What is the best kitchen countertop material?
How to compare kitchen countertops
From stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, or tile to solid surface – this guide will help you compare and contrast today's most popular kitchen countertop selections.
Learn what the best kitchen countertop materials are, and get ideas for your new custom home.
Granite Countertops – How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop
Granite is a natural product harvested from quarries. Colors and patterns vary depending on the geological processes in the region where they are quarried.
Granite is a more expensive countertop option, with prices starting at about 3-4 times the cost of laminate.
Because this is a natural material, selections are not made from a color chart. Buyers can select from samples representative of a type of granite, or choose a unique individual slab from which their countertop will be carefully cut. When you design and build your new home in the Raleigh, North Carolina region with custom home builder Stanton Homes, our interior design team will help you hand-pick the exact piece of granite you choose to include in your kitchen and/or bathroom.
There are a variety of granite edge styles available. Here is a quick guide to popular granite counter top edge styles. In this style chart, you will find shapes for a beveled, bullnose, pencil round, roundover, and ogee edge.
Granite is fairly resistant to heat and scratches. If damaged, it may be possible to polish the countertop, since it is made of the same material throughout. The material must be resealed about every five years to protect it from stains, and careful attention must be paid to the natural stone seams.
Granite is the most popular kitchen countertop selection for Raleigh custom homes.
Marble Countertops – – How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop
Marble is another 100% natural product. It is not as popular as other kitchen countertop materials, because it’s lime-stone base makes it less resistant to stains from oils and acids.
Like granite, no two pieces of marble are exactly identical.
The cost of marble is a little higher than granite, although the seam and sealing processes are identical.
Quartz, or Engineered Stone – How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop
Countertops made of quartz are actually a quartz composite, made of quartz, colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy.
About 97% of the composite is quartz. The other 7% is pigments and resins.
Natural granite is only about 50% quartz, which is very high on the hardness scale – only diamonds, topaz and sapphires are harder!
Quartz is available in many more colors than natural stone and has a more even pattern.
The cost is very similar to granite. It doesn’t need to be sealed, and is more resistant to stains, scratches, and other damage. Seams are less noticeable due to the consistency of the pattern.
Stainless Steel – – How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop
Stainless steel is also becoming a popular option in higher-end homes. It is one of only a few countertop materials that can be safely bleached, and heat will not hurt it.
Brushed and/or textured finishes are available to help hide scratches. In some cases, the sink can be created with the countertop for a totally seamless one-piece installation.
All this comes with a price tag – steel countertops cost about twice as much as granite. And it can be difficult to keep off smudges!
If you love the look of stainless steel, consider using all stainless steel appliances paired with a reflective black granite countertop.
How much do kitchen countertops cost - how is price determined?
All countertop pricing is determined by square footage. Most standard countertops are 2 ¼ feet wide.
How can I find out how much my counters will cost?
To find out how much countertop you need, take the length of the countertop and multiply by the width. Then multiply the total square footage by the cost per square foot for the desired material. This will give you the starting point.
But there are additional considerations as well.
The cost of backsplashes depends on material and style, as does the edge of the countertop – which can all be customized in different materials.
Even the type of sink makes a difference in countertop cost. An under-counter mount requires a more finished edge around the sink, which raises the cost for some materials. Additional sinks or other cut outs can add to labor and installation expenses, as well.
Custom home builders like Stanton Homes can walk you through the costs when you plan your home, so you can decide what kind of countertop you want to live with. And the flexibility to create your kitchen with everything just the way you want it is one of the best reasons to use a custom builder.
The nation's top builders, such as Stanton Homes, provide design teams who can help personalize your kitchen.
Ask what we can design just for you, to get an idea of the benefits of islands and peninsulas. Shape, size, color, materials and all the things you can tuck underneath can form the personality of your kitchen.
Get ideas from these kitchen floor plan transformations, designed by Stanton Homes to fit your lifestyle.
Whether you plan to tuck an island or peninsula into an existing plan, modify it, or create something new, take a look at these real life examples and let us know what we can do for you.
Get more ideas for your kitchen here: