Below is a list of the top ten options on the market for kitchen counter tops.
In order to choose the countertop that is right for you and your lifestyle, it is good to know a little bit about all of your options. The more information you know, the better off you will be in making the right choice.
1. Granite Counters
Granite has become the top choice for countertops because it is both durable and beautiful. However, the quality of granite does come with a high price, colors are limited, and it also requires regular maintenance. Granite is appreciated because it holds up to heat and looks permanent and substantial. They cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per square foot.
2. Engineered Stone
Engineered stone (composed of quartz particles) is another favorite for countertops. It is easy to care for and is stain and acid resistant. It comes in a larger range of colors and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. However, similar to granite, engineered stone is expensive. They cost anywhere from $40 to $125 per square foot.
3. Solid Surface
Solid surface counters are enjoyed by many because they are solid all the way through making it possible to sand out any scratches. Solid surface counters come in an array of colors and patterns, are seamless, and stain resistant. Unfortunately, they can be expensive and the surface can be damaged by hot pans and stains. They cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per square foot.
4. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile is available is many styles, patterns and colors. It is durable and easy to clean. They cost anywhere from $20-$100 per square foot installed. Unfortunately, ceramic tile creates an uneven surface and tiles can easily chip or crack. Also, the grout lines become stained over time by acids and oils.
Laminate counters come in a wide range of colors and patterns and are easily maintained. They cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per square foot. Laminates are enjoyed because they are durable, inexpensive, and offer a pleasant look and feel. However, laminates also scratch and chip in time and repairs are hard to make.
6. Wood or Butcher Block
Wood countertops will always be appreciated for bringing warmth into a room. Wood is available in a wide range of colors and finishes; it’s easy to clean and it can be sanded and resealed as needed. They cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per square foot. Unfortunately, standing water can damage wood and cause dark areas to form on the surface. Also, wood stains over time, absorbs food odors, and scratches must be oiled or sealed.
7. Stainless Steel Counters
Stainless steel creates a more modern look for your kitchen. It is considered a contemporary choice for your kitchen counters. Stainless steel is impervious to acids and oils, heat resistant and durable. It is also very easy to clean. Unfortunately, it can scratch easily, its noisy; and can often appear institutional. They cost anywhere from $75 to $150 pre square foot.
8. Soapstone Counters
Soapstone offers a smooth feel and is usually dark gray in color. It is much softer than granite. It can be used in both traditional homes and modern homes as both a countertop and sink material. Soapstone is rich with deep color and is stain resistant for the most part. It does require regular maintenance and it may scratch and chip, especially on the edges. They cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per square foot.
Marble is a warm and soft stone with a high price tag. It is usually used on select areas of counter top and not as a whole. Marble is waterproof, heatproof, and very luxurious looking. It does require constant maintenance and should be sealed to prevent staining.
10. Concrete Counters
Concrete counters work great for those of you that have unusual shapes in your counters because it is mixed with pigments and poured into molds right in your kitchen. Concrete is extremely strong, heat and scratch resistant and porous. In order to prevent staining, proper sealing and waxing is needed. Concrete can be color-tinted with creative colors and inlays. Unfortunately, is does crack and sometimes looks industrial. They cost anywhere from $75 to $200 per square foot.