Selecting materials for the kitchen can be a daunting task. It has to be something that can stand up to a lot of abuse through slimy messes, sticky spills, and daily scrubbing. Your countertops frame your entire kitchen. They must be functional and beautiful all while keeping up with your busy lifestyle.

If you are constantly putting hot things on the counters, you don’t want laminate which can burn easily. If you are looking for a white counter, it will be nearly impossible to find granite in a solid color.

Depending on your budget, style, and kitchen habits, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the best kitchen countertop for you and your family:


Laminate is a popular choice for low-budget homes. It is inexpensive, easy to maintain, and cleans up well. It comes in nearly every color, pattern, and texture under the sun so it is easy to match any style. However, it is easily damaged by knives and heat and doesn’t have the high end look of other materialscounters-1

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Granite is also one of the most popular choices because it is extremely durable. You can put hot pans directly on granite, cut on it, splash, stain, and spill and it will show no signs of wear. It’s difficult to get a uniform look with granite because no two stones are the same, but it does come in a variety of colors and finishes. It also requires a little bit more maintenance than laminate as it needs to be resealed annually.counters-2

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Marble is a beautiful choice for countertops, but can be expensive. The look of marble is both elegant and timeless, you can’t go wrong choosing a marble design, they are all beautiful. Marble is also durable and stands up well to heat, but it is very susceptible to staining and does chip and scratch easily.


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Quartz countertops are an engineered stone that is created with a combination of crushed quartz and resin that looks like stone. This makes it more readily available in more colors and patterns than natural materials. It is non-porous, which makes it the most resistant to damage and stains and requires no maintenance.


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Corian is a perfectly solid kitchen countertop that is manmade from acrylic and polyester resins. Like quartz, it is nonporous, and is completely resistant to stains, mildew, and bacteria. It is susceptible to scratches, but they can be easily buffed out. It is most popular in a solid white, but can be available in virtually any color.


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Butcher Block

Butcher block is the quintessential farmhouse countertop with a classic appearance and a very natural feel. It is relatively low maintenance, but does require periodic oiling to keep the wood healthy.  Butcher block is easy to damage, but also easy to repair. Because it is natural wood it is porous and harbors bacteria, so it needs to be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected frequently.


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This is a relatively new player on the countertop market. It is more of an industrial look, but can be colored to match your current style. It is durable, but not as heat resistant as stone surfaced. Over time it can stain if not sealed properly, and can develop small cracks. Concrete is beautiful, but heavy, so it may need additional support to hold the extra weight.


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There you go – the full spectrum of countertops. Be sure to choose a kitchen countertop that compliments the other materials in your home. Most builders will coordinate the kitchen counters with the bathroom as well, but if you’re building or remodeling yourself, the choice is all yours! Can’t decide? Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials to get the perfect kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.