Your kitchen’s countertops see a lot of action throughout the day. They come into contact with stains, odors, sharp edges, and high temperatures. They also double as a display and storage space for many appliances, such as toasters, kettles, and coffee machines.
The kitchen is the heart of your household, a social space for your family and friends. You want it to look good and reflect your personal style. These different kitchen countertops cover a range of colors, styles, and materials, so you can find the ideal material to create your dream kitchen.
An excellent choice for style and durability, granite is a popular choice for kitchen countertops.
Granite is an igneous rock formed from cooled magma below the earth’s surface, so it is extremely heat resistant. A granite countertop won’t sustain damage from the hot pots and pans and can withstand the heat when near a stovetop. The density of this stone also makes it essentially scratch-proof.
However, unsealed granite is porous and prone to stains and bacterial growth. Ensure that you reapply a solvent-based stone sealant each year to maintain the granite’s appearance. Once sealed, granite is easy to clean and doesn’t generally absorb stains.
Granite comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, from dark gray with subtle veining to understated beige with white veining to bold navy blue with black and white veins. Granite is available in either a brushed or polished finish; brushed granite has a slightly rough texture, while polished granite feels silky smooth.
Polished granite is an expensive option compared with other options at $45-$200 per square foot. However, it is also one of the longest-lasting materials, offering more than two decades of rugged durability.
A natural stone countertop also adds a sense of luxury to your home and can increase its resale value; polished granite countertops can increase your home’s value by up to 25% of the granite slab’s retail value. Home buyers often perceive granite counters as a sign that the home is well-built and signifies a worthwhile investment.
Marble is a classically beautiful metamorphic stone. This crystalline rock can be polished to a glorious high shine, showing off its delicate veins of mineral.
Marble is high-maintenance compared with other kitchen countertop materials because it is softer and more porous than granite or quartz. You will need to have your surfaces professionally sealed once a year.
The extra effort required to look after it is well worth the stunning impression marble countertops give to a kitchen. They pair beautifully with softly diffuse overhead lighting, giving the stone a warm glow.
Marble is more costly than many other countertop materials at $75-$225 per square foot, but it represents an investment in the style and functionality of your home. If you want to save money but still want the luxe look of marble, consider installing marble tiles.
Quartz is the perfect affordable alternative to granite or marble. An engineered stone that marries the appeal of marble’s coloring with the hardiness of granite, quartz is the trendy choice for your new kitchen design.
In addition to being extremely difficult to scratch, quartz is a non-porous stone. This prevents bacteria from being trapped within its surface, so it is a top choice for enthusiastic home cooks who want a sanitary workspace.
Because it is an engineered stone, quartz gives you lots of options when it comes to style. It is available in a modern matte finish, iridescent and polished, or even veined like marble.
A quartz countertop works perfectly in a farmhouse or French-country-style kitchen, paired with Shaker cabinetry and rustic brass or copper handles and drawer pulls.
Another member of the metamorphic rock family, soapstone is a silky-smooth material for countertops. Soapstone has a darker finish than many other countertop materials, typically available in blue, green, or deep gray.
One of this material’s best attributes is how it gracefully ages over time. Exposure to the elements causes the soapstone to develop a patina or thin protective coating. This patina makes for a one-of-a-kind countertop design.
To take care of your soapstone, you need to regularly apply mineral oil with a rag every few months. This maintains the stone’s rich surface color. It is a little more high-maintenance than some other options, but it is scorch-proof, scratch-resistant, and non-porous.
While porcelain ceramic is a common choice for kitchen sinks and bathroom fixtures, did you know porcelain countertops were an option?
Porcelain is a type of clay made using materials including kaolinite, silica, and feldspar. This clay is then fired at extremely high temperatures and glazed, giving it a glossy sheen.
Glazed porcelain is highly stain and odor resistant. It is also impervious to UV damage. Unlike stones such as marble, porcelain won’t develop faded patches after prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays, so it’s an excellent choice if your kitchen gets a lot of natural light.
If solid surface countertops are not for you, but you want something more durable and colorful than wood countertops, tiles could be a perfect choice. Tiles are an incredibly versatile option, giving you creative control over color schemes, shapes, and patterns. You can achieve any look with them, from a ‘50s diner to a Mediterranean villa.
Tiles can be cut from several materials, including stone and glazed ceramic. You can also find granite tiles as an excellent alternative to slab granite. The cost of tiled countertops per square foot depends on the material tiles are made from and the size of the tiles. Large format ceramic tiles are fast and easy to install, while intricate mosaic designs are a pricey option due to the labor involved.
They are a little more vulnerable to chipping if mistreated, but they’re also easy to replace if one of the tiles becomes damaged. They’re also heat resistant enough that you can place hot pans directly onto them without damage.
Unlike slab granite and other solid countertops, which need professional installation, tiling is a relatively simple DIY project for a budget kitchen remodel.
Quartzite is a metamorphic stone that started life as sandstone before being transformed by heat and pressure into a versatile material with a stunning appearance.
