Kitchen Countertop Materials Ranked
On average, countertop materials cost $15 to $70 per square foot, depending on the material you choose, with labor costs ranging from $10 to $30, according to HomeAdvisor. When renovating your kitchen, choosing the right countertop is a big decision to make. After all, countertops aren’t just vital for enhancing the look and feel of the kitchen space, they can also significantly increase your home’s resale value.
Besides aesthetic appeal, the right kitchen countertops should fit your daily routine. They should not only enhance style but also blend well with your kitchen’s functionality. There is a wide variety of choices in terms of material, patterns, texture, size, and costs, so you’ll want to make your choices based on needs, style, and budget.
Here’s a list of the best kitchen countertop materials you should consider for your kitchen remodeling project:
Although quartz is a relatively new material, it’s the first choice for many homeowners thanks to its appealing features: attractive aesthetics, low maintenance, and durability. Also referred to as engineered stone, quartz looks similar to natural stone. However, it’s made of minerals and resins that make it far more robust than stone. Additionally, quartz countertops come in a variety of patterns and colors, which have similar features to more costly materials such as marble and granite.
Quartz laminate countertops easily resist stains and are scratch-resistant. When compared to other kitchen countertop materials, they offer an affordable way to transform your kitchen with a stylish option. If you consider using quartz countertops, you’ll need to take caution when using hot pans or pots because this material is not as resistant to heat as concrete, granite, and crushed glass.
Wooden Butcher Block Tops
Apart from affordability, a wooden butcher block is an excellent material for adding warmth in the kitchen. It comes with popular wood variations like teak and maple in three basic designs: edge grain, end, and face grain. Other benefits of butcher block include ease of installation, easy repair, durability, and unique patterns.
Though durable, without proper maintenance, wood butcher blocks become dull and can crack. With a laminate wood butcher block, you don’t have to worry much about the regular maintenance needed with other kitchen countertop materials to withstand stains, spills, and scratches. Remember, the finish used to seal your countertop will make a huge difference in aesthetic and quality. While laminate countertops last for many tears, they still need regular countertop care and cleaning.
Granite countertops have been in use in high-end kitchens for decades and remain the most preferred surface because they are beautiful. Each granite slab is characterized by unique colors and veining, and it can be polished with a glossy or honed finish. Beyond beauty, there are other reasons to consider granite when choosing between countertop surfaces. Compared to other kitchen countertop materials, granite is made of 100% natural stone, available in a variety of colors, and is long-lasting. Granite is easy to clean, strong, and highly durable, making maintenance a breeze.
Granite laminate countertops mimic all the great features of granite stone. Colors range from subtle white to dark black granites, while patterns are strictly solid, sketched, or marbled. Depending on your preferences, you can choose honed countertops, which come with a matte finish and mimic the appearance of other stone surfaces. For example, your granite laminate countertop can have a similar appearance to that of soapstone if you choose a honed finish. Highly-polished granite laminate tops make your kitchen look more stylish and welcoming as the glossy finish reflects light.
It’s one of the most luxurious and elegant kitchen countertop materials but requires high maintenance. When appropriately maintained, just like hardwood kitchen cabinets, marble countertops can last a lifetime. Unlike granite, marble is soft, but it withstands heat, and the delicate patina gives it a beautiful, sophisticated appearance. Nonetheless, you must ensure your countertop surface is sealed to prevent etching, which occurs when this porous natural stone absorbs liquids.
Whether you settle for white or black marble laminate countertops, you cannot fail to notice the veinings, which vary in color from white to gray, depending on the base color of the natural stone. Like other laminate materials, marble laminate is easy to install, durable, and designed for busy kitchens. Options like Calacatta marble laminate add an exotic and prestigious look to any kitchen. Compared to other marble kitchen countertop materials like Carrara, Calacatta offers a whiter surface with more dramatic veining and discernible patterns.
If you desire the light veining of marble blended with the dark beauty of granite, soapstone should be your first choice. Soapstone countertops are not only durable, but they also are low- maintenance and have a classical feel. Additionally, soapstone prices are competitive to high-end granite but cheaper than marble, making it a more affordable option. Though prone to scratches, soapstone does not require sealing.
Soapstone laminate countertops don’t come with many shortcomings. Nicks and bothersome scratches can be treated with mineral oil to regain the dark and even surface look. Since each countertop is unique, soapstone laminate kitchen countertop materials come in a range of colors from blue to green undertones. The widest variation is found in the veining and quartz fleck patterns.
Why Choose Laminate Countertops?
Laminate countertops have seen tremendous improvements in design, patterns, and colors. They’re fast gaining popularity today, as more homeowners move away from costly granite and solid surfaces. In the past, laminate was linked to cigarette-burned hotel countertops and old school styled diners. Now, property owners have rediscovered the ease of installation and low prices of laminate tops. In addition, the latest laminate designs and colors resemble more expensive kitchen countertop materials such as marble, granite, quartz, soapstone, and butcher block.
Based on functionality, style, and budget, you can choose laminate tops that resemble your desired material. For example, if you like wood but are afraid of the high maintenance, there are laminate tops that look like a butcher block with color variations such as maple, oak, and cherry. If granite is your favorite, but you don’t like the price tag, you can settle for butter rum or other versatile patterns for a creative effect.
Buy Laminate Countertops at Builders Surplus
Kitchen countertops have a great visual impact in your kitchen. Whether you want granite, marble, wood, or soapstone laminate countertops, make sure what you choose fits in the functionality and style of the kitchen. Visit our Builders Surplus showroom in Santa Ana, CA, to see our wide selection of laminate Formica countertops before you buy. We also have in stock a wide selection of kitchen cabinets, kitchen accessories, bathroom vanities, and tops, plus other home renovation elements to help you elevate your space at an affordable cost.