Kitchen Countertop Materials Comparison

Kitchen Countertop Materials Comparison

The countertops are the workhorses of your kitchen. What the cook dishes out, the countertop needs to be able to take it, whether it's heat or spills. Your kitchen countertop can also tie an entire kitchen remodel together. It's the finishing touch that goes a long way when it comes to the overall aesthetics of your kitchen.

Countertop finishes range from natural stone options, such as granite and quartz, to wood or metal varieties. The type of countertop you choose affects the total cost of your kitchen remodel as well as the functionality of your finished kitchen.

Types of Stone Countertops

Stone countertops have been popular for a while, thanks to their heat resistance and durability. The type of stone you choose and whether that stone is natural or engineered affects the overall price. Some of the more popular countertop finishes include:


light granite countertop on kitchen island - image by housely

You can't think of modern countertops without thinking of granite. Granite countertops are made from whole slabs of stone and are 100% natural. They are heat-resistant and since every slab has its own natural variations, each piece is unique.

Granite has a smooth feel and is often polished. Since it's a porous material, it needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Resealing granite is part of regular maintenance.


Marble is another heat-resistant countertop finish. It's a high-end material and tends to cost more than other stone types. Marble looks elegant but can be tricky to maintain, as it can stain easily and needs resealing.


light terrazzo kitchen countertops with white cabinets - photo by designstuff on instagram

Terrazzo is a composite material, meaning it is made from a variety of natural stones, including marble and granite. The material is made by blending marble, glass, granite, or quartz chips with a cement binder. The resulting material is unique and durable.

Since it's not made from solid stone, a terrazzo countertop tends to be more cost-effective than other options. It's also easy to clean and maintain.


Quartz is another composite material, usually made from crushed granite or marble mixed with a binding material. It has a shiny finish and a polished, smooth feel. Since quartz is a type of engineered stone, it doesn't have the natural variations of solid granite and marble. Quartz is in a similar price point to marble or granite and has been a popular choice because it's easier to maintain than natural stone and doesn't require sealing.


white quartzite kitchen island countertops with dark wood flooring - photo by progressive dimensions

Quartzite shouldn't be confused with quartz, although the names are similar. While quartz is a type of engineered stone, quartzite is a natural stone. Similar to granite or marble countertops, it's sold in solid slabs. Also, like marble or granite, quartzite needs to be sealed to prevent stains, as the material itself is porous.

Cleaning quartzite regularly and wiping up spills immediately is also key to preserving the appearance of the countertop and keeping it looking good for as long as possible.

In terms of price, quartzite is similar to marble or granite counters, as well.

Other Types of Countertops

While engineered and natural stone countertops are among the most popular options for new home buyers and those remodeling their kitchens, other options are available. Those options include:

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is an easy-to-clean, cost-effective material that looks sleek and attractive.
  • Wood: Some homeowners are attracted to the natural beauty of butcher block wood counters. Butcher block counters tend to be very affordable and are also relatively easy to maintain.
  • Concrete: If the modern farmhouse style appeals to you, concrete is a countertop material worth considering. It's incredibly resilient. One drawback of concrete is that it needs an extended curing time, so it will take longer to install than other options.

How to Choose a Countertop for Your Kitchen

When choosing a countertop material, it's important to consider durability, cost, and aesthetics. Engineered and natural stone materials tend to be the most durable. Stone materials tend to produce heat-resistant countertops, meaning you can put hot pots and pans on the surface without damaging them.

The maintenance requirements are also worth considering, as they can affect the durability of the countertop. For example, a material that requires regular resealing will have a shortened lifespan if you don't keep up with sealing it. If you know that you want a material that's relatively hands-off, it can be preferable to choose an engineered stone countertop or one made from stainless steel or wood.

If you're ready to remodel your kitchen in Corvallis, Oregon, Corvallis Kitchens & Baths can help you choose the countertop material that's best for you. We specialize in helping homeowners update outdated, cramped, or dark homes. Take a look at our past projects to see what we can do, then get in touch with us today.


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