One of quartzite’s best attributes is the delicate crystal formations throughout the stone. Pair your quartzite butcher block with some low-hanging pendant light fixtures, and you’ll see these crystals begin to sparkle subtly.
Quartzite is not a soft stone, but it is more susceptible to staining than quartz. However, in contrast with manufactured quartz, quartzite has a more delicate, natural appearance, and every slab is one of a kind.
A sedimentary rock available in a range of neutral shades, limestone has a long history of architectural use in Europe and North America, especially for building facades. Made from calcium carbonate, limestone is moderately vulnerable to stains and acidic foods and substances like vinegar or lemon juice.
It is also a soft stone and will be marked if hot objects are placed directly onto it. A protective sealing when you install your limestone countertops is crucial.
In return for this higher level of care, you receive a rugged, natural feel for your kitchen. Limestone is available in several warm-toned shades, such as beige, yellow, and red. It is set apart by its unique fossilized patterns that don’t appear in other stone countertop materials. Limestone countertops will lend a mellow, organic air to your cooking space.
A concrete countertop is a must-have for the modern, minimalist kitchen style. Stainless steel countertops are another popular choice for this aesthetic, but concrete has an advantage in its customizability. Concrete counters are molded, so you can dictate the exact shape, color, and finish when you decide on a concrete kitchen workspace. You will also avoid the seam lines visible between two different stone countertop slabs.
Having concrete countertops installed takes longer than other options, as the material needs to be mixed, poured, cured, and then finished. However, once sealed, concrete is an incredibly durable material that is as easy to clean as laminate countertops.
If you want to make your kitchen the show-stopping centerpiece of your home, agate is a beautiful choice of material for countertops. Agate is a striking semi-precious stone in various stunning patterns, with stripes, bubbled surfaces, or leaf shapes.
This stone comes in a rainbow of colors, from warm red and gold to cool white and green, which would be an excellent option to make all-white kitchen cabinetry pop.
Agate’s one drawback is a high price tag, but if you’re willing to invest, you’ll find yourself with tough and durable countertops that will last.
Butcher block hardwood countertops are popular for country, farmhouse, and traditional homes. It gives your kitchen a sense of warmth and texture and is one of the most affordable countertop materials available.
Because butcher block countertops aren’t crafted from a single block of wood, you have a wide range of options for color, wood grain, and finish, depending on the species of hardwood you choose. Common hardwood options include maple, cherry, and red oak.
Part of the appeal of wooden countertops is that they are easy to care for. You can wipe up spills with a damp cloth and sanitize the counter with common household cleaners.
However, wooden countertops are more prone to dents and impact from heavy objects and heat and moisture damage. If you perform regular maintenance, including annual sealing with mineral oil, you can minimize damage, so your butcher block counters last up to 20 years.
At just $45-$75 per square foot, bamboo is one of the most inexpensive countertop materials. It is also sustainable and eco-friendly; bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource that requires little water and space to cultivate.
Bamboo countertops offer a lightweight, affordable alternative to solid hardwood. They are made by pressing sheets of processed bamboo with chemical adhesives to create durable engineered wood slabs for countertops.
Like solid wood counters, bamboo countertops give your kitchen an inviting atmosphere, but they require regular maintenance. Maintenance includes refinishing the countertop surface with Tung oil to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood fibers and sealing with beeswax to create a moisture-repellent protective layer.
If you have a contemporary or modern kitchen, stainless steel counters are the perfect option for your space. Stainless steel is commonly used in commercial kitchens for food prep because of its low-maintenance properties and easy sanitation.
Stainless steel countertops are a mid-range option, costing around $80-$225 per square foot. However, you’ll save significantly on maintenance costs since it doesn’t need refinishing or regular sealing and lasts more than 20 years.
When choosing a stainless steel counter, opt for beveled or bullnose edges if you have children or pets to prevent accidental injury. You can also opt for marine edges with a raised lip to prevent liquids from spilling during food preparation. This edge style is an excellent option for a kitchen island with an integrated sink.
Solid surface material is a composite resin with an acrylic finish that comes in various colors and patterns, which often mimic natural stone options like granite or marble. Solid surface material costs approximately $35-$85 per square foot and requires little to no maintenance.
Solid surface is a non-porous material and has no visible seams, making it ideal for food preparation areas. Solid surface material countertops are resistant to impact; however, they are vulnerable to strong chemicals like solvents, oven cleaners, and chlorine bleach. Unlike natural stone, they’re prone to scratches that can impact the countertop’s appearance, make it look hazy, and sustain damage when exposed to high heat from pots and pans.
Build Your Dream Kitchen With Motor City Granite
Whether remodeling your kitchen or outfitting your new home, Motor City Granite & Cabinets has the products you need to realize your vision. We offer granite, quartzite, and engineered quartz in various colors and patterns to suit your style.
Our experienced team can help you at every stage, from planning and choosing your countertop materials to professional installation. Contact us using our online form or call (248) 988-0137 to request a free quote.