A Guide to Kitchen Countertops

A Guide to Kitchen Countertops
November 11, 2016 dominickm

If people get opinionated about one thing in kitchens, it’s almost always counter tops. The chosen material will have a huge impact on both the look and functionality of a kitchen, so strong opinions are understandable. If you haven’t picked a team yet or just want to see what the others are up to, here’s a quick guide to six popular countertops.


Pros- Beautiful and natural look with subtle veining.Stain and chemical resistant, as well as durable. One of soapstone’s biggest selling points is that it’s virtually unaffected by heat, so you can toss your hot pads.

Cons- There aren’t a ton of color options for soapstone, you’ll be confined to black, green, or grey. It’s also softer than other stones, so chips, scratches, and dents are all likely given a long enough timeline. However, scuffs can be buffed out and some people actually a patina look.

Cost- $65-$80 per square foot installed


Pros- Perhaps the most popular countertop material, granite offers a wide variety of colors and patterns. It’s extremely dense, so it can take a beating and still look like it was just installed yesterday.

Cons- Granite is a porous stone so it will need to be resealed from time to time in order to prevent liquids from seeping in and staining the countertop. Trends are showing a move away from the traditional bold patterned granite.

Cost- $38-$120 per square foot installed

Engineered Quartz

Pros- This scientific wonder is tough as nails so its durability is second to none. It’s also nonporous so there’s no need for periodically reseal. Not only is it tough, it’s flexible a bit too. This makes it ideal for larger installations because the flexibility allows for fewer joints. Plus, patterns can range from a more sleek monochromatic scheme to a material that looks similar to marble.

Cons- Because engineered quartz made of ground quartz held together by a hardened resin, it is sensitive to heat, but not always.

Cost- $50-$90 per square foot installed


Pros- This stone will make a great countertop for generations to come. One often overlooked benefit of marble countertops is its ability to stay cool. Any baker will tell you that a cool marble countertop can be the secret ingredient in a blue ribbon pie crust. It’s also all the rage with the classic white kitchen.

Cons- Marble is porous and soft, even more so than granite, so upkeep can be a chore. The cleaning routine for marble is tedious, and you’ll need to reseal it every year. Acidic liquids lemon juice can create permanently etching in the surface, but some what this pinata look.

Cost- $70-$100 per square foot installed


Pros- Hands down the biggest advantage of concrete countertops is the options you have. Concrete countertops are all custom built for each kitchen and can be dyed or stained in any color imaginable.

Cons- Overtime, small hairline cracks will most likely develop as a result of settling. These cracks can often be filled in, resealed, and polished, but this process is somewhat time consuming. It is also very porous and shows oil spots and other stains.

Cost- $75-$125 per square foot  


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