Every element in the kitchen must serve at least two purposes: function and design.
To be fully functional, countertops must meet many requirements. As a food preparation site, countertops need to be easy to clean and maintain. The surface must be stain proof, scratch proof, and heatproof. In addition, we expect countertops to be beautiful, as they are one of the biggest focal points in the kitchen.
Keep reading for the pros and cons of seven countertop surfaces!
Granite is a natural stone cut straight from the quarry. Because of this, every granite slab is slightly different, each with its own unique pattern and color. You can find granite slabs with subtle colors and others with bold patterns, which allows you to find the perfect match for your kitchen design.
While granite is very durable, it is a porous stone. This means that it can stain if something sets in the countertop. Granite must be sealed on an ongoing basis, typically around one time per year, to keep up its appearance.
Wood countertops are available in a variety of finishes, offering a warm look in the kitchen. This timeless surface consists of individual wooden strips fused together to create countertop slabs.
Butcher block surfaces are not as durable as other options, as they can be scratched and cut by knives, or damaged by water over time. While the wood can be sanded and resealed as needed, if not maintained, it is subject to cracking.
Quartz is a manufactured material, made from 95% natural quartz and 5% polymer resins. Because the quartz is ground and combined with resins, quartz countertops can be customized while maintaining the appearance of stone. This can make your countertop search more manageable if you already have a particular vision in mind for your kitchen.
Quartz is extremely durable, as it is even harder than granite, and does not require sealing. The resins in quartz make this material non-porous, so it is resistant to staining and less likely to soak in any bacteria.
Even with 95% of quartz being made up of natural elements, quarrying is not required because it is made with left-over stone byproducts. If staying environmentally friendly is important in your decision-making process, choose quartz that is manufactured with stone in your region.
Another natural stone, marble often comes in variations of white and black, but also comes in shades of green, yellow, and rose. The elegance of the stone is a timeless design choice.
Marble is durable and resistant to heat, but is even more porous than granite, which can easily lead to stains if not cared for properly. Because of this, marble is more of a popular choice in bathrooms than kitchens. Like any all-natural stone, it must be sealed periodically.
Concrete offers a truly unique countertop surface. The highly polished concrete slabs can be color-tinted and even textured in order to create a customized look. Concrete countertops are heat and scratch-resistant, making them easy to maintain.
Due to their heavy weight, installation is a detailed process that must be completed by professionals. In addition, the surface must be regularly sealed and there is the possibility of cracks forming over time.
A ceramic tile is an affordable option for kitchen countertops, with countless design and color options. Tile is immune to heat, and the surface is easy to clean.
Under intense impact, tiles may become brittle and crack. While the tile is easy to clean, grout lines can stain if not taken care of immediately after a spill.
Though the name sounds similar to quartz, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried from beneath the earth’s surface. It begins as sandstone and transforms into quartzite through a natural process of heat and pressure. Quartzite often resembles marble or granite in shades of white or gray. Quartzite is comparable to granite in terms of durability. Sealing the surface helps to protect against stains.