Choosing a new countertop for the kitchen or for the bathroom can be exciting but also overwhelming, since there are so many materials available on the market, with different textures and qualities. When you decide which countertop is best for your home remodeling needs, you have to take several factors into consideration such as thickness, advantages and disadvantages, maintenance, costs, colors or durability. Therefore, here is a list of the most popular kitchen countertops, with pros and cons for each one, to help you make the best decision.
Granite countertops are among the most popular materials because of its natural beauty, durability and because of its ruggedness. Granit is a natural stone, so each slab is unique in terms of color, shading and pattern. Each slice of granite ranges between 9 and 12 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. If your countertop is longer than that, you have to consider you will need to install more pieces of granite, which will result in having some seams.
Pros: granite is durable, unique, scratch and stain resistant, heat and water resistant (when it’s sealed), it’s easy to clean and available in different colors and patterns.
Cons: it’s expensive, requires more maintenance and it can break during transportation. For a more affordable option, you can opt for granite tiles.
Quartz looks just like natural stone, bust it’s easier to maintain. It’s a very hard stone, impervious to moister or water drops, which is ground into small pieces and then mixed together held by a resin. Quartz can have seams, but they are less noticeable than in the case of granite. It doesn’t need to be sealed because it’s nonporous, but it’s not completely heat resistant. For example, you leave something hot for longer on a quartz countertop, it can leave burn marks.
Pros: quartz is durable, more flexible, has glossy or matte finishes, it’s stain and crack resistant, it doesn’t require sealing, it’s easy to clean and has natural antibacterial properties.
Cons: it can have seams and it’s not heat resistant.
Wood countertops have been around for hundreds of years. They are natural, unique and add warmth to any place, especially suitable for a rustic kitchen. Wood can be used in various finished to fit best with the different types of décor. For modern kitchens, you can opt for teak, yellow cedar, cherry, white oak or mahogany, with an oil finish. The countertop can finished with a waterproof varnish. It’s a popular material for eco-friendly homes, as reclaimed wood can also be used. Wood contains natural enzymes that have antibacterial properties. In the case of wood countertops, it’s necessary to have a separate chopping block to avoid any damages.
Pros: wood fits easily into all kinds of designs, it has a nice appearance, it’s durable, heat resistant and recyclable.
Cons: it requires special care and maintenance, it’s not scratch resistant and it must be kept dry.
Laminate is a widely used countertop option because it’s very budget-friendly and it’s available in a wide variety of designs. Most on trend designs are created using laminate, similar to “fast forward fashion” items. It can replicate the look of marble, granite or wood for only a fraction of the cost, or it’s a great option for those who like bold patterns and colors.
Pros: laminate is very affordable, it comes in a variety of styles, it requires low maintenance, it’s easy to clean and stain resistant.
Cons: it can scratch, crack or scorch over the years and it’s more difficult to repair.
These countertops are made from a general-purpose mortar mix, pigments and sand. They are extremely durable, adding color and texture to any space. Although concrete is durable, its porous nature makes it prune to stains. By sealing concrete, stains are prevented from soaking in completely, but they still have to be cleaned immediately. Over time, concrete develops a patina and it’s also hard on glasses and dishware used in the kitchen.
Pros: durable, heat resistant, recyclable and customizable.
Cons: it requires more maintenance, it must be sealed to avoid stains and it can easily retain and absorb moisture.
These countertops can be translucent, tempered or embedded into concrete. They come in variety of colors and they can be made from recycled materials. Glass countertops are an excellent option for eco-friendly homes. Glass comes in sheets, so there may be seams, depending on the dimension of the countertop. If it’s embedded into concrete, it needs to be sealed every six months.
Pros: eco-friendly, easy to clean, heat tolerant, non-porous and customizable.
Cons: it can get scratched, broken or chipped, it shows fingerprints and water spots and it’s vulnerable to acidic surfaces.
Stainless steel countertops
These are chosen usually for commercial locations, because they are very durable. They are heat resistant, easy to clean and practically indestructible. Because it’s nonporous, the material has antibacterial properties. However, it can get scratched and dented and it shows fingerprints. Over time, it can develop patina.
Pros: heat resistant, durable, low maintenance, nonporous, antibacterial and easy to clean.
Cons: shows fingerprints and age over time, it’s easy to scratch and dent.
This is a natural quarried stone, having a soft feel because of the presence of talc in it. It’s not as hard as granite, but it’s still good in terms of durability and density. It’s non porous, stain resistant and it can tolerate acidic materials. It comes in various shades of blue, green and gray, with some marbling. It can be scratched, but the scratches can be buffed away with sandpaper. Soapstone is a good investment because it’s so durable and can stand the test of time.
Pros: durable, water and heat resistant, nonporous, low maintenance and it ages well.
Cons: it has a limited range of colors, it can have seams and it can get scratched.
Consider that no material is “the best” for countertops; it’s all about choosing the best material that fits to your needs and expectations. Weigh in the pros and cons of each material and make your choice when you plan to remodel or renovate the kitchen or the bathroom.
If you want to upgrade your kitchen into a modern, functional and welcoming space, don’t hesitate to contact Good Deal Remodeling for a free estimate. Our team is specialized in kitchen remodel and bathroom remodeling and we take pride in ensuring customer satisfaction. Our services are available in Philadelphia and in the Philadelphia area.