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.

Laminate Countertop

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.

Marble Counter


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.

Granite Counter


Pros – Tough, heat-resistant, and stain-resistant.

Cons – Very heavy and difficult to install.

Cost: $75 to $125 per square foot, installed.

Concrete Counter

Stainless Steel

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.


Butcher Block

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.

Ep 106 Kitchen

Countertop Tips

-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.

Counter Materials

Concrete counter photo via DIY Network, stainless steel counter photo via Decoist. All other photos courtesy of Skit Inc.

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