Our Top 10 List of Natural and Fabricated Kitchen Countertop Materials
Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? Between the appliances, backsplashes, lighting fixtures, cabinets, and countertops you can definitely find yourself overwhelmed by the options available to you. While we are not experts on appliances and cabinetry, we do have some insider opinions on countertops. From granite counters to concrete counters, there is something for every home and every budget. Here are our top 10 kitchen countertop materials that our interior design contacts have shared with us as the best surface materials for any kitchen.
#1 Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are highly sought out by homeowners around the country, they have complex color schemes, intricate designs, and natural beauty. Granite counters add a look of sophistication to any kitchen and often times become the focal point of the dining area. Granite is not cheap, but it is nearly indestructible and the investment could literally last a lifetime. Price ranges differ drastically depending on the style of stone and where it was imported from. Because of its popularity and availability, the price of Granite has actually come down in recent years.
You can shop for granite at your local natural stone showroom, or call a countertop installation contractor for pricing. It is often times cheaper to go through a contractor that buys granite slabs in bulk and is able to cut it down for you as opposed to buying a slab yourself and trying to cut and install it. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about granite countertops and the installation process here at http://www.countertopsarizona.com/.
#2 Wood Block Countertops
While this countertop may not be as popular as the others on this list, we have become fans of these versatile countertops and continue to see more of them in homes and in vacation properties. The wood block countertops have their pros and cons, as with a cutting board they can warp if not treated properly, hot pans will leave burn marks, knives will cut into them, and they can stain from wines and fruits. So why did wood block countertops make the top of our top 10 list? There is an appeal to them that we don’t see in any other countertops on the market. They give a home a very warm feeling that could be compared to country living. While they may not be ideal for every home, these countertops definitely have their place in the world.
Wood countertops come in a variety of woods and colors and can be treated and stained to the eyes desire. The biggest benefit of wood countertops is that they can be re-sanded and sealed when the surface or finish become worn and blemished. The biggest issue we have with the wooden surface is that it stains and scuffs easily. Any deep scratches need to be re-sealed to prevent liquids from penetrating the surface. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about wood block countertops and the installation process here at https://allikriste.com/butcher-block-countertops-tampa.html.
#3 Stainless Steel Countertops
It might be my background in the culinary industry that has me placing stainless steel so high on the list here. There are many things I like about the countertop surface and many things I don’t. The industrial look it brings to a kitchen offers a very modern look and pairs great with stainless steel appliances. The countertops are easy to clean and are virtually bulletproof. They are a little pricey but would be fairly easy to replace if needed. The problem I do have with them is like with any stainless steel surface they scratch and scuff very easy. Scratches are noticeable and buffing them out is not an option that I am aware of. They don’t stain easily and do not need to be sealed or treated to maintain them.
Stainless steel countertops are also a great option for outdoor BBQ pits. The surfaces are extremely durable in an outdoor or industrial environment and can be cleaned with just about any chemical on the market. These countertops made our top 10 list because of durability, affordability, industrial appeal, and ease of replacement. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about steel countertops and the installation process here at https://www.riversidesheetmetal.net/counter-tops/stainless-steel/.
#4 Solid Surface Countertops
These countertops are awesome for many reasons, they are affordable, easy to repair, and they come in all sorts of color and pattern options. These fabricated solid surfaces can be easily customized and installed to fit your floor plan. They are very resistant to staining and can hold up to most chemical cleaning solutions. The installation process is pretty quick, measurements are made one day and the following week they are fabricated and ready for install.
Solid surface countertops can become damaged from hot pots or pans. They are not something to cut on as I have seen good kitchen knives leave permanent markings on the surface. They are becoming more popular because the prices can range from affordable to very expensive. The broad range of patterns and color options also make them attractive options for designers looking for color flakes that don’t show up in natural stone and wood countertop surfaces. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about solid surface countertops and the installation process here at http://www.macadamfloors.com/solid-surface-slab/.
