Types of Countertop Materials

Kitchen Countertops > Types of Countertop Materials

If you are planning kitchen remodeling or refurbishing your bathroom, one of the most important areas to evaluate thoroughly are the countertops. These are subjected to more abuse than others and should compatible with level of use and the overall design of the room. The countertop can make or break the style of the room and should be studied well before making a decision.

Find out which countertop will best suit your kitchen or bath as we provide valuable information that can make the choice much easier for you.

1.- Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are the newest type of material to come out in the industry. Unlike granite, these are engineered with 93% quartz crystals which make it almost twice as hard as granite. Many consider quartz counters far more superior than granite since it is non-porous and appears more uniform and seamless when installed. Since it is man-made, the designs shown in the showroom will be identical to what is delivered. If cared for well, a quartz countertop can virtually last a lifetime. Top brands in the market are Silestone, Cambria, and Zodiaq.

2.- Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are considered the most popular among the high-end counters as it has been around for quite a while. It is considered one of the hardest natural stones and provides any kitchen or bath with luxury and elegance unlike any other. It is durable and resilient if periodically maintained with sealant. However, once the seal has worn off and it has been neglected, it can absorb moisture and stains. Since it is made from natural stone, expect to see some variance and inconsistencies between the samples and the actual counters. It would be advisable to check the actual inventory if you are meticulous about color and patterns.

3.- Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops are 100% man-made from acrylic, resin, fillers, color pigments, and various particles that add to the design. The major advantage of solid surface countertops over natural stone countertops is that it can be molded to matching sinks and backsplashes, making for a more coordinated and controlled design in the kitchen or bath. It also has a wider variety of palettes and designs compare to natural stones. Maintenance and repair is likewise easy since minor damages on the surface can be sanded to reveal a new surface.

Below is a comparison of various types of countertop materials to help you decide which is suitable for your home improvement or construction.

Countertop Material
* Very hard, durable, can last a lifetime
* Elegant and luxurious look & finish
* Impervious to acid, stains, water, moisture, bacteria, normal heat, w/ no need for sealing
* Easy cleaning and maintenance
* Expensive
* Installation is labor-intensive
* Very hard , durable
* With good sealant, it is resistant to water, stains, moisture, bacteria, normal heat
* Easy cleaning and care
* Expensive, but recently more a fordable because of more supply
* Requires periodic sealing
Solid Surfaces
* Wide variety of colors & designs that can perfectly match sinks or backsplashes
* Stains or scratches can be repaired easily by sanding
* Resistant to water and stains
* Vulnerable to heat & stains
* Gloss finishes easily scratched
* Ideal for areas w/ unusual shapes
* Can be color-tinted w/ various types of finish
* Sealants can make it resist moisture, stains, bacteria
* Expensive
* Vulnerable to cracking, moisture & water absorption
* Requires periodic sealing
Stainless Steel
* Ideal for contemporary, modern, and industrial kitchens
* Resistant to heat
* Seamless and can be customized
* Expensive
* Noisy and can be dented
* Vulnerable to scratches and cuts
* Gives a warm/natural look to any kitchen with a variety of colors and finishes
* Can be sanded and sealed
* Vulnerable to scratches, water, heat and stain damage
* Requires sanding and sealing regularly
Ceramic Tiles
* Inexpensive with variety of colors and designs
* Resistant to heat
* Vulnerable to cracks and chips
* Grout lines can become stained if not sealed properly
* Inexpensive with variety of colors and designs that can mimic high-end materials
* Easy to clean
* Vulnerable to cracks, chips, & abrasion which are irrepairable
* Seams are visible
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