10 of the Best Kitchen Countertop Materials
A lot of people look forward to the day they can start remodeling their kitchen. One of the largest and most noticeable features in a kitchen besides the cupboards are the countertops. Choosing the perfect counters depends on a few different things like cost, durability, and design. What’s perfect for you depends on what you’re looking for. Here are a few of the best kitchen countertops on the market that may fit the bill for your household.
Concrete is another really durable counter material. It's so durable, in fact, that it can withstand high heat and won’t scratch. If you do plan on getting concrete countertops, just remember to seal them properly and regularly to prevent water damage.
Using natural materials for your kitchen like granite is an excellent choice. Granite comes in a variety of beautiful colors so you’re likely to find one that grabs your attention. There’s nothing quite as deep and rich as granite, and there’s very little you can do to damage it; heat, cuts, and scratches won’t harm it. To avoid stains, just be sure to seal it.
3. Marble, Soapstone, and Limestone
Although popular, granite isn’t the only natural stone commonly used for kitchen countertops. Limestone and marble are also excellent choices that offer a natural stone appearance and heat resistance. Soapstone is another great natural choice. If any of these materials get small nicks or scratches, you can finely sand them away and apply mineral oil.
A lot of people choose laminate countertops because they’re affordable but still look nice. In the past, laminate may have looked fake or even cheap, but now it looks better than ever. Some laminate countertops can stain easily and you’ll need to remember to use pot holders, but you really can’t beat the price.
Quartz countertops look very similar to granite and marble, but are even more durable. Not only are they heat-resistant, but they’re less likely to get scratched or stained and don’t even need to be sealed. Quartz is made up of mineral, color, and resin, giving it its vibrant colors and strength. One drawback: edges and corners can actually chip, but having rounded edges will help.
Although glass countertops are probably one of the most expensive options on this list, they’re absolutely stunning. Glass counters can be customized to give off any color you want and if you have the funds, you can pay for a thicker glass. As well as the attractive appearance, glass counters also resist stains, heat, and scratches. Just beware that glass countertops can crack, and they’ll need to be wiped down often to look clean and shiny.
7. Butcher Block
Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are glued together. They’re incredibly strong and look good in most kitchens. However, they are more susceptible to getting scratched than other materials and must be maintained regularly by sanding down scratches and oiling them. You also need to be aware of heat, and be sure to use pot holders.
8. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a popular choice for a lot of reasons. First, it’s extremely durable. Stainless steel can tolerate high temperatures of up to 800 degrees and although it can rust, it happens at a very slow pace. It's so slow, in fact, that a stainless steel countertop is bound to outlast you. Stainless steel counters also match a lot of popular home design styles from modern and industrial to minimalist. Just remember to clean it properly—vinegar and water will work wonders.
Tile countertops were popular in the '70s and '80s, but have made a comeback in recent years. There are so many different styles, sizes, colors, and patterns to choose. The possibilities are endless! For the most part, tile counters are fairly inexpensive and easy enough to install on your own. Tiles are also heat, scratch, and stain resistant, and are easy to keep clean. They’re not indestructible, though, and can crack or have their finish scrubbed off. The grout should be sealed to prevent damage from moisture.
10. Solid Surface
Solid surface countertops have been around for a few decades now. The great thing about them is that they can be made to look like almost any kind of material, such as granite, but without the risk of staining since they’re not nearly as porous as other materials. Solid surface counters are also really strong and easy to rehab.