If you’re about to remodel your kitchen, selecting the best countertop material might turn up as a challenge, there are so many factors involved. But lucky for you, we’re here to help.

A countertop is the soul of a kitchen, that’s why according to Houzz’s latest kitchen trends study, a countertop replacement takes place in 93% of all kitchen remodeling projects. Being such an important feature, it’s no surprise American homeowners are looking for their best possible option. 

Nevertheless, finding out what is the best countertop material is not an easy task. There will be no one answer since the right question to be made is: Which countertop material better suits your house, taste, and lifestyle?

Which countertop material is the best for you?

We will present a list with the top material picks for countertops, but before we get into that, here are a few things you should keep in mind as you read through the options.

  • What’s your personal budget for the project?
  • How will a countertop’s maintenance and care needs fit your lifestyle?
  • How busy is your kitchen?
  • Are you a careful person?
  • Are you considering selling your house anytime soon?
  • What is the style statement you want to make? 

A countertop is about utility just as much as it’s about style. Most of the time you spend in your kitchen will be dedicated to it, so getting the right pick will save you from a lot of trouble and get you that beautiful functional kitchen you’ve been dreaming about.

The top 8 best countertop materials

Creating this list we have accounted for a number of factors such as:

  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Heat resistance
  • Scratch resistance
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Popularity

Understanding how important each of these factors is for you will be the key to deciding what is the best countertop material for your particular case.

1 – Granite

a kitchen island made of granite in the kitchen

Granite was once the king of countertops, the most popular and dreamed of choice, however, it has recently been surpassed by quartz in popularity according to many reports.

Still, granite makes it to the top of our list, not only because it’s still hugely popular, but because its traits are perfect for a countertop material.

Appearance: Granite’s traditional appearance consists of freckled patterns in hues of grey or black. However, there are hundreds of exotic slabs with unique colors and patterns to choose from.

Pros: Durable, almost scratch-proof, low maintenance, very resistant to stains and heat (yes you can just lay hot cookware on it), plus it can be used outdoors.

Cons: Some maintenance is necessary, cleaning and periodic sealing (learn all about it here).

Price: High-end.

2 – Quartz

pros and cons of quartz countertops

Quartz (not to be confused with quartzite) is an engineered material that offers homeowners some of the best characteristics of stones with the perks of being a manmade material. The range of options is beautiful, but that’s not all. The new countertop king has a lot of great traits that helped it get there.

Appearance: Nearly unlimited options including solid colors. However, quartz is normally created to mimic other materials such as natural stones (especially marble) and concrete. 

Pros: Durable, highly resistant to scratches and stains (it still can stain though), completely impervious (water can’t penetrate it), virtually zero maintenance.

Cons: Can be permanently damaged by heat and sunlight exposure.

Price: High-end.

3 – Quartzite

kitchen created with quarzite bianco superiore

The only reason quartzite is not ranking higher in this list is because it is not as popular as the first two choices. It is a natural stone, and the best way to summarize it is to say it’s just as good as granite as a countertop material, plus it offers a fresher appearance if you’re tired of all the freckles. 

Appearance: Normally white to grey in color. However, impurities caught on the rock’s formation generate a great variation on color choices. It will present a sugary appearance with a glassy luster, and wide-ranging veins run through the stone surface.

Pros: Durable, almost scratch-proof, low maintenance, very resistant to stains and heat (yes you can just lay hot cookware on it), plus it can be used outdoors.

Cons: Some maintenance is necessary, cleaning and periodic sealing (learn all about it here).

Price: High-end.

4 – Marble

a marble kitchen counter

If you can’t resist how beautiful marble slabs look like, it is not impossible to use them in your counters. A greater measure of care will be necessary, but the end result is simply breathtaking.

Appearance: Marble tends to present a consistent color with contrasting veins running through it. It is commonly found in dazzling whites and hues of gray and brown. However, some unique color variations are possible. 

Pros: Unique appearance. Very durable and heat resistant.

Cons: High maintenance and care, susceptible to stains and etch marks.

Price: High-end.

5 – Hardwood (butcher block)

a very clean looking wood countertop

Offering a very familiar, warm and natural feel to any kitchen, wood countertops are definitely an option to be considered. And if you don’t care about scratches, you can prepare food directly on them.

Appearance: Available in a wide range of hues and finishes (considering what wood can look like).

Pros: Durable, unique appearance, easy day to day use.

Cons: Susceptible to scratches, stains, and dents, can be damaged by water, periodic maintenance is necessary.

Price: High-end

6 – Soapstone

soapstone countertop close-up

A beautiful natural stone option that’s not commonly seen. Perfect for historic homes and modern kitchens wishing to make a statement.

Appearance: Usually dark gray in color with a smooth, silky feel.

Pros: Durable, very heat resistant, unique appearance. 

Cons: Easy to scratch, susceptible to stains, requires periodic oiling.

Price: Mid-range

7 – Concrete

If you’d like to go for a different looking kitchen. No countertop option will strike you as more unique than concrete. 

Highly polished concrete slabs cast at your own place are one of a kind kitchen countertop options.

Appearance: It looks like concrete, however with the luster of a polishing process and possibly tinted.

Pros: Durable, heat and scratch resistant, exotic appearance. 

Cons: It can crack, requires regular maintenance

Price: High-end.

8 – Laminate

laminate countertop being installed

Once the usual countertop in American homes, laminate counters were regarded as a bad choice since granite became the number one countertop option. Nevertheless, the material remains one of the cheapest countertop picks, and modern printing techniques were able to make it popular again by mimicking natural stones.

Appearance: Thousands of printed patterns available.

Pros: Great price, moderate resistance to heat and scratches. 

Cons: Not very durable, suffers a lot of damage over time and can’t be repaired.

Price: Inexpensive.

Find your next countertop material

There are plenty of choices and many good ones. After considering all the questions we’ve asked you and determining which material suits your style and tastes, the best way to make your choice is to see the options for yourself. 

If you’re going with natural stones or quartz countertops, our team at Eagle Stones will be happy to have you in our showroom in Sarasota, FL. Let’s discuss what inspires you the most as we walk around hundreds of beautiful stone slab options. Can’t wait to have you here.