Which Countertop is right for you? We’ll compare countertop materials to better help you decide which material would work best for you, including natural products like stone and wood to various fabricated or composite materials.
Granite Countertops – The beauty of granite countertops comes from the uniqueness of each piece as it is a natural rock found in the earth. There is a good variety of colors and patterns for you to choose from, knowing that no two pieces are the same. It is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains if sealed regularly. Granite countertops can be used almost anywhere in your house, including kitchens, bathrooms, bars, and tables. Seams can be noticeable, and the pattern might vary from one piece to another. The price can vary depending on the selection but will most likely be in the medium to high price range.
Quartz Countertops – Although quartz is a mineral naturally found in the earth, a quartz countertop is engineered stone, made from ground-up stone particles bound together. With this process, many colors and patterns are available to incorporate into different designs. It is very resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. Since it is a composite material, there is no regular maintenance, such as sealing or polishing. Quartz countertops can be used anywhere in your house, including kitchens, bathrooms, bars, and tables. Seams between different slabs might be noticeable, but can be hidden, to an extent, because of the more uniform colors and patterns of this man-made product. Quartz will have different price levels, depending on the design, but will be on the medium to high price range
Laminate Countertops – Laminate countertops are a man-made product and have a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from. They have an above-average resistance to heat, scratches and stains. No regular maintenance is required beyond normal cleaning. Kitchens and bathrooms are the typical areas of use for laminate countertops. Color uniformity will be very good, but seams may be visible between pieces. This will be one of the most economically priced countertop options for kitchens and bathrooms.
Onyx Countertops – Onyx is a man-made product with many colors to choose from. It is not a heat-resistant nor scratch-resistant product. Therefore, it is not recommended for kitchen applications. No regular maintenance is required for this product. Commonly used in bathrooms, onyx can be used for countertops with integrated sinks, shower bases, wall panels, tub decks, and other accessories. It is on the low end of the pricing scale.
Wood Countertops – Wood countertops can bring a natural beauty to a kitchen. There are many options to choose from when deciding to incorporate wood into your countertop design. Some maintenance will be required for periodic sealers, while little maintenance is required for permanent sealers. The benefits of wood countertops come from the vast amount of options, including wood species, grain layout, stain colors, and edge patterns. Other unique options include waterfall edges, integrated bowls, and knife slots. Prices will usually be on the high end for wood countertops.
Soapstone Countertops – Soapstone is a natural stone largely composed of the mineral talc. This gives it a softer feel and look than other stone countertops. Durability is near the best of any countertop, as the hardness and stain resistance are of its best qualities. It will require some maintenance to help the surface darken evenly. Seams can be visible, and there will be variations in natural patterns from one slab to the next. Soapstone countertop prices will be on the high end.
Solid Surface Countertops – A solid surface countertop is a man-made material and is great for a consistent look. The biggest benefits are a very good color uniformity, no visible seams, and no maintenance. Solid surface can be used in a variety of ways in kitchens and bathrooms. They are heat and stain resistant, but average when it comes to scratches. They are at the high end of the price range.
Marble Countertops – Marble is a natural rock like granite, but slightly softer. Known by its appearance, marble is often imitated by other products. The colors and patterns are sought-after by homeowners and designers. Heat resistance is very good, but it can be susceptible to scratches. Applying a sealer regularly is required so it does not stain. Prices are usually on the high end of countertops.