Kitchen Countertop Comparison Chart

by | Mar 17, 2017 | Countertop Comparisons, Living With Stone

Countertop Comparison Chart – What Material is Best for You

Compare and contrast features of the countertop surfaces available in today’s market. With so many possibilities to choose from, it’s hard to know which options you should consider. Think about your budget, your design taste and how your family will use your kitchen before making your decision.

The chart below compares the main characteristics of the most popular countertop materials in the market today. These include granite, marble, quartzite, soapstone, porcelain, butcher block, quartz, solid surface, and laminate.

 

Price: Each surface material ranges in price, some being more dramatic than others. Read on to find out which countertops are the cheapest and which are the most expensive.

Durability: There are a few primary factors to consider when discussing the durability of a kitchen countertop: heat resistance, scratch resistance and chemical resistance. How a surface is affected by these factors will determine how long it is likely to look brand new without the need for extensive maintenance.

Easily Cleaned and Maintained? This is a simple yes or no question but a very good one to consider when selecting the right surface for your countertop. If you plan on cooking regularly in your kitchen, you will want something for which is easy to care. Some families use their kitchen as more of a gathering place than a work surface, in which case, the answer to this question might not be as important.

Construction: What is your countertop made of?

Can you set a hot pan on the surface without damage? A green thumbs up means that yes, you can take your cookie sheet out of the oven and set in on your countertop without worrying about scorching or melting the surface. A red thumbs down means that you should always use a trivet or hot pad.

Should you expect scratches and regular maintenance? Softer countertop surfaces will inevitably get scratched from time to time. With some materials, regular maintenance can remove the scratches to keep your kitchen looking new. A green thumbs down means your countertop won’t easily scratch so you don’t need to worry about regular maintenance. A red thumbs up means you should expect some scratches over time.

Is it easy to find in a wide range of colors? A green thumbs up means this countertop is available from numerous manufacturers/distributors in many colors and patterns. A red thumbs down means that the surface does not come in a wide variety of colors or has limited availability.

Color Variations: The collection of photos in the infographic above highlights common colors of each countertop material to give you an idea of what your kitchen might look like with this surface installed. Please note that many variations exist within each countertop category.

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  • Granite vs. Quartzite

    Granite and quartzite have very similar performance statistics. Quartzite is generally harder and denser and the pattern is more like marble which is appealing to many homeowners.

  • Granite vs. Limestone & Travertine

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  • Granite vs. Onyx

    Onyx is not a good option for most countertops, but it does make for a beautiful backsplash. Its beauty and translucence make it appealing, but still not practical.

  • Granite vs. Slate

    Slate slabs are generally small compared to marble and granite so more seams will be necessary to complete a kitchen project. In fact, many slate quarries are limited to tile production because of the sizes of usable material that exist.

  • Granite vs. Soapstone

    Soapstone is quite soft, making it a favorite material for the DIY homeowner for use as countertops. It is also non-porous so there is no need to seal it.

  • Granite vs. Porcelain & Sintered Surface

    Two of the newest countertop surfaces on the market today, are Porcelain and Sintered Surface. New technology and trial and error have given way to material that mimics the look of natural marble.

  • Granite vs. Hardwood & Butcher Block

    Nothing beats the warmth and traditional charm of butcher block countertops. Many homeowners are choosing to use a combination of wood and granite, or another hard surface, in their kitchens.

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    Quartz countertops are a big trend in today’s market. Brands such as Caesarstone, Silestone and Zodiaq are readily available in a large variety of colors.

  • Granite vs. Solid Surface

    Common solid surface brands include Corian and Hi-Macs. They are made of acrylic and come in many colors.

  • Granite vs. Laminate

    Laminate countertops have been very popular for years because they are affordable and readily available. You may know them better by the common brand name, Formica.

  • Granite vs. Ceramic Tile

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  • Granite vs. Stainless Steel

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  • Granite vs. Concrete

    Concrete countertops were a short-lived trend in the early 2000s. They are still seen occasionally, though. They are quite porous and even with sealer, can easily be stained.

  • Granite vs. Recycled Glass

    “Recycled” is a popular term for homeowners concerned with sustainability. These countertop surfaces are made with glass chips from a variety of materials