​Kitchen countertop ideas: Which material is best?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Wood Kitchens , LWK London Kitchens LWK London Kitchens Modern kitchen
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Think that all kitchen counters are created equal? Not a chance! Just like appliances, your choice in kitchen countertops will massively impact not only how your kitchen looks, but also how it functions.

That’s a no-brainer for professionals like kitchen planners and interior designers, but not necessarily something that the average Joe is familiar with. 

But of the various materials up for grabs (granite, wood, marble, and many others), which are the best? That all depends on your lifestyle and budget, but since we here at homify love helping out (especially when it comes to stylish designs), we’ve listed the 9 most popular material options for kitchen countertop ideas.

Now, all you have to do is read through it and decide for yourself which is best for you.

1. Kitchen countertop ideas: Granite

When it comes to the countertop material of choice, granite takes the king – and with good reason, too. This materials defines elegance in a kitchen (and bathroom). And as its use becomes more widespread, its price begins to drop. 

The other great thing about granite is its versatility; the beauty of those stone surfaces can style up even the most modest of kitchens. 

Pros: Can withstand heat excellently; available in almost 3,000 different colours; looks quite substantial; will pretty much last a lifetime; new sealers are basically maintenance-free; has the second highest hardness rating after diamonds; can improve a home’s resale value. 

Cons: Currently expensive, but is becoming more affordable; require a bit of maintenance; if not sealed, some stones can absorb stains; can dull knives; can crack or become stressed if not properly installed.

2. Kitchen countertop ideas: Engineered stone

Composed of 93% quartz particles, engineered stone is available in a larger range of colours than granite. It also has a non-porous surface that resists scratching, and is much easier to maintain (no annual sealing required, as with natural stone).

Pros: Resistant to stain and acid; easy to care for.

Cons: Costly.

3. Kitchen countertop ideas: Solid surfaces

As kitchen countertops with solid surfaces are exactly as the name implies, any scratches can simply be sanded out. The countertops are custom-made to your specifications, meaning much more versatility. 

Pros: Available in a multitude of colours and patterns; seamless; very resistant to stains.

Cons: Vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface; can be reasonably expensive.

4. Kitchen countertop ideas: Ceramic tile

Want a really good choice for kitchen countertops? Try ceramic tile! It’s durable and easy to clean (a godsend for those who know what it takes to get a kitchen spotless). And as it’s installed a section at a time, it can be done by most resourceful homeowners.

Pros: Can take on hot pans; easy to clean; comes in a wide range of prices; lots of colours, textures and designs to choose from.

Cons: Uneven counter surfaces; tiles are prone to chipping or cracking; grout lines can become stained easily; custom-designed tiles are very expensive.

5. Kitchen countertop ideas: Laminates

Made of plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface, laminate countertops are very easy to clean. The pieces are cut to size and finished on the ends.

Pros: Available in lots of colours; easy to maintain; durable; budget-friendly choices. 

Cons: It’s almost impossible to repair scratches and chips; not very seamless; the end finishing and front edge choices can be expensive.

6. Kitchen countertop ideas: Wood

Also known as ‘butcher blocks’, wood countertops offer a beautiful warm look for any kitchen. Although a variety of colours and finishes are available, the most popular options seem to be hardwoods like maple and oak. 

Pros: Easy to clean; smooth; can be sanded and resealed as required.

Cons: Water can cause damage and stains over time; scratches need to be oiled or sealed as soon as possible and according to manufacturer's specific instructions.

7. Kitchen countertop ideas: Stainless steel

For a very contemporary and industrial look, you can’t do better than stainless steel countertops. This option is very heat resistant, and as they are constructed to your specifications, you can have a seamless countertop.

Pros: Easy to clean; can withstand heat, such as hot pans.

Cons: Very costly; noisy; may dent; fabrication is expensive; you are not allowed to cut on its surfaces due to scratches and cuts appearing very easily.

8. Kitchen countertop ideas: Marble

The epitome of lavishness, marble can be counted on to add a touch of elegance to just about any room. But due to its very high price tag, marble is not often seen on the countertops of whole kitchens. 

To enjoy this luxurious look in your kitchen, use marble on an island or inset at a baking centre. 

Pros: Waterproof; heatproof; an unforgettable design that will always remain classic.

Cons: Very expensive; porous; stains very easily unless professionally sealed; prone to scratches; may require periodic resealing as per manufacturer.

9. Kitchen countertop ideas: Concrete

For countertops with unusual shapes, concrete is an excellent choice, as it’s often cast right there in the kitchen. However, it also comes with a price tag beyond most people’s budgets.

Pros: Very resistant to heat and scratches; can be colour-tinted; has an exotic and unusual look; new treatments eliminate cracking; additives reduce porosity; new finishes are more decorative.

Cons: Due to custom work, it is mid to high range in terms of cost; prone to cracks; can look quite industrial, making it not an option for all designs and styles; porous, yet it can be sealed. 

That takes care of materials, but what about your kitchen’s palette? See these Great-looking pastel kitchen ideas to try.

So, which countertop material is ideal for your particular kitchen and lifestyle (and budget)?

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