Choosing a New Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen countertop can be a reflection of your personal style while being useful to your day to day activities in the kitchen. When remodeling your kitchen, consider the different types of countertops and what makes each one special. We highlighted our favorite kitchen countertop materials. Read our picks below and contact us with further questions about your remodeling project.

Laminate

Cost: About $15-40 per square foot, plus installation.

Maintenance: Low. Clean with soapy water.

Pros: Laminate is a budget-conscious option. With laminate having an old-time feel to its name, it has revamped what we used to think as a countertop. Laminate offers new options with a variety of texture, colors, and styles. If you have a very particular look in mind and you are working on a budget, this could be the best option for you. You do not need any special chemicals to clean this low-maintenance countertop. It is durable and can stand everyday use, and it can last 10 to 20 years. Laminate is also easy to replace if necessary.

Cons: Easily scratched with knives. Does not stand up to heat.

Quartz

Cost: About $60- 90 per square foot, plus installation.

Maintenance: Low. Quartz never needs to be sealed. Wiping it down daily with soapy water will keep it clean.

Pros: Quartz is stain, scratch, acid, heat, and impact resistant. It is one of the most popular kitchen counter tops because it does not need to be sealed and comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. It is extremely durable, as well as antimicrobial to resist stain and odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew from penetrating the surface.

Cons: Recommended to handle only up to 400 degrees F. A sudden change in temperature on the counter can cause the surface to crack. Also, quartz is not good for direct sunlight outdoors

Granite

Cost: $60-200 per square foot

Maintenance: Medium. Needs to be sealed twice a year. Clean with warm water and liquid detergent. Wipe up anything acidic immediately.

Pros While this is one of the more expensive kitchen counter tops, granite has continued to be a growing favorite among consumers. It is easily customized and very durable when properly sealed. It’s shiny top is scratch and stain resistant. Granite also adds immediate value to your kitchen.

Cons: Granite is pricey and requires proper attention to be sealed well. It can also be difficult to find large pieces of the matching stone.

Marble

Cost: $100-400 per square foot

Maintenance: High. Seal annually and clean with liquid detergent and water. Make sure to clean up acidic spills

Pros: Marble comes in a variety of colors and patterns, very smooth surface, and is heat resistant. It is a beautiful traditional natural stone to add value to your kitchen.

Cons: Because marble is a soft natural stone, it can stain and chip easily. Also, it is expensive.

Glass

Cost: $60-300 per square foot

Maintenance: Low. Easy to clean.

Pros: Glass is very easy to customize. It has a smooth non-porous surface that is stain resistant.

Cons: For the sake of durability, choose a glass that is tempered and at least 1 inch thick. Glass also cannot be repaired if it cracks, chips or breaks, it must be replaced.

Wood

Cost: $90-130 per square foot

Maintenance: Low. To block from water damage, seal with mineral oil once a month. Wood should also be treated with wax or varnish at least once a year

Pros: Wood is functional and decorative. It is really classic to have a butcher block style of wood as a counter top. An all natural wooden counter that is sealed properly can withstand moisture. Sanding and resealing can restore a scratched or chipped counter to a uniform natural wood. There are also lots of options for a variety of different types of woods.

Cons: Must be properly sealed in order to maintain sanitary food prep surface. Wood can dent, seal or burn, and be vulnerable to humidity and heat

Stainless Steel

Cost: $100-300 per square foot

Maintenance: Low. Use a cleaner with high alcohol. Buff with a scouring pad with the grain of metal.

Pros: Stainless steel is non-porous and inhibits bacterial buildup. It is the most hygienic counter tops and extremely easy to wipe down after food preparation.

Cons: It does not match all household styles. It can be scratched.

Soapstone

Cost: $50-100 per square foot

Maintenance: Medium. Regular application of mineral oil will help hide scratches at the surface, add sheen, and deepen the color of the stone over time.

Pros: Soapstone is long lasting and highly resistant to stains, chemicals, and bacteria. It is beautiful in its grey color and matte feel.

Cons: Soapstone will likely darken in color over time, and it is not as heat resistant as other stones (like granite)

Tile

Cost: $10-50 or more per square foot

Maintenance: Medium. Cleaning on an uneven surface can be difficult and take time. Re-grouting can also take time.

Pros: Tiles are heat and stain resistant. You also have a large variety of patterns, colors, and sizes to choose from, as well as materials. It can be an easy do-it-yourself project done over a weekend and is inexpensive.

Cons: They scratch and chip. We recommend you buy some extra tiles in case one needs to be replaced. Grout will need to be renewed periodically. Tiles make for an uneven surface.