As the heart of the home, a kitchen is a bustling place, and your kitchen countertops will most certainly take a beating some days. Between cooking, eating, and entertaining, kitchen countertops must be able to withstand hazards from spills, cuts, heat, scratches, impact, and more. Here is a list of some of the most durable kitchen countertop materials on the market today, as well as their pros and cons:
Quartz, or engineered stone, is an ingenious product that has won homeowners over during the past two decades. It’s made from a mix of natural ground quartz and polymer resins. The result is a countertop superhero – extremely durable and very low maintenance.
Pros: Quartz is non-porous, so it resists staining much better than other kitchen countertop materials and does not require regular sealing like natural stone materials. Quartz is extremely hard, so it stands up to cuts, scratches, chips, and cracks quite well.
Cons: Quartz isn’t as heat-resistant as granite – the resins in the mix can burn if the temperature gets too high, causing permanent discoloration. Additionally, quartz isn’t as suitable for outdoor countertops because the sun’s rays can break down the resin in the countertop, causing it to warp and fade.
Granite is a natural stone made of quartz, feldspar, and mica, mined from around the world. Every slab is nature-made, resulting in unique and elegant patterns, veins, and colors found in no other material. Granite is also extremely tough.
Pros: Granite countertops are extremely heat resistant, so brief encounters with a hot pan won’t hurt the material. However, after repeated or lengthy exposure, excessive heat can weaken sealants. Granite countertops will also stand up to slicing and dicing without scratching.
Cons: Because of its crystalline structure, granite can chip if subjected to extremely hard objects, particularly at the edges of the countertop.
Crushed (Recycled glass)
Recycled glass is a relatively new and interesting kitchen countertop material that appeals to homeowners interested in an eco-friendly yet durable solution. Recycled glass countertops are made up of commercial and industrial recycled glass held together with a cement or resin binder.
Pros: Recycled glass countertops are unique, beautiful, and keep old glass out of landfills. If you choose a resin-based recycled glass, you won’t have to seal it, and it will be quite resistant to staining. Additionally, recycled glass countertops don’t chip or burn easily.
Cons: If you choose a cement-based recycled glass countertop, you must seal it regularly.
Laminate kitchen countertops are made from multiple layers of resin-soaked paper, applied by rollers, and set in a drying oven for strength and thickness. The decorative pattern of the countertop is made from a high-grade print paper with a protective overlay.
Pros: Laminate kitchen countertops can mimic the look of more expensive countertop materials but at a fraction of the price. They are easy to install for do-it-yourselfers.
Cons: Laminate kitchen countertops need to be protected from burns and scratches using trivets and cutting boards.
Finding the best kitchen countertop for you
Regardless of what countertop material you choose, proper maintenance is essential for keeping your countertops looking beautiful for years to come. You should read all manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cleaning and maintenance of your kitchen countertops, and do not put anything on your countertops that might cause you to void the warranty.
If you'd like see kitchen countertop options in person, feel free to come by a Kitchen & Bath Center showroom. We have dedicated designers that can show you all the options and figure out what works best for you.DREAM IT. DESIGN IT. LIVE IT. | Kitchen & Bath Center