One of the best kitchen remodel projects you can do is changing your countertops. However, there are a lot of countertop options, which can make the decision difficult. Between wood, stone, marble, and more, it’s tough to know if you are making the right decision.
Thankfully, the team at JD Kitchens, Baths & More is here to answer the question: what are the different types of countertops? We will discuss popular countertop materials as well as their pros and cons.
Contact us today to speak to Marietta’s expert kitchen remodeling team!
Granite is an ever-popular countertop material thanks to its incredible durability, longevity, and heat resistance. Natural granite also comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, so it is easy to find something that matches the aesthetic of the rest of your room. Granite can easily last over 50 years, and you can clean it with soap and water without fear of damage. Granite is also recyclable because it is natural stone.
- Exceptional durability
- Heat resistant
- Last over 50 years
- Several colors and patterns available
- Heavy and difficult to install
- Generally more expensive than other options
- Need frequent sealing to maintain its condition
Marble is another popular kitchen countertop material that is similar to granite in its heat resistance, durability, and range of colors/patterns. Marble stone has some of the most beautiful naturally occurring patterns in stone, so it makes an excellent decorative choice for both traditional and modern kitchen styles. The main downside of marble countertops is they scratch and stain easily since marble is softer than some other kinds of stone. That means you have to frequently seal marble to keep it in good condition.
- Marble veining is unique and great for decoration
- Durable and long-lasting
- Heat, crack, and shatter resistant
- Variety of colors and patterns available
- Requires frequent sealing
- Can scratch or stain from liquids
- Heavy, so installation is more difficult
Quartz, or engineered stone, is a great way to get the natural stone appearance of marble or granite at a lower cost. Engineered stone consists of a mixture of quartz and other mineral particles to make a tough yet flexible material suitable for several applications. Unlike many other types of stone, engineered quartz is not very porous, so it will not stain, and it is highly resistant to mold growth. You also don’t have to seal it with marble or granite.
- Engineered quartz doesn’t require sealing like granite or marble
- Highly resistant to staining, mold, and mildew
- Highly customizable and flexible
- Less expensive than other stone options
- Less resistant to heat compared to other stone options
- Vulnerable to scratching and gouging
- Sunlight can cause the surface to fade and lose color
Laminate countertops consist of a non-porous particle board and resin that are molded together using pressure and heat. This manufacturing process makes laminate virtually poreless, so it is highly water-resistant and resistant to mold and mildew growth. Laminate is highly customizable, so homeowners have a lot of options to choose from. However, laminate is susceptible to heat and can start peeling from age, damage, UV exposure, and general wear and tear.
- Very affordable compared to other materials
- Low maintenance and easy-to-clean
- Non-porous, so resistant to water, mold, and mildew
- Highly customizable colors and designs
- Less durable than some other options
- Damaged by heat and pressure
- Vulnerable to scratches and dents
Wood is a classic material that homeowners favor, thanks to its natural appearance and eco-friendly nature. Wood countertops and butcher blocks typically feature maple, oak, ash, or bamboo, so homeowners have a lot of options for materials. Wood is durable and flexible, so it can stand up to most materials while remaining sanitary. Wood requires sealing, and wood surfaces can also become scratched and dented. Wood is also porous and needs oiling to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Eco-friendly material is recyclable
- Rustic appearance has a lot of charm
- Wide range of wood types and finishes
- Needs oiling to repel moisture
- Susceptible to bacterial growth if not cleaned
- Wood is relatively easy to scratch and gouge when cutting things
Steel is probably the most common type of metal for kitchen countertops due to its resistance, durability, and longevity. Steel is virtually impervious to mold and mildew, as well as highly resistant to moisture, grease, and oils. Steel works best with modern kitchen aesthetics, but it gets dirty and can smudge easier than other materials. Stainless steel will scratch and dent, but you don’t have to seal it to keep it waterproof.
- Steel is extremely strong and virtually impervious to water damage
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Resistant to mold, mildew, and stains
- Very long lifespan
- More expensive than the different types of countertops
- Easy to scratch and scrape the surface
- Fingerprints and smudges are very noticeable
Last but not least on our list is concrete. Concrete is unconventional for kitchen countertops, but it provides a durable and resistant material. Installers typically cast-form concrete countertops right there in your kitchen, so they are 100% custom-sized to fit your needs. Concrete is durable, heat-resistant, and highly resistant to scratches and gouging. The main downside of concrete is it is porous and susceptible to moisture damage, mold, and mildew.
- Highly heat resistant
- Won’t scratch or gouge
- Highly customizable due to casting manufacturing process
- Provides a unique aesthetic
- Porous and susceptible to water damage
- Can be expensive compared to other options
- Needs regular sealing to keep it waterproof
Choosing the Right Type of Countertop
Homeowners have many options for kitchen countertops, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. Below are some useful tips to help you make the smartest choice of countertops for your kitchen or bathrooms.
- Consider the major uses of the countertops. For example, if you plan to cook a lot and need a tough prep space, materials like granite, marble, or wood work well because they are tough and handle food well.
- Ask yourself how much maintenance you want to do. If you are okay with frequent oiling and cleaning, a material like wood or marble works well. If you prefer low-maintenance countertops, look into something like laminate or metals.
- Make sure kitchen countertops match your home style. For example, steel countertops typically work best with modern and contemporary kitchen designs.
- Consider the environmental impacts. If you want eco-friendly materials that you can recycle, wood and stone are good options.
- You can often get the appearance of a more expensive countertop with less expensive materials. For example, engineered quartz is a lower-cost alternative that captures the appearance and durability of natural stone.
- If you want decorations and patterns in the countertops, granite, quartz, and marble are great options with lots of colors and designs. Marble, in particular, is known for its characteristic veining patterns.
- The longest-lasting options for countertops are granite, marble, quartz, concrete, and steel, all of which can last over 50 years if you remember regular cleaning and maintenance.
Kitchen & Bath Design Services in Marietta, GA
When it comes to your kitchen, don’t settle for subpar work and contractors. Your home deserves the best design services. JD Kitchens, Baths & More is here for all your kitchen and bathroom interior design needs. Call our expert team today at 770-516-1602.
If you want the answer to more questions like, “What are the different types of countertops?” or want advice about caring for marble countertops, read our blog.