Kitchen with wood countertop, backsplash

Countertop Selection Guide

As an interior designer I am often asked about the durability and pricing of different kitchen and bath countertop selections available in the market. While everyone’s lifestyle and tolerance of upkeep differs, I put together quick and concise countertop selection guide, listing the average per square foot pricing as well as pros and cons of some of the most popular types of countertops in the interior design market today.  It is important to know all of the facts before you make a decision, because what works well for your neighbor might not be right for you. I hope you find this countertop selection guide useful for your next countertop or interior design renovation project. And don’t forget to access your complimentary home renovation guide here

Ultra Compact

Dekton– A manmade countertop product made up of quartz, glass and porcelain held together by the physics of heat and pressure.

Price range $85- $150 per sq/ft. 

ProsDekton has high UV and ice and thawing resistance, which is great for indoor or outdoor applications. It is highly scratch resistant, stain resistant and fire and heat resistant (you can place hot pans on it with no issues). Dekton is also extremely scratch resistant as you can use as a flooring product without issue and it absorbs virtually no water.

ConsDekton is one of the newer product to the market therefore they do not have a great deal of colors and patterns to choose from.

Kitchen with stain resistant countertop, backsplash and appliances
Kitchen with dark cabinets countertop, backsplash and stainless steel appliances

Quartz

Is an engineered stone  countertop product. Quartz consists of name brands such as DuPont Zodiac, LG Viatera, Cambria, Hanstone, Silestone. This is a manmade product made up of 93% quartz stone particles mixed with resin.

Price range $75-$125 per sq/ft. 

Pros– It is very easy to care for as it requires less maintenance than natural stone. It is non-porous, stain  resistant, bacteria resistant and no sealing is required. It will not chip or crack under most circumstances.

Cons– You cannot place hot pots directly on the surface. Product seams may be noticeable with lighter colors and certain colors can discolor in direct sunlight over time.

Granite

Granite countertops are natural stone and can be polished or honed. It is made from a naturally occurring composite of quartz, mica and feldspar.

Price range $60-$100 per sq/ft. 

Pros– It is resistant to scratches and is resistant to stains if sealer applied regularly.

Cons– It needs to be treated with a sealer on a regular basis. Granite chips are difficult to repair. There are variations in colors and patterns from slab to slab.

Kitchen with wood shelves, stain resistant countertop, backsplash and appliances
Laminate Kitchen countertops with stain resistant countertop, backsplash and appliances

Laminate 

It is known by brand names such as Formica, Nevamar and Wilsonart. Laminate countertops are made up of several layers of Kraft paper covered by a resin applied with high heat and pressure, impregnated with almost infinite colors and patterns.

Price range $10-$40 per sq/ft.

Pros– It does not need any special sealers or cleaners and is stain resistant.

Cons– This product cracks, scratches and scotches quite easily.

Wood 

Made up of hardwoods like maple or oak.

Price range $45-$100 per sq/ft.

Pros– Wood is a green, sustainable option for countertops and can be sanded and resealed to renew finish.

Cons– Wood can be damaged by water and stains over time. Any scratches must be oiled and sealed to prevent further damage. Wood needs to be resealed about every six months to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Kitchen with wood countertop, backsplash
Kitchen with marble countertop, backsplash

Marble

A naturally occurring stone.

Price range $70-$150 per sq/ft.

Pros– Waterproof and heatproof.

Cons– Marble countertops incur constant maintenance. It is porous product and easily stains, scratches and chips. It may need resealing every few years. 

Metal

Stainless steel, zinc and copper.

Price range $65-$150 per sq/ft. depending on the metal.

Pros– Heat resistant and seamless.

Cons– It is noisy, and can dent.

Kitchen with metal countertops, backsplash and stainless steel appliances
kitchen with stainless steel undermount sink glass countertop, backsplash

Glass

It is recycled from beer bottles, traffic lights and windshields. The crushed glass used can either be set in an acrylic or cement and used for countertops.

Price range from $60-$160 per sq/ft.

Pros– Glass is chip resistant, scratch resistant, stain resistant, and burn resistant. It is non porous, so no sealing is require and does not fade over time.

Cons– Corners on glass countertops are weak. Acidic foods can wear away the acrylic if not wiped up quickly.

Concrete

Price range from $100-$150 per sq/ft.

Pros– Poured onsite and can be molded to unusual shapes for countertops. It is heat resistant and scratch resistant.

Cons– Concrete can crack. It is porous but can be sealed and will require regular resealing. 

Kitchen with concrete countertop, backsplash and appliances
Kitchen with farm sink, soapstone countertops, backsplash and appliances

Soapstone

Made from a gray or black stone that has a “soapy” feel.

Price range from $80-$100 per sq/ft.

Pros– Somewhat stain resistant.

Cons– It requires regular maintenance with mineral oil. Soapstone countertops can crack, chip or darken over time.

Solid surface

Known by name brands such as Avonite, Corian and Swanstone. A fusion of acrylics, polyester resins and marble dust, crafted to look like natural stone.

Price range from $40-$100 per sq/ft.

Pros– It is seamless, stain resistant and non porous. A solid surface countertop does not need to be sealed. If it happens to scratches, it can be easily sanded out.

Cons– Solid surfaces cannot withstand heat. They also stain and scratch easily. 

Kitchen with stain resistant countertop, backsplash and appliances

Now that you have discovered various pros and cons based on the different types of kitchen and bath countertops available in the interior design market, you will be better prepared to make an educated decision for your home and lifestyle as you renovate the interior of your home. And when your friends start renovating the interior of their home, you will be the expert! Which of these options would work best in your home? Access your complimentary home renovation guide here

XOXO,

Jill

 

Here are some more great kitchen and interior design articles that can also help you during your project. 

 

Prepare for a Successful Design Project

Everything You Need To Know About Kitchen Design

Discover Your Design Aesthetic

4 thoughts on “Countertop Selection Guide”

  1. Great article! I’m looking to redo my kitchen this year and it’s nice to know my options outside of granite and quartz. I like to see the pro and cons of each in one spot!

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