Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, you should give serious consideration to the options available for kitchen countertops. After all, countertops aren’t just an important functional feature; they’re also a primary design element. In this article we list the best kitchen countertop materials you should review before starting your new kitchen.

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Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Best Kitchen Countertop Materials and Styles

Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of five popular materials to help you choose the best countertops for your kitchen:

Top 5 Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Granite: Granite has long been one of the best kitchen countertop materials, and for good reason: It’s durable, heat-resistant, attractive and easy to clean. Important to note, granite is cut from veins of naturally occurring stone, which makes each slab entirely unique. Granite prices will run the gamut, with more exotic stones coming at a higher price. But there are many options available in a lower price range. One downside to granite is that it’s porous, so it must be sealed once a year to maintain its appearance and durability.

Engineered Quartz: Engineered quartz is another popular material for kitchen countertops. In fact, many designers argue that it’s taken granite’s place at the top. That’s largely because it’s tougher than granite. It’s non-porous, so it’s resistant to cracking, scratching and staining. And it doesn’t require the maintenance and sealing that come with natural stone. Because the material is engineered, it comes in uniform slabs. But there are several attractive colors and design options available, ranging from sleek, modern monotones to traditional marble look-alikes. Engineered quartz is one of the more expensive countertop options. Typically, you’ll spend as much or more for engineered quartz countertops as you will for granite.

Mid-Range Priced Kitchen Countertops

Butcher Block: Wooden butcher block countertops are not only functional and durable, but they can also add warmth and beauty to any kitchen. The downside to wooden butcher block countertops is that they require frequent maintenance. Wood must be sealed about once a month to prevent damage from heat and moisture, and regular wax and oil treatments will keep it looking like one of the best kitchen countertop materials. The good news is that minor damages such as scratches and small burns can typically be sanded out. Wooden butcher block countertops typically fall about mid-range in terms of pricing.

Concrete: Concrete countertops offer natural strength and heat resistance, as well as the opportunity for full customization. Not only can homeowners choose from an array of precast colors and designs, but they may also opt to include additives such as rocks, shells and colored glass to add texture or create a look all their own. Concrete countertops used to crack and chip easily, but material innovations have addressed these issues. Concrete is a good option for both modern and traditional interior kitchen countertops. And, like butcher block, it typically falls about mid-range in terms of pricing.

Most Affordable Kitchen Countertops

Laminate: Laminate (commonly referred to by brand name Formica) is one of the most affordable countertop materials. Generally made with paper pressed between plastic resins and bonded to particle board or plywood, laminate is durable but easily damaged. The downside to laminate is that it’s not heat or scratch resistant. The upside is that it comes in a wide range of colors and textures that mimic higher-end materials at a much lower cost. And, its price point makes it much easier to replaceable than other countertop materials.

Of course, these are only a few of the kitchen countertop materials available. You may also consider options like soapstone, tile and stainless steel, for example, which all come with their own pros and cons. Ultimately, the best kitchen countertop materials for your kitchen will depend on your budget, use and design preferences.

Professional Kitchen Remodeling Plans and Materials

One final word of caution: Don’t skimp or cut corners on your kitchen designs. Make sure the kitchen design plans spell out every detail, so it doesn’t confuse those involved. Proper planning often cuts down on the length of a kitchen design by 30 percent. Good plans can also reduce cost overruns and surprises.

CAD Pro has helped thousands of remodeling professionals, builders and contractors plan and design all types of kitchen projects. CAD Pro is used by NHBA builders and contractors.

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