When it comes to kitchen countertops, material selection is a personal decision that is dictated by your budget and how you will use your kitchen. From that perspective, your cooking habits determines what is the best material for kitchen countertops. From a practical view point, your decision is also based on your budget and the level you wish to control or reduce the cost of home construction. There are many choices on the market for counter-tops, but only a few remain popular with new and existing homeowners and home builders. Below is a look at eight of the most popular kitchen countertop choices along with the good and the bad qualities of each material.
A list of the best material for kitchen countertops
Butcher Block Countertops
This material is usually made from hardwoods that include maple, bamboo, walnut, cherry, or oak. In some cases, a combination of 2 or more are combined.
The good: It is affordable when compared to other popular choices such as granite or quartz. It has a warm inviting feel and touch. It’s biodegradable, yet it is durable and strong. Butcher Block counters are also active against bacterial and germs.
The bad: If you seal the counters, you eliminate the option to cut on them. About every six months it is suggested that you sand and oil the countertops to protect the wood. To protect against mold or germs, reconditioning is necessary when aging or signs of cracks show.
Ceramic Tiles Countertops
Here we have a countertop that could be done by the skilled DIYer’s. This definitely makes it one of the best material for kitchen countertops.
The good: It’s a heat and stain resistant surface. You have many colors and sizes to choose from, so uniqueness is easy to achieve. If a section of tiles are damaged, they can be replaced with ease.
The bad: The countertop surface tends to be uneven. Consequently, tiles can easily become cracked or chipped, requiring replacement. Grout can become stained or dirty between periodic sealing. High glossy finishes can lose their luster over time with repeated and harsh cleanings.
These countertops are poured in place on the job site. This allows the design to be custom in ways that other countertops can not.
The good: If sealed it is a very durable and low maintenance surface. It is heat resistant, allowing you to place hot pots and pans directly on the surface. It can also be polished for a high glossy shine.
The bad: It’s porous. If this countertop isn’t sealed, it is likely to become stained in addition to suffering from water and heat damage. Because it is custom, the price can get a bit expensive. Cracking is always a possibility and it may not have the desired warmth seem in other surface options.
A favorite among home builders, granite is seen as the hallmark of luxury kitchen countertops.
The good: There is no “two of a kind” slab in which the countertop will be cut from. It is highly unique. When sealed, the surface is strong and durable. It doesn’t suffer from scratches, heat, or water damage as long as it is sealed. Granite is available in a large array of colors and provides a higher resale value to your home.
The bad: It is on the pricey side, in other words expensive. It has to be resealed regularly to maintain its’ good qualities. Darker colors can go about a year; whereas, lighter colors may meed to be seal every three to six months. Granite is also expensive to repair.
Marble counters are often emulated but never duplicated. You see this a lot with laminate kitchen counter surfaces.
The good: If you love to bake pastry, marble countertops are great for that. It retains a relatively cool surface. It’s water-resistant. Marble is a fairly expensive choice. As a result, it’s not often seen throughout an entire kitchen as the only countertop. It is widely available, likely due in part to it being an expensive choice.
The bad: To protect the surface from scratches and stains, it must be professionally sealed pretty much in the same manner that was mentioned with granite counters. Compared to granite it is softer and more porous.
Quartz is a solid heavy surface which is an engineered man-made stone that also make the list of the best material for kitchen countertops.
The good: A very solid countertop. It’s strong and durable all the while being non-porous. Quartz is resistant to staining and cracking and doesn’t require a sealant. The surface is easy to clean. Great for pastry baking because of its’ cool surface.
The bad: Like granite and marble, quartz is expensive. It doesn’t hold up well to heat. On particularly large countertops, seams are visible.
Stainless Steel Countertops
The perfect complement to a retro or industrial looking kitchen design.
The good: Durable and nonporous are the most obvious features about a stainless steel counter. It is resistant to rust and corrosion. Furthermore, the surface doesn’t stain and is unaffected by heat. Cleaning and disinfecting is another huge plus and it can be installed seamlessly. It’s recyclable!
The bad: Stainless steel easily scratches and is subject to dents and dings. It has an industrial look; however, this may be viewed as a good thing to some of you who are reading this article.
Synthetic Solid Surface Countertops
Made from man-made materials like acrylic and other additives. These materials are not recyclable. Dupont’s corian solid surface is the most well known and often cited.
The good: The surface is non-porous, making it resistant to water, stains, and germs. If the surface becomes scratched, you can easily buffed it out. It’s not very expensive, making it a nice upgrade from a laminate countertop.
The bad: Susceptible to heat as well as scratches.
The choices are many for the best material for kitchen countertops. Chose that one that best fit with your cooking interest and budget.