6 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

August 16, 2016

Finding the right countertop for your kitchen takes time, patience, and a lot of consideration. Unlike furniture, painting a room, or changing the curtains a countertop is a huge investment that you must love for possibly the rest of your life. To make sure you adore what you choose here are six countertop materials with their positive and negative aspects.

Soapstone

Soapstone is often used in laboratories and commercial kitchens because they are easy to clean, resistance to stains, and durable. This material is also very natural looking and can often be used as a heat sink for hot pots and pans because of its constant cool temperature. If you want something that is simple and multifunctional soapstone will be the perfect countertop for your home.

Soapstone is somewhat expensive at about $80 to $100 for each square foot. To install the countertop properly you will also want to hire a professional. Though you can install it yourself having a technician install it will ensure a longer life for the countertop. Though this will be a large initial investment it will save you money and stress in the long run. Soapstone is also “softer” than other countertops. This means it can get cuts and bumps easier than granite or slate. If you invest in soapstone be aware that it will show its character and age as you use it more and more.

Granite

Granite is a natural stone that can be colorful, monochromatic, veined, or mottled. Granite gives you plenty of options that can be inexpensive or exorbitant. This stone is wonderful for any kitchen and can match virtually any décor. Most granite is priced around $50 and can become more expensive from there. If you want a basis countertop for your home granite may be your best choice.

The downside of granite is sometimes what is advertised as granite is not actually granite. Granite, according to geologists, is stone that is approximately 20 to 60 percent quartz, less than 65 percent feldspar, and is light in color. For countertop suppliers granite is defined by a countertop that is harder than marble and contains some quartz. While the suppliers’ rock that is offered as granite is often durable and beautiful it is not actual granite.

Copper

Copper is a beautiful, unique countertop that will only become more stunning with time. Copper will naturally dent, cut, and change colors as you use it. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind countertop that will make your kitchen look magnificent and rustic.

Copper countertops are unfortunately fairly expensive and will quickly become dented and discolored with time. While some people find this beautiful it is not for everyone.

Marble

Marble is a beautiful, soft stone that invokes thought of elegance, luxury, and classic design. Marble is a stunning countertop that is durable and stands the test of time when properly cared for and installed. Marble comes in classic white hues but can also be different colors due to mineral impurities or can be artificially dyed. Marble also absorbs heat naturally. This is perfect for baking or placing hot pots and pans on the counter without worry.

It may not be the perfect answer for clean freaks. Unfortunately marble stains and scratches easily. Marble is more porous than granite. You can finish your marble one or twice a year to keep the shine and look of marble longer. Be sure to only use gentle clothes, warm water or specific marble cleaners to wipe down the counters. Otherwise, this could diminish their sheen. So if you adore the look of marble you must embrace the inevitable impurities or look at other options.

Quartz

Quartz is a stunning, classic countertop that can fit in any kitchen from modern to rustic. Quartz is hypoallergenic and can be all natural. Countertops are made of 95 percent quartz and five percent fixatives and resins. Quartz can be a pure white or bright red to earthy green. Quartz is durable and nonporous. It is also as tough as granite so it will avoid scrapes, cuts, and dents.

It is, however, somewhat expensive at $90 to $150 per square foot. The resin in the quartz is not heat resistant. If you purchase quartz you will need to buy plenty of heat pads!

Tile

Tile offers a lot of creativity for many people. Tile countertops can create beautiful, elaborate mosaics that are durable and will last a lifetime. If you are confident in your DIY skills you can even install it yourself and give your kitchen a complete facelift. This is also the economic answer to replacing your countertop. The tiles only cost $10 to $50 per square foot.

Tile can be difficult to clean after installation and can show their wear and tear relatively quickly.