What Are The Pros and Cons of Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials?

pros cons popular kitchen countertop materials

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Are you remodeling your kitchen? Well, then you might be feeling a little confused at the wide range of kitchen countertop materials available in the market today. Granite countertops may be popular everywhere, but they are just one of the most popular materials homeowners can choose to build durable and attractive countertops. Hence it’s important to look at the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials before deciding.

Nevertheless, the best type of countertop for your kitchen depends on how you plan to use them, what kind of design you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay. Further, each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. And all of that should be taken into account while choosing your countertop material. Here’s a list of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, along with their pros and cons that will help you make an informed decision.

 

Marble

marble countertop pros cons
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

For those who love elegance and timeless design, marble is the material that none can match. Its distinctive appearance and veined patterns make it one of the most attractive kitchen countertop materials. In terms of strength, marble is durable and heat resistant.

However, high porosity makes it highly vulnerable to stains. Therefore, it is necessary to apply a protective sealant regularly to keep its high-end looks intact.

A relatively soft stone, marble is prone to scratches by knives and other sharp utensils. Due to its beautiful and luxurious look, not to mention being a natural stone, marble is a relatively expensive material and can be out of reach for most homeowners on a limited budget. 

Cost: $15 to $200 per square foot. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons of marble countertops.

Pros

  • High water and heat resistance
  • Elegant in look
  • Soft and smooth finish
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • High price
  • High porosity makes it sensitive to stains

 

Granite

granite pros cons popular kitchen countertop materials
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Granite is also a natural stone that can compete with the elegance of marble. With hundreds of colors and patterns available, granite can adapt to all kitchen styles. 

It’s low maintenance, easy to clean, and highly impervious to heat. The color of granite can vary from one slab to another, which gives the countertop surface a unique look.

Although solid granite slabs are hefty, they make up for durable countertops. Furthermore, granite is always considered a premium building material that significantly improves real estate value.

However, granite is quite expensive, which makes it less suitable for low-budget kitchen remodels. Also, granite is heavy, so professionals must install it, which could be another letdown factor for DIY enthusiasts.

Cost: $15 to $150 per square foot

Pros

  • Water and heat resistant
  • Impervious to stains
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Requires experts for proper installation
  • Porous nature makes it vulnerable to stains

 

Quartz

Quartz kitchen countertop is another popular option for kitchen remodels. Unlike granite, t is a synthetic material that comprises 93% natural quartz crystals and 7% resin. Due to its beautiful natural stone-like appearance, quartz is a good alternative for granite and marble. However, you need to look at the pros and cons of quartz before making a decision.

Quartz comes in various colors and shades, making it perfect to effortlessly pair with any kitchen style. Also, it is a non-porous, rigid material that makes it stain-resistant and easy to clean. Besides, quartz countertops are more durable and less susceptible to scratches.

Cost: $15 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • Resists heat, cracks, and scuffs
  • Does not stain
  • It doesn’t require sealing
  • Large selection of colors and textures available

Cons

  • Very heavy, DIY not possible
  • Susceptible to heat damage

 

Concrete

concrete countertop kitchen island
Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Concrete is yet another material that is slowly making its way to the ranks of top kitchen countertop materials. It is solid and rigid, just like granite, and is better suited for contemporary kitchen styles.

Concrete creates a rigid countertop surface that bears a unique and sturdy look. However, concrete slabs are very heavy and may require extra support, which can sometimes prove to be costly.

Cost: $50 to $100 per square foot

Pros

  • You can shape it to fit any size.
  • Concrete has a distinct look
  • Sturdy, heat and water-resistant 

Cons

  • Very heavy and require special bracing.
  • Cracks can appear over time
  • DIY is not possible

 

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are increasing in popularity, and there is a good reason behind that. Also, solid surface offers durability, strength, and versatility. Further, it is made from acrylic resin and natural minerals, creating a highly resistant countertop material.

A solid surface can keep its beautiful appearance for a longer duration and can survive cuts and wears that occur due to daily activity.

Being a composite material, solid surface offers a more versatile selection of colors than any other countertop material. You can glue pieces of solid surface together to create a flawless surface. 

Cost: $20 to $70 per square foot

Pros

  • Scratches can be easily removed by sanding
  • Countertop with under-mount sink designs available
  • Easy to clean with soap and water

Cons

  • Bottom cabinets sometimes need to be reinforced
  • Visible stains in lighter colors
  • It doesn’t look premium as marble or granite

 

Ceramic

With Ceramic kitchen countertops, you have hundreds of choices with distinct designs and vivid patterns. Square, hexagonal, round, there is something for every kitchen.

Interestingly, being non-porous, it is difficult for dirt to get stuck in. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about scratches with ceramic countertops.

Ceramics countertops come next to affordability after laminates. Despite so many positives, ceramics have their drawbacks as well. It cracks under heavy stress. Further, it doesn’t hold the same elegance and class, just like granite or marble. As a result, ceramic countertops don’t contribute to real estate value. 

Cost: $10 to $40 per square foot

Pros

  • Endless colors and patterns available
  • Water, scratch, and heat resistant
  • Easy to maintain
  • Non-porous

Cons

  • Grouts are challenging to clean
  • Custom countertops are expensive
  • Brittle

 

Laminate

If you are on a tight budget, laminate can be one of the best options. You will find seemingly endless design and pattern options with laminates. However, you need to consider the pros and cons of popular kitchen countertop materials like laminate to make the right decision.

On the negative side, laminate is not very sturdy. Furthermore, corners are fragile and can chip away. Water damage is also a significant concern with laminates. In addition, laminates do not add any value to the property, which can be another downside if you plan to sell your home in the future. 

Cost: $5 to $30 per square foot

Pros

Cons

  • Prone to scratches
  • Not very resistant to heat and water
  • Repair not possible
  • May not appeal to potential home buyers.

 

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