Countertop Selection: What Type of Counter Material Is Right for Your Home?

Posted by Shakti S. on 14th Jun 2023

The kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked rooms in your home, and you'll want to choose the right material for your kitchen counters that keeps up with your family's lifestyle. When you're doing a home remodel, save time and money by researching which countertop material to use in which space. There's no one-size-fits-all answer here; a material that works for bathroom vanities may not be right for a busy kitchen.


A tough natural stone found in sources around the world.


  • Strong, durable, and scratch- and heat-resistant
  • Easy to clean if sealed correctly


  • Must be sealed before use and periodically resealed
  • Available in relatively limited colors
  • Sharp corners may chip

Best for: Active homes where the kitchen sees a lot of use.


A classically luxurious, beautifully veined stone.


  • Available in many different shades and finishes
  • Instantly adds visual impact to a room
  • Develops a patina with age


  • Relatively soft and fragile, requiring care
  • Must be resealed frequently
  • Can etch and stain when exposed to food

Best for: Statement-making kitchens that see light use.


An engineered material containing a blend of natural quartz crystals, a binder and sometimes coloring agents.


  • Available in a rainbow array of natural and artificial colors and patterns
  • Can mimic the look of other, more expensive or difficult-to-find stones
  • Relatively affordable, highly durable and easy to clean
  • Can be custom-produced to fit very large or oddly shaped spaces


  • Not as heat resistant as granite
  • When exposed to intense direct sunlight, the stone may fade or warp
  • Will look more artificial than natural stone

Best for: This countertop selection works for trendy homes or ones with unusually shaped counters.


This material contains a core with layers of plastic bonded on top of it.


  • Extremely affordable and easy to install and replace
  • Available in an almost endless number of color and pattern combinations
  • Can be cut to size
  • Wipes clean


  • Not scratch- or heat-resistant
  • Damage can't be repaired, only patched
  • Looks artificial
  • Prone to absorb moisture and warp or crumble if improperly installed

Best for: Homeowners on a budget looking for easy-to-clean counters.

Tile Ceramic, Glass or Porcelain Tiles


  • Available in many colors, patterns and tile sizes
  • An inexpensive way to cover a large surface
  • Wipes clean
  • Durable and heat resistant


  • Can crack or chip on impact
  • Tiles can't be repaired, only replaced
  • Grout needs to be resealed to inhibit bacteria
  • The smaller the tiles, the more lines of grout you will have to keep clean

Best for: Homeowners looking for durable and inexpensive countertops, especially for the bathroom.

Butcher Block

Pieces of hardwood bound together in geometric patterns.


  • Combines the natural warmth of wood with a contemporary design
  • The pattern disguises minor cuts and scratches
  • Can be sanded down and refinished
  • An eco-friendly option


  • Must be periodically resealed or the countertop can separate and warp
  • Does not tolerate long-term exposure to water
  • More easily damaged than stone or tile

Best for: Rustic or contemporary houses with eco-friendly homeowners.

About The Author

Shakti S. has been a freelance writer since 2012 and has a strong background in English with experience in copywriting, editing, and translations. She has taken on DIY projects and worked with professional designers and home repair agencies, and continues to learn more about home and yard decoration, maintenance, and repair.

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