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Countertop materials

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Which one is the right choice for you? Pros and cons of most used countertop materials! There are so many options, which one to choose - eco-friendly / budget-friendly / heat resistant / scratch impervious ...



Marble

Marble is definitely the most gorgeous material that immediately puts your kitchen in a high end category

  • Price - $$$$

  • Maintenance - Requires annual sealing

  • Heat + Heatproof (put your pots on it without worries)

  • Scratches - Can be scratched and repairs are difficult (no cutting on the countertop)

  • Stains - It's a porous material so it stains easily unless sealed properly and consistently

  • Eco-friendly - Sealing chemicals and shipment are not eco- friendly

  • Installation/seams - Has to be installed by professionals / Seams are nearly invisible


Quartz (Engineered Stone)

Quartz is a manmade material that consists of quartz particles, minerals and resins. More durable than marble and has larger variety of colours than granite. In the past few years manufacturers created lots of collections copying natural veining of all sorts of marble.

  • Price - $$$

  • Maintenance + Easy to maintain, doesn't require sealing

  • Heat + Heatproof (put your pots on it without worries)

  • Scratches + Scratch resistant

  • Stains + Stain resistant

  • Eco-friendly - Resins are not eco-friendly

  • Installation/seams + DIY installation possible / Can be customized to any size and shape


Corian (Solid-surface material)

Corian is also a man-made material which consists of acrylic polymers, minerals and stone-derived materials. It comes in a variety of over a hundred colours and the pattern looks similar to granite.

  • Price + $$

  • Maintenance + Easy to maintain, doesn't require sealing

  • Heat - Does not handle heat (hot pan will burn it)

  • Scratches - Can scratched and dented (repairable)

  • Stains - Can be stained or discoloured by some cleaners and chemicals

  • Eco-friendly - Acrylic polymers are not eco-friendly

  • Installation/seams - DIY installation possible / Seams are nearly invisible


Butcher Block (Wood countertop)

  • Price + $$

  • Maintenance - Must be treated often with food-safe mineral oil to protect against water damage

  • Heat - Low resistance to heat, can cause dryness and cracking

  • Scratches - Can be scratched (easy to sand out)

  • Stains - Can be stained

  • Eco-friendly + Environmentally friendly

  • Installation/seams - DIY installation possible / Seams are nearly invisible


Concrete

The biggest advantage is that the customization options are virtually endless. You can have custom features cast into your counters including drainboards, trivets or cutting boards. Most contractors reinforce the mix by adding glass fibers, making the counter both exceptionally strong and lightweight. Reinforcement allows for long, seamless spans and even daring overhangs not possible with granite or other materials.

  • Price - $$$

  • Maintenance - Requires sealing

  • Heat - Sealers are vulnerable to heat damage

  • Scratches - Can be scratched (easy to repair)

  • Stains - Can be stained

  • Eco-friendly + Environmentally friendly

  • Installation/seams + Has to be installed by professionals / Can be customized to any size and shape


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a non-porous surface, which means that no type of liquid or substances can penetrate into the material at all. Bacteria, mold and other common household germs don’t stand a chance with stainless. You are being given the opportunity to enjoy a completely hygienic surface for preparing meals as long as you practice regular cleaning habits. You can have a counter that is made complete with sink attached. This makes cleanup a breeze since there doesn’t have to be any edges between the sink and the counter.

  • Price - $$$$

  • Maintenance + Easy to maintain though it shows smudge marks and fingerprints

  • Heat + Heat resistant

  • Scratches - Can be scratched and dented

  • Stains + Stain resistant

  • Eco-friendly + 100 percent recyclable, keeps your carbon footprint minimal

  • Installation/seams - DIY installation possible / Seams are nearly invisible


Granite

Granite is naturally resistant to stains, heat and scratches, making it a popular choice for kitchens. When properly sealed, it’s stain- and bacteria-resistant, meaning it’s the ideal surface for food prep.

  • Price - $$$$

  • Maintenance - Requires annual sealing, susceptible to fractures, may be difficult to repair

  • Heat + Heat resistant

  • Scratches + Scratch resistant

  • Stains + Stain resistant

  • Eco-friendly - Mining, cutting, and transporting the stone uses extensive resources and fossil fuel

  • Installation/seams - Has to be installed by professionals / Seams are visible


Laminate

Laminate countertops stylish and affordable option, easy to update. Plus, there are so many patterns and colors to match your home decor. You can even get laminate that looks like natural stone.

  • Price - $

  • Maintenance + Easy to maintain

  • Heat - Susceptible to burns

  • Scratches + Scratch resistant

  • Stains + Stain resistant

  • Eco-friendly - Materials are not environmentally friendly but can be recycable

  • Installation/seams - DIY installation possible / Seams are visible


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