9 Types of Countertops: What Are Their Main Pros and Cons?

Selecting kitchen countertops is exciting but can also become overwhelming. Thanks to advanced technology, suppliers now offer dozens of products that vary widely. The best way to wade through all the choices is to consider how counters will be used. In addition to personal taste, buyers should think about their lifestyles, how much wear and tear surfaces will get, and maintenance requirements. Other essential factors include durability, ease of repair, and cost.

1) Marble Is an Elegant Choice

When shoppers want top-of-the-line counters and don’t mind paying for them, they often choose marble. It is one of the most commonly used materials for Natural Stone Countertops and instantly gives rooms a designer feel. Available in a variety of colors, the stone can be surprisingly affordable compared to other upscale choices.

However, marble is porous and can stain, and homeowners must use cutting boards to avoid scratching surfaces.

2) Granite Adds Timeless Beauty

Another popular natural stone counter material, granite is known for its lovely colors. Each slab is naturally colored by the minerals in the ground where it is quarried. Granite countertops can be cleaned with just soap and water, and surfaces are heat resistant.

Granite counters are very heavy, and it is easy to crack or ship them. They are also expensive compared to other options.

3) Budget-Friendly Wood Is Sustainable

Many homeowners opt for traditional wood counters that offer versatility and durability. Wood is an affordable choice and also eco-friendly since it’s sustainable.

Unfortunately, knives and water may damage the wood. Owners need to make a special effort to keep surfaces dry to avoid warping, and counters must be oiled regularly.

4) Quartz Counters Are Family Friendly

Per  Real Simple designers, quartz is a good fit for large families. Countertops are made of quartz combined with resin, making them non-porous and very hard. Customers can order designs that replicate the look of natural stone.

However, counters are heavy, expensive, easily chipped, and may have seams.

5) Solid Surface Countertops Are Seamless

In recent years middle-tier solid surface counters have become fashionable. Made from resin and acrylic, they are available in a nearly endless variety of styles.

Solid surface counters may not be the best choice for busy cooks because they are easily dented, scratched, and heat damaged.

6) Concrete Is Ideal for Farmhouse Styles

As farmhouse chic has caught on, more homeowners are opting for concrete countertops that match the style. According to  House Beautiful, counters can be poured and sealed to order.

Concrete might not be the ideal material for counters that get a lot of wear and tear, since they can easily crack and do not have the durability of other choices.

7) Ceramic Tile Offers Variety

The tile countertops that were the rage in the 70s and 80s are hip again. Homeowners can choose from a range of shapes, colors, and even materials.

One issue to consider is that tiles usually have grout lines that can be hard to keep clean.

8) Stainless Steel Is in Fashion

The stainless steel countertops traditionally found in commercial kitchens are now becoming popular among homeowners who like the ease of maintenance and industrial-chic appearance.

The downside is that stains can set in the metal, and it will dent and scratch over time.

9) Laminates Are a Frugal Choice

Practical, inexpensive laminate countertops have come a long way since the 80s. Today’s versions are sold in a vast range of colors and patterns. They look more expensive than they are, do not need resealing, and are non-porous.

However, laminate is easily heated, damaged and scratched and does little to boost a home’s resale value.

Homeowners who are shopping for countertop materials have dozens of choices, and each has its pros and cons. Fortunately, manufacturers now offer options ranging from stunning natural stones to inexpensive laminates. Other popular options include ceramic tile, quartz, wood, stainless steel, concrete, and solid surface materials.