Counting Your Options: 8 Top Types of Kitchen Countertops for a Modern Kitchen

8 Top Types of Kitchen Countertops for a Modern Kitchen

Your countertop is one of the most visible parts of your kitchen design. For a modern and sophisticated feel, try these top kitchen countertops.

Keyword(s): kitchen countertops

Kitchen remodeling projects are more than a redesign. They’re an investment and can pay back as much as 83.1 percent of their cost through increased home value.

Countertops are one of the most important parts of your kitchen. Kitchen countertops are the primary work surface for everything that you do while cooking, which means that they have to be functional and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

At the same time, their large size means that they play a huge role in the aesthetic and design of your kitchen. This means that you need to find a kitchen countertop material that marries both functionality and beauty.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of materials that are well-suited for use as kitchen countertops. If you know the pros and cons of each type of material, you can choose the best fit for your cooking space.

8 Types of Kitchen Countertop Materials

When choosing a kitchen countertop material, you need to know what you’re going to be using it for. If it’s simply an eating space, heat resistance isn’t a priority. However, if you’re cooking constantly and moving large amounts of food out of the oven, you’ll want something durable and temperature resistant.

Granite

Granite is one of the most common types of natural stones used for countertops. Granite is highly heat resistant, adds value to your home, and requires very little special treatment when properly sealed. Unlike some other types of natural stone, granite comes in a range of different colors and shades.

However, like most other types of natural stone, granite is on the higher end of the price range. Further, it can damage knives and china that come into contact with it.

Quartz

While quartz has the appearance of natural stone, it is actually made out of a mixture of crushed rocks and a resin. This means that slabs can be custom sized or created to fit specific sizes, unlike natural stone which comes in large slabs.

Like natural stone, quartz can withstand heat and moisture very easily. Further, they do not require sealing to keep moisture out. However, their cost is similar to natural stone, especially if they have to be custom made to fit your kitchen.

Marble

Marble, like granite, is one of the most common types of natural stone. Each slab of marble is completely unique, and it is completely immune to heat damage and moisture damage.

However, marble can be scratched and nicked, unlike granite. While it is immune to cracking and other types of moisture damage, it is absorbent and can be stained fairly easily. This means that you need to have your countertops sealed on a regular basis.

Concrete

Though not often thought of as a kitchen material, concrete provides a great working surface for you to use. You can have concrete stained so that it takes on a range of vibrant colors, or maintain a dark and deep hue instead.

Concrete can also have other materials, like tiles, glass or natural stone, installed right in it. You can also give your countertops different textures, with a rougher texture around the sink to prevent sliding and slipping dishes and smoother textures elsewhere for a level work surface.

However, concrete requires special installation, as it has to either set in place, or the entire pre-cast slab has to be transported. Pre-cast slabs also only come in smooth textures usually.

Laminate

Laminate is a great affordable option for kitchen remodeling projects that are under tight budgets. Made out of plastic and synthetic materials, laminate sheeting is cut to size and then installed over an existing wooden or particleboard slab. Laminate can also mimic the appearance of natural stone and other materials.

Laminate can withstand general wear and tear and water exposure, but suffers when exposed to heat. The color will also fade or yellow with time, though newer laminate is generally better at resisting such bleaching.

Tile

Countertops made out of tile offer a great deal of customization. Different sizes and colors can be used to make a completely unique pattern.

Tile prices will vary depending on the thickness and quality. Ceramic tile is usually more affordable than natural stone tile, as it is made out of clay. Make sure that you always use countertop tile, not flooring or wall tile, as these are more easily damaged.

However, keep in mind that tile requires some cleaning to stay looking nice. The tiles themselves won’t hold onto dirt, but the grout between each tile can become an issue and requires special attention.

Wood (Butcher’s Block)

For a more rustic appearance, butcher’s block is a thick wooden countertop that you can stain. While butcher’s block is usually less expensive than natural stone, it is also less durable.

Cutting on butcher’s block opens up the risk of damaging the surface of your countertops. While you can sand these cuts out and restain to restore the appearance of your counters, over time this can result in an uneven surface.

Solid Surface

Solid surface kitchen countertops are made out of acrylic or polyester hardened into a slab. They have their seams melted together, creating a visually smooth appearance. They are much more affordable than natural stone and concrete options.

While immune to any sort of staining or moisture damage, they are vulnerable to melting if exposed to high heats and can be easily scratched.

Look for Inspiration in Custom Kitchens

Choosing the right kitchen countertops for your needs is one of the largest decisions you’ll have to make during your remodeling process. You want to make sure that your countertops match the design of your cabinets, walls, and other appliances.

For more ideas about remodeling your own custom kitchen, take a look through our gallery. Our team of experts has been working for years designing functional and beautiful kitchen spaces.