The Pros and Cons of Countertops Materials

30.03.2022 Admin 79
Many countertop options are available on the market for kitchen countertops. However, the main types of very common materials include marble, granite, quartz, soapstone, ceramic tile, laminate, solid surface, wood or butcher block, concrete, and stainless steel.  

Our kitchen Interior design course contains a lot of tips on the various types of materials and their characteristics. All countertop materials have their positive and negative effects. For instance, some of them are very strong; some are not resistant to scratches, while some are more expensive than others. Here are some of the countertop materials and their pros and cons.



Granite
Granite has been used for many kitchen countertops in many homes, even though it used to be a costly material. Many contemporary homes use this material because of the elegant charm it adds to kitchens. Moreso, people who have modest kitchens, go for this material because of its beauty.
Pros
-Very durable and strong
-You get great value for your money
-Almost resistant to heat
-Comes with about 3000 different types and colors
-Almost maintenance-free when treated with a new sealer
Cons
-Installation if granite is not easy
-It is very costly
-There may be some problems with slab installation
-It can crack when not installed properly or when overstressed
-A sharp knife gets quickly dull when used to cut on granite

Soapstone
Another common countertop material is soapstone. It comes with a smooth, silky texture and usually comes in a grey color. Many people prefer this type of countertop material as an alternative to granite because of its attractiveness in certain kitchen styles. This countertop material is common in ancient homes, but it's been modified over the years to suit the modern-day kitchen.
Over time, it has taken an antique-like glow that makes it great for certain types of contemporary kitchens. The soapstone materials used for countertops are resistant to stain, and they can be hard too. However, the surface may scratch after being used for a while, but this can also be an advantage since it adds to the glow and radiance of the stone.
Pros
-Fairly heat-resistant
-It's easy to wipe out damages.
-Its antique historic look makes it ideal for rustic kitchens
-It comes in deep, rich color
-Fairly resistant to stain
Cons
-Installation is not easy
-It must undergo mineral oil treatment
-It May get dark over time
-May darken over time
-The surface can scratch or dent


Marble
Marble is another popular countertop material you can try. The good thing about marble is that every sheet of marble contains a different design, which gives your kitchen countertop a unique look. However, marble is mostly used in kitchens of luxurious apartments or homes due to its cost. It's often used on a kitchen island or some parts of the countertop used for baking.
But then, marble is also well-known for not being resistant to scratches and stains, which doesn't make it the best choice option for kitchen countertops. However, if you'd like to know more about countertop materials, their characteristics, and how to choose the best one for your kitchen, you should consider taking our kitchen Interior decoration course. The information from the professional tutors will help you make the right decision.
Pros
-Extremely beautiful stone with a unique design
-Heat and water-resistant
-Improves the real estate value of your home
Cons
-When not sealed, the material gets stained easily
-The stone is porous
-Difficult to repair
-Not resistant to scratches


Quartz or Engineered Stone
Quartz, or engineered stone, is another countertop material with about 93% quartz particles along with minerals formed into concrete slabs and glued with resins. Quartz was created as a better-performing and adaptable replacement option for marble and granite, and it comes in different colors, styles, and veining that looks similar to natural marble.
Pros
-Installation of quartz is easy
-It can be created in any shape or size
-It can be customised to any shape or size to suit your kitchen countertop design
-Doesn't require sealing
-Easy to clean and maintain
-Uniform slabs
-Resistant to acid, stains, and heat
Cons
-Quite expensive
-Very heavy

Ceramic Tile
The ceramic tile countertop is easy to clean, and it is durable too. It is a great option for DIYers, and it is much more affordable than quartz or soapstone. Ceramic tiles have more design options than many other countertop materials.
Pros
-Easy to install
-Very affordable
-Easy to clean and maintain
-Resistant to heat
-Comes in various styles and colors
Cons
-Tiles may crack under severe impact.
-Custom ceramic tiles are very expensive
-Tiles are not as durable as quartz and granite  

Laminates
Laminates countertops are plastic-coated synthetics with an easy-to-clean smooth surface. They are made through the bonding together of laminate sheets and particleboard cores. The thousand of colors, styles, and laminate patterns available today make it a popular option for many mid-century modern kitchens.
Pros
-Very easy DIY installation
-Highly inexpensive option
-Easy to maintain
-Comes in thousands of styles and patterns
Cons
-Does not give value for your money during home resale because it's considered too average
-The seams are always revealed
-Backsplash treatments and custom edging may incur additional expense
-Damages are often challenging to repair

Stainless Steel
If you want to give your kitchen that industrial and contemporary look, you should consider a stainless steel countertop. They are durable, resistant to heat, and highly customizable.
Pros
-Resistant to heat
-Great for modern style kitchens
-It is super easy to maintain and clean
-Adds value to your property because it's in the "premium countertop" category
Cons
-Very costly to fabricate
-Not great for cutting because knives can cause scratches
-Noisy


Concrete
Concrete countertops are often not commonly used because of the cost of installing them and their industrial look to a kitchen. They're also heavy and are created right in the kitchen. It's great for anyone looking to add a unique touch to their kitchen or if you want a countertop customized according to your needs.
Even though they are not resistant to cracking, available new treatment options can help minimize this effect. The Kitchen styling education is a great resource for learning about different types of countertops, including concrete countertops. Take the course here to get started.

Pros
-Resistant to heat and scratch
-You can color-tint it
-Provides a sophisticated and unusual look
-Decorative colors and textures are possible
Cons
-Had a porous surface, when not sealed
-Liable to crack after a while
-Quite inexpensive to build as a result of custom work

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