Countertop Pros and Cons
Confused about what countertops are the best for your kitchen? You’re not alone. From style to color to durability to cost, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here are the pros and cons of the most popular counter materials.
**Please note that prices can vary so use the prices below as a guideline only.
Pros – Low price point, wide variety of colors and styles, and durable enough to withstand everyday use.
Cons – Not as durable as natural stone, not heat resistant, and can be difficult to clean.
Cost: $10 to $30 per square foot, installed.
Engineered Stone (Quartz)
Pros – Low maintenance, doesn’t need to be sealed, heat & scratch proof, and easy to customize.
Cons – Can chip, and may show visible seams where pieces meet.
Cost – $35 to $100 per square foot, installed.
Pros – Looks luxurious and is available in a wide variety of colors.
Cons – Soft and porous meaning is scratches and stains very easily.
Cost: $50 to $150 per square foot, installed.
Pros – Requires very little maintenance and is stain, heat and water resistant when sealed.
Cons – Very heavy and needs to be well supported, can chip or crack if the material is too thin, and final colors can vary from samples.
Cost: $35 to $200 per square foot, installed.
Pros – Tough, heat-resistant, and stain-resistant.
Cons – Very heavy and difficult to install.
Cost: $75 to $125 per square foot, installed.
Pros – Durable, heat-resistant, and high-end commercial kitchen look.
Cons – Crumbs, spills and fingerprints show up very easily plus it scratches and dents easily.
Cost: $75 to $150 per square foot, installed.
Pros – Affordable, warm look and feel, and naturally anti-bacterial.
Cons – Not very heat or water resistant, marks easily, and requires regular maintenance.
Cost: $35 to $70 per square foot, installed.
-Think carefully about how your countertops will be used – not just how they look. If you bake a lot marble is great for rolling dough, but if you do a lot of chopping you’ll want something much harder.
-Be honest about how much maintenance you’re willing to commit to. Some counters require regular oiling and/or sealing, while others are just wipe and go.
-Consider using two different counters in one kitchen – one for work surfaces and one for the island (if applicable). Not only can it be practical, but it can visually break up a space.
Concrete counter photo via DIY Network, stainless steel counter photo via Decoist. All other photos courtesy of Skit Inc.