reseal your granite slab each year to avoid stains and water damage. Granite countertop options are extremely heavy, making sturdy cabinet boxes a necessity to support their weight.
Because granite is so versatile, it can be a great addition to any kitchen or bathroom space, whether the space is modern, traditional, contemporary, or eclectic.
- Heat, scratch, and stain resistance
- Resistant to chemicals
- Granite is extremely durable and easy to clean
- Comes in a wide range of natural and unique patterns and designs
- Requires little maintenance
- Granite is porous in nature
- Granite countertops are prone to cracking and chipping at the edge
- They are costly
- They often come with seams
Before investing in granite countertops, read and understand this guide on How Thick Should Granite Countertops Be to help you know what’s right for your home.
If you’re looking for a traditional countertop material, marble may be it. Marble countertops are not only elegant, but they also stand up to heat demands within the kitchen. They are, however, very susceptible to stains and are easy to scratch and chip.
Marble is perfect for homeowners with a classic, timeless style. White marble with classic gray veining offers a clean look and a lot of character and may be a great choice for your kitchen remodel.
- Has a rich aesthetic value with unique vein patterns
- It is not completely resistant to heat but remains cool naturally, making it a great surface for cooking
- Marble countertops are quite durable and would last long with proper maintenance and sealer
- It is a porous material
- Stains easily (Stains from acidic chemical spills can be permanent)
A soapstone kitchen countertop is perfect for homeowners looking for something a little different from the typical granite and marble look. Soapstone countertops have a “soapy” texture and offer a subtle softness and depth in your kitchen or bathroom.
This material starts out in a great natural gray color, but that color may darken over time. It also requires regular maintenance, and it might crack, chip, or scratch over time. They are most commonly found in homes with cottages, farmhouses, and rustic kitchens. This stone is a great option for homeowners looking to create a warm and inviting kitchen space.
- Soapstone is nonporous and doesn’t stain.
- Despite its softness compared to hard natural stones such as granite and quartz, it has very high durability.
- Does not require sealing like other stones, which require sealing to prevent water damage
- Does not require extensive cleaning for maintenance
- Has very limited color and design options
- Scratches easily
- Installation is expensive
- Wears unevenly
5. Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone can be described as a modified version of quartz. Quartz countertops (aka engineered stone) are great because they are easy to maintain and come in many custom colors and consistent patterns because they are created by adding pigment to crushed engineered stone like quartz and resin. However, they are not heatproof.
Although quartz has the look of natural stone, it offers benefits that natural stones do not have. This stone choice is great for the non-traditional homeowner. Quartz is gaining popularity, but it is still a unique option for those looking to make a splash with their countertop choice.
- It is non-porous
- Wears evenly
- Is resistant to stain
- Mimics the look of natural stone
- Cleaning is easy
- Wide variety of colors and styles to suit your kitchen renovation plans
- Is easily restored after damages
- Its work surfaces are seamless
- It may be prone to cracking from frequent contact with hot pots and pans
- Not recommended for outdoor use as colors fade when exposed to sunlight
- They are heavier in weight and may require expensive frames
- Requires special installation, so employing professional kitchen remodelers is necessary
We have created a more extensive article on Quartz Countertops: Pros and Cons, Reasons, Benefits.
6. Recycled Glass
Strong and durable, recycled glass countertops are a unique choice for a kitchen or bathroom. They are easy to clean and maintain, heat and stain resistant. But, because they are glass, they can crack during installation if not done correctly, and water spots and fingerprints are very visible.
Recycled glass countertops are perfect if you are looking for durable countertops that are also earth-friendly, as the glass slabs contain glass from recycled bottles and jars to create a beautiful, interesting glass surface.
- Non-porous in nature
- It is resistant to stains and bacteria
- Has high heat resistance
- Cleaning is easy
- Gives a sophisticated look and style to your new kitchen
- They are not very durable as they are very prone to cracks and scratches
- They are difficult to maintain; water splashes, fingerprints, etc., are usually very visible
- There are limited customizable options
Tiles are thin, square, or rectangular coverings made of durable materials like ceramic, stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass. Tile countertops can be a great and reasonably priced alternative, despite the fact that many homeowners prefer to use tile for floors and backsplashes. Ceramic tile is resistant to heat, water, and stains when properly glazed.
- Comes in a large range of colors and customizable options
- Highly heat resistant
- Is a cheaper alternative to expensive countertop materials
- Installation is easy
- Grout retains a lot of dirt and is difficult to clean
- Very prone to stains and bacteria
- Chips easily on high impact
Wood countertops are also known as butcher block. A butcher block countertop is made of hardwood pieces that have been glued and laminated together for strength and stability. They offer a warm, natural landing surface in the kitchen that is incredibly forgiving, kind to dishware, and capable of absorbing the noise of a busy family. Wood may also be repaired if it is damaged; you can refinish wood that has been dinged, discolored, or gouged.
- Has a unique natural look that can scarcely be gotten from other common kitchen countertop materials
- Wood is warm to look at and warm to touch, unlike granite and quartz
- Wood is eco friendly
- Requires a lot of care and is easily damaged by spills
- It can be prone to bacteria if not properly sealed
- Low resistance to heat and high-impact activities like cutting, pounding, etc.
How to make the perfect choice of countertop material.
- Purpose: Your kitchen countertops should be fit and able to serve the major purpose you need them for. Do you entertain guests in your kitchen or make delicious meals for parties? Answering this question will help you decide which kitchen countertop options are best suited to these various kitchen uses.
- Aesthetics: Countertops are beautiful to look at. By installing a new countertop, you can update your kitchen and show off your style and individuality. Even if you don’t make any other modifications, a gorgeous material, color, or design will make your kitchen look brand-new because they are the room’s focal point.
- Value: Whether you want to sell now or in a few years, certain countertop materials will raise the value of your house. You can significantly increase the market value of your property by redesigning the kitchen, such as by opting for high-value countertops, so you’re likely to recover a sizable portion of your expenditure.
- Style: Your preferred style, to a large extent, will influence the kind of material used. The color or pattern of your countertop may become antiquated or unappealing as interior design trends and your personal tastes change. Modernizing your kitchen countertops gives it a perfect appearance you’ll love.
Which countertop material is best for commercial use?
For commercial kitchen counters, we suggest that you use quartz or granite. This is because of their high durability, high resistance to heat, stains, and scratches, and ease of maintenance.
How can I maintain my countertops and make them last longer?
- Clean your countertops after each use.
- Know your material and treat it well. You shouldn’t be cutting meat on a wooden tabletop.
- Repair little damages as soon as possible to prevent them from getting worse.
- Do routine maintenance as often as required. For example, sealing your granite.
Protect your countertops from damage by learning about The Effect Of Oven Cleaner On Kitchen Countertops.
If you’re ready to make a decision about new natural stone countertops for your home, Firenza Stone has many different stones in a variety of colors and textures. We also offer interior design and contractor consultation for your kitchen or bathroom remodel. For more information, call us at 877.876.6638 or stop by the Firenza Stone showroom.