10 Types of Countertop Materials and When to Use Them

By May 27, 2014 June 30th, 2014 Commercial Space, Design, Installation
types of countertop materials

Switching out your countertops is a simple way to jazz up your home aesthetically and functionally. Fortunately, there are a ton of options to choose from! There are lots of types of countertop materials and they all have their pros and cons; some are cheap and some are expensive. Luckily we at Carolina Services have taken all of the confusion out of figuring out which is best and have put together a list of our top ten types of countertops.

First is the ever-popular granite. This countertop has made its home in many kitchens because of its beauty and functionality. This heavy countertop needs a sturdy base and also needs to be sealed periodically. While it does require some maintenance, it makes up for that in ease of use. It can withstand heat, cuts and normal wear and tear. One pretty amazing feature is that it can thaw out meat in record time. Granite will usually cost $35-$100/ sq.ft. and each piece is one of a kind.

Next in our list of types of countertops is one called solid surfacing. It is non-porous and virtually maintenance free. However, be careful with this countertop. It doesn’t take heat too well, and can be prone to scratching, but luckily most of the scratches can be sanded out. Solid surfacing countertops come in a variety of colors and range from $35-$100/ sq.ft.

Third in our list is quartz. This countertop is similar to the solid surfacing in that it can’t take heat or scratches very well. However, it looks amazing, comes in a variety of colors, and is very durable. The price for quartz is $40-$90/ sq.ft.

Marble is next in our list of types of countertops. Marble countertops are the essence of elegance and are very useful in cooking, so they are usually confined to a small space. They can stand heat well but they can scratch or chip very easily and can show stains. A diet of clear foods or drinks is recommended. Marble ranges from $40-$100/ sq.ft.

A standard in some older homes is a tile countertop. While the look of tile can be completely customized, it’s functionality can lack since there isn’t a completely flat surface to work on. While it can withstand heat, cuts, and stains, make sure you keep your grout sealed to keep the color uniform. Tile ranges from $10-$80/sq.ft.

One of the more popular, cheaper types of countertops in homes is laminate. It is made from paper and resins fused to particle board. Laminate is also very low maintenance and lightweight. However, heat, scratching, and stains can be easily seen as well, and it can be difficult to repair. Laminate can cost anywhere from $10-$30/sq.ft.

The next type of countertop is a natural one called soapstone. This interesting material starts off a medium grey and can darken with time. Some like the subtle change in color, others do not. To keep it looking beautiful you will have to continually polish it with oil as well; it also is prone to crack and show knife scratches. Soapstone ranges from $70-$100/sq.ft.

For those of you who like modern, clean lines, stainless is a must. This is one of the types of countertop materials that can be called virtually indestructible. It is heat and bacteria resistant, which is why it is the top choice for restaurant kitchens. On the down side, it can show fingerprints, can dent and can be loud and expensive. The price ranges from $65-$125/sq.ft.

Next up is another very versatile material, concrete. You can completely customize this material with the shape, tint, and special inlays. That being said, there are some drawbacks. It is very porous so it requires frequent sealings to keep moisture out. It can’t stand heat well and is also very heavy. Concrete can range from $75-$125/sq.ft.

The last on our list of our types of countertop materials is butcher block. While not frequently found throughout the whole kitchen, a small section of butcher block can be very appealing. Visually, people like its warm and natural appearance. It can show scratches, but those can either add to its look or they can be sanded down. Make sure you are careful when it comes to moisture because wood can often swell so it will need to have the room to do that. It also can harbor a lot of bacteria so to keep it healthy and clean you will need to oil and disinfect it frequently. Butcher block can range from $35-$70/sq.ft.

Make sure you contact Carolina Services today to not only go over your options for your new countertop but also how to customize it for your home.

Photo by: Fil.Al