#5 Soapstone Countertops
These solid surface countertops are typically dark in color and the surface feels smooth to the touch. You will see these in older homes as countertop surfaces but also installed in the sinks. They are pretty resistant to staining, have great rich color options, are smooth to the touch, and are durable enough to last a long time in your kitchen.
These soapstone countertops require regular maintenance, they need to be oiled often with mineral oil and can suffer from cracking over time. The color of the soapstone has been known to darken after years of exposure to the elements of the kitchen. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about soapstone countertops and the installation process here at https://doradosoapstone.com/.
#6 Laminate Countertops
While not my favorite countertop by a longshot, I gave it the number 6 position in our top 10 countertop materials list because of affordability and options. I wouldn’t install laminate countertops in my home, I had them as a kid and never cared for them. They are cheap to make and come in just about every color you can imagine. The surfaces are easy to clean and stand up to most chemical cleaning solutions and everyday activity.
What I don’t like about these surfaces has to do with the front edges and repair options. The front edges always seemed to peel back and honestly gave it a cheap appearance. Something you find at a table in an old fast food franchise. The edging can be pricey, but in comparison to some of the other countertop options, it’s still a cheaper option. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about laminate countertops and the installation process here at https://www.tshopinc.com/denver-laminate-countertops/.
#7 Concrete Countertops
These are cool and offer an industrial look and feel that can’t be beaten. The pricing can be beaten though and that’s a big reason why it made number 7 on our list. If you have a very custom countertop surface that needs to be shaped to the existing architecture and other natural or fabricated surfaces can’t be cut to the dimensions needed, concrete stone countertops offer you the flexibility to pour and shape to any custom design you have.
This can be a pricey option that may detour most people from investing in the stone surface. Because of the cost of labor, these prices exceed most of the cheaper options available. They are resistant to hot pans, knife blades, don’t scuff easily, extremely durable, and have a very industrial look and feel to them. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about concrete countertops and the installation process here at https://www.customcretewerks.com/.
#8 Ceramic Tile Countertops
Not a huge fan of ceramic had a kitchen sink that was ceramic and it chipped often. I hear the same goes for the countertop surfaces. It’s a pretty affordable option and fits most home kitchen designs. Installation is fairly simple and can be done by the DIY homeowner. The tiles are easy to clean and hold up to most kitchen wear and tear.
This is a decent option for most homeowners looking for an affordable solution for their kitchen counters. Things to consider with tile countertops are the grout lines. Anytime you have grout lines on a surface that is designed to prepare food you have the potential for staining and bacteria growth. The grout lines can absorb liquids and become resting spots for germs and mold. Purchasing custom tiles can increase the cost of the tile. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about ceramic tile countertops and the installation process here at https://www.thetileguywy.com/.
#9 Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone countertops offer all the beauty of natural stone with man-made benefits. They are scratch resistant, have a nonporous surface, and are fairly easy to maintain. They do not need to be sealed like the natural stone surfaces do. They come in many colors and are very attractive alternatives to natural stone surfaces.
While these countertops are easier to maintain because they do not need to be sealed and cared for like the natural stone surfaces do, they come at a price point that may not be appealing to most homeowners. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about engineered stone countertops and the installation process here at https://multistoneinc.com/engineered-stone/.
#10 Marble Countertops
Marble doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of any top 10 list. These are some of the most sought-after natural stone surfaces in the world and it just made number 10 on my list of countertops surfaces. My reasoning behind this has less to do with the quality of the surface and more to do with the price and awareness. First, it’s expensive. Second, everyone knows about marble countertops, if they wanted to purchase marble they wouldn’t be here looking for alternate solutions for their kitchen. So why put it at the top of a list for people searching for countertop options?
Marble is beautiful and highly regarded as the most precious of the natural stone surfaces. It’s expensive, requires constant maintenance, and it becomes stained easily. If it were not for the price and the maintenance required to keep the surface protected it would have made top 5 on this list. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about marble countertops and the installation process here at https://majesticmarbletile.com/.