Pros and Cons: 7 Different Kitchen Countertops to Explore

Pros and Cons: 7 Different Kitchen Countertops to Explore

When choosing the most suited kitchen countertop, it pays to be honest with yourself. Are you a heavy-duty cook who will subject your countertop to hours of endless action? Are you diligent when it comes to maintaining your countertop to ensure that they remain pristine in months and years to come? And how much do you plan to set aside for this?

With your answers in mind, we’ll now round up popular kitchen countertops to help you make an informed decision for your big kitchen renovation.


1. Marble

Pros: Heat-resistant, available in different colours

Cons: Costly, porous, easily scratched or etched by acids even if sealed, requires periodic sealing

Marble countertops are elegant. They make for swoon-worthy kitchens that spread across magazine pages. It is also a great option for serious bakers, as they can knead dough to their heart’s content directly on the countertop.

However, this metamorphic natural stone is not as durable as man-made quartz. Anything acidic like coffee, lemon and wine will easily leave a stain even if sealed. If you’re not careful with your knife, it will also show up as well. Since no two slabs are alike, it is worthwhile hand-picking a slab to go in your kitchen – one that has the right amount of veins to suit your liking.


2. Granite

Pros: Easy-to-maintain, durable, porous, resistant to heat, water and stains if sealed; available in many colours

Cons: Costly, edges can chip if not careful

Granite is a natural stone formed with molten rock, which explains why every slab is unique, and flaws and irregularities are inherent. To maintain the granite’s resistant to kitchen elements, periodic resealing is required. This material resembles marble, but only at a fraction of its price.


3. Solid Surface

Pros: Durable, affordable, homogenous, available in many colours, scratches and stains can be removed by resurfacing a solid surface

Cons: Not heat resistant, susceptible to scratches and stains

Solid surface is a versatile kitchen countertop material. It is nowhere as durable as marble and granite, but a reasonable alternative for the mid-range price you pay, for a material that looks close to stone. Because solid surface is homogenous, it can be easily and affordably resurfaced using an orbital sander to reinstate its smooth, unblemished surface after years or decades of use. This makes solid surface a very popular kitchen countertop option for homeowners.


4. Laminate

Pros: Very affordable, stain-resistant, easy-to-maintain, available in many colours

Cons: Sides can chip easily, non-homogenous, easily damaged by heat

This budget-friendly option is highly-versatile. Available in many colours and patterns – including marble-like veins – this countertop can hold up any look. However, be extra careful when working with sharp objects and hot pots.

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5. Quartz

Pros: Durable, scratch-resistant, non-porous, easy-to-maintain; available in many colours and patterns

Cons: Can be damaged by heat

Quartz is man-made. It is engineered to mimic natural stones, but yet more durable, scratch-resistant and non-porous than both marble and granite. Unlike marble and granite, the appearance of quartz is consistent. Great for someone who enjoys spending more time cooking than maintaining the space.


6. Butcher block

Pros: Affordable

Cons: Porous, susceptible to scratches, stains and burns

There are many options for butcher blocks, with each species of wood lending a different hue and density. For this material, periodic oiling is required to prevent water seepage, particularly at the area around the sink to prevent discolours and rots. Not the most functional of kitchen countertop materials. But they sure are warm and inviting – perfect for creating the cosy, rustic farmhouse look.


7. Stainless steel

Pros: Highly durable, resistant to water, heat and stains, hygienic, non-porous, easy to clean

Cons: Low-grade stainless steel is more susceptible to scratches and dents, can be loud when working on the countertop

Restaurants in the world use stainless steel countertops for one reason – they are extremely functional. For a start, they are durable and resistant to most elements in the kitchen. And because stainless steel is non-porous, liquid cannot penetrate through it, making it a hygienic surface with no tolerance for bacteria. Made out of a certain level of chromium, stainless steel has an anti-corrode quality. By choosing a stainless steel countertop of a higher gauge, you’ll have a kitchen that is built to weather more.

Its sleek and glossy shine makes it perfect for a modern or industrial-themed kitchen. If this material can be too cool and distant for your liking, pair stainless steel countertops with warm wood cabinets.

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