Top 10 Countertop Materials to Consider For Your Kitchen or Bathroom

Ready to start a long-awaited kitchen renovation or upgrade your bathroom? If so, now is the time to decide which countertop material will work best for you. With a growing number of options available today, there’s bound to be one to fit your specific needs. Here are ten different types of materials and the pros and cons of each to consider for your next renovation!

Quartz

Average Installation Cost of Quartz: $50 – $150 per square foot

Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials available today. As one of the strongest natural minerals found on earth, quartz is very resistant to chipping and cracking and capable of withstanding your normal wear-and-tear a bit better than others. Combined with a resin, quartz provides a surface that is non-porous and easy-to-clean. This material is also moderately priced and is offered in a number of styles.

As a non-porous material, buildup of bacteria doesn’t often occur, and clean-up is quick and easy. This quality makes it beneficial in both bathrooms and kitchens.

While it can resist stains better than other natural stone materials, it is not as highly heat-resistant. Although you will need very high temperatures to cause damage, it is better to avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on its surface.

Granite

Average Installation Cost of Granite: $75 – $125 per square foot

Granite offers a huge selection of classic and modern designs while still remaining a budget-friendly option. This natural stone requires little maintenance, with clean ups only requiring a little soap and water. Granite is scratch-resistant, chip-resistant, and heat resistant, which means your countertops can keep up with your cooking needs! Offered in hundreds of different styles, Granite is likely available in a color and design that suits your home.

Granite is available in a polished form, a glossy look, or honed, which creates a more matte look and feel. 

A few downsides of granite countertops include visible seams between slabs and the need to reseal each year. If damaged, granite can be difficult to repair on your own. 

Butcher Block

Average Installation Cost of Butchers Block: $85 – $155 per square foot

What says cozy, warm, and homey better than wood? If this is the look and feel you are going for, then consider using Butcher block countertops. These are both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.

Butcher block countertops can be made from a variety of woods, including maple, walnut, oak, or cherry.

While you can slice your favorite bread without worry of damaging them, spills are another matter. If not wiped up immediately, they can stain the wood.

Oftentimes, these are used as an accent piece or a working section of a countertop. They can also be used solely on kitchen islands.

Marble

Average Installation Cost of Marble: $60 – $180 per square foot

Marble is the go-to countertop material for achieving a high-end look. Aesthetically, you can’t go wrong choosing this natural stone for your countertops. It provides a clean look to your kitchen or bathroom and is eye-catching with its veining of grey or black.

Marble does require higher maintenance on your part, however. This countertop material is softer than other types of materials, making it more susceptible to cuts and scratches. Use care with knives, and make sure you have good cutting boards.

Another characteristic to be aware of is that this natural stone is highly porous, making it easy to stain. Clean up any spills quickly so you can avoid this. You can also treat your countertop with a sealant on a regular basis.

Stainless Steel

Average Installation Cost of Stainless Steel: $75 – $150 per square foot

No longer just for commercial kitchens, stainless steel has made its way into residential kitchens. If you like an industrial, more modern-type look, this is a great option.

Not only do these countertops look sleek, but they also clean up easily. The surface is non-porous which means you do not have to worry about stains. All you need is water and a mild soap. As a plus, this material prevents grime from building up on it, making it more hygienic than many other countertop materials.

On the flip side, stainless steel can dent and also show scratches. It also shows water spots, and fingerprints, so it will take effort to keep it shining.

Concrete

Average Installation Cost of Concrete: $65 – $135 per square foot

Concrete is a bold new way to go with countertops. As you can imagine, it provides a strong, nearly indestructible surface. However, in time, it can crack. The good news about that, however, is that it is easily repairable.

This countertop material can be customized to your specifications and provide an eye-catching feature in any kitchen or bathroom.

This material has been on the rise for DIYers. Creating your own concrete countertop is definitely an option. Just be sure to keep in mind how long it takes to dry and that it will require a seal to protect the surface. Supplies and kits are available at home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. For a professional hand in your project, give us a call for a free on-site estimate. 

Laminate

Average Installation Cost of Laminate: $45 – $85 per square foot

Popular a few decades ago, laminate is on the rise again as a low cost, yet durable countertop material.

With hundreds of designs and patterns available, from stone-like looks to bright colors, you can customize your kitchen or bathroom countertop in a variety of ways.

Laminates are less expensive, clean up easily, and never need to be resealed. They are also non-porous, resisting stains as well as bacteria absorption. 

With that being said, they are not heat resistant, so be careful with hot pots and pans. Be sure to use a cutting board as well because these surfaces tend to scratch. 

Soapstone

Average Installation Cost of Soapstone: $75 – $130 per square foot

A natural stone, soapstone gives your countertops a smooth look and feel, while providing a non-porous surface to resist stains and bacteria buildup. It is also heat-resistant as well.

Soapstone comes in more muted shades consisting of grey with occasional undertones of green or blue. Natural veining runs throughout and varies in each piece making your slab unique to your home. 

Owners need to oil the countertops several times a year to keep them in top shape. This will help blend in any scratches and also give it more of a shine.

Tile

Average Installation Cost of Tile: $20 – $200 per square foot

Tile is not only budget-friendly but also provides a wider variety of colors and designs for you to choose from. It comes in different materials as well, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone. Choose one style or mix them up to create a unique, quirky aesthetic.

While most tiles are easily maintained and durable, a concern is the lines of grout in between. These grout lines are a little more difficult to keep clean, so you may want to use a darker shade to cover this up or keep a grout cleaner handy. If one piece is damaged, tile can be replaced in no time.

This type of countertop can easily be a DIY project. Check with your local home improvement stores for available options.

Solid Surface

Average Installation Cost of Solid Surface: $50 – $155 per square foot

If you’re looking for a more fluid choice in design and pattern for your kitchen or bathroom countertop, consider using a solid surface material. These materials combine acrylic with resin to create over a hundred different styles sure to fit anyone’s wish list. 

As the name suggests, solid surface countertops provide a seamless look that looks clean and modern. However, they are not heat-resistant and may be susceptible to scratches. 

As you can see, there is no shortage of options available for countertops. Whether you are looking to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, be sure to consider these materials and the different benefits of each. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, and learning what these are is the first step in making the best choice for your ideal space.

*All Prices Listed Are Estimated. Please Give Us A Call to Schedule A Free On-Site Estimate and Receive A Quote For Your Project.

Questions about home renovations or repairs? Give our office a call or send us a message to schedule a free on-site estimate. J.G’s Home Improvement is licensed in the state of West Virginia. We have proudly served the eastern panhandle for over 20 years! Located in Charles Town, our team is always available to respond quickly and reliably.

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