What Are Some Materials For Kitchen Countertops?

What are some materials for kitchen countertops? There are a variety of different materials that can be used in kitchen countertops. When asked for some examples of material that is used for kitchen countertops,...

When asked for some examples of material that is used for kitchen countertops, Ellen Mercer, who has been a kitchen designer for eighteen years and is currently a designer at Cabinet Solutions, says, "The main types of countertop material most commonly used (are) stainless steel, wood butcher block, tile, laminate, solid surface and granite."


She goes on to comment, "Probably, the most popular is granite. There are over three hundred different types of granite to choose from. There is a lot to choose from. Granite breaks down into different price groups. There are probably six or seven different price groups. The more readily available granites are going to be in your lowest price bracket. The rarer and the more exotic granites are going to be in your high price bracket. There are also many brackets in between those two extremes." There is also the option of a "Solid Surface" countertop that resembles natural stone, including granite or marble but is less expensive. "There are ten or twelve different people who manufacture granite stone. This engineered stuff is made out of quartz material that has been crushed and bonded with an acrylic. It is a very, very durable, solid surface material," Ellen says.




Laminate is a popular choice for those working with a very tight budget. It is available in a variety of colors and patterns, including those that try to imitate the look of wood, marble or granite. It is very simple to maintain in that it resists stains but it can also be damaged easily by sharp objects or hot cookware. It's also difficult to repair if damaged and often times requires a complete countertop re-do if cracked or scorched.

Tile countertops are not usually done throughout the whole kitchen. The upkeep of the grout is enough for most to just add it to a single decorative countertop, such as on a center island, or in a backsplash design. The most popular tiles seem to still be ceramic but there is an increase of using other materials such as glass and/or stone tiles (like marble) especially when designing a unique backsplash.

Wood butcher block countertops are also not usually recommended for a material in kitchen countertops. While they are beautiful, they have to be disinfected and cleaned regularly in order to avoid the growth of bacteria. This material can be used as an "inset" into other materials or as a decorative element on a center island; a small enough area that can be maintained with little effort.

Stainless steel countertops are a popular element used in an industrial or very modernly designed kitchen. It requires little upkeep and is not easily damaged. It does show scratches though, so special care should be taken to use cutting boards. The material itself is expensive and stainless steel countertops also require a complicated installation process, due to the possibility of the material being dented if not supported by the proper base.

With so many options available for kitchen countertops, it is important to research the pros and cons of each material before deciding on which one to use for your kitchen remodel. Every type has different advantages and disadvantages that must be learned in order to choose the right countertops for your lifestyle as well as your budget.

© High Speed Ventures 2011