Choosing a kitchen countertop material for a kitchen remodel – or a basement finishing project with a kitchen or kitchenette – that best suits the way you use your kitchen is just as important as how the material looks. Considerations when selecting a kitchen countertop material should include the integral strength of the material; durability against heat, spills, and stains; how easy is it to clean; sealing requirements; and longevity. Possible kitchen countertop materials include quartz, granite, laminate, marble, butcher block, soapstone, terrazzo, and stainless steel.
Quartz is the most durable of kitchen countertop materials and is the most visually appealing. Granite is a popular alternative to quartz as it is more durable; resists heat, cuts and scratches; is available in a wide range of colors and patterns; and is more affordable. Laminate countertops are cost-effective and easy to maintain, but the material does not offer durability and longevity. Marble countertops are heat resistant, available in a wide range of colors, and have unique veining which gives each piece a unique look, however, they are more porous and less forgiving than quartz and can stain and scratch easily. Butcher block countertops are durable and easy to clean, but they require maintenance to protect the surface from stains. Soapstone is visually appealing, offers good durability, and is stain resistant, however it can be scratched easily. Terrazzo offers good durability and stain resistance, however, if not installed correctly, it can easily crack and is difficult to repair. Stainless steel countertops are common in commercial kitchens due to its durability, ease of maintenance, and resistance to heat and staining.
Learn about characteristics of countertop materials for your kitchen – or basement kitchen or kitchenette – installation to determine which best suits your needs.