Top 6 kitchen countertop materials: From durability to aesthetics

The array of materials available for kitchen countertops is vast. While striking the right balance between aesthetics and durability can be challenging, here are six top contenders to guide your decision.

marble countertop
Sidekix Media

1. Laminate

Laminate countertops are a popular choice for new kitchens, primarily due to their excellent value for money. Not only are they affordable, but they also resist heat (up to 180°C) and impacts. Typically coated with a water-resistant layer, laminate is non-porous, requiring minimal maintenance. A quick wipe usually removes stains and food residues. Aesthetically, laminate offers a plethora of colors and can even mimic wood, metal, and stone.

2. Granite

Granite countertops are a kitchen favorite. While they come with a higher price tag, their durability ensures they last for decades. Granite is robust, resisting heat, impacts, and scratches. Cleaning is a breeze with just a sponge and soapy water. Available in various finishes, granite can have a polished or satin surface and can range from solid to speckled or veined.

3. Quartz

Quartz, though on the pricier side, consists of over 90% mineral quartz mixed with acrylic resin. Compared to marble, it boasts superior heat resistance (up to 200°C) and shock resistance. Non-porous, it repels liquids like water, wine, or coffee. However, extreme heat can cause cracks, potentially warping the countertop. It’s best to keep hot pots away.

4. Glass

Glass is a modern addition to kitchens, favored for its sleek design and shine. Non-porous and stain-resistant, when lacquered with a colored layer beneath, it offers a vast color palette, fitting even the most unique decors. However, glass struggles with high temperatures and thermal shocks, typically resisting up to 120°C. It’s also prone to scratches. Cleaning is straightforward with water, soap, or even a ceramic or window cleaner.

5. Stainless steel

For those who spend significant time cooking, stainless steel is a top choice. Adopted by professionals for its resistance to extreme heat and all liquids, it’s highly hygienic. However, it demands daily care due to its sensitivity to limescale and scratches. Lower-end stainless steel can also lose its shine over time. Avoid abrasive sponges when cleaning.

6. Marble

Marble is adored for its unique patterns. While it has a rough texture, pairing it with colorful furniture can elevate an ordinary kitchen. For a chic look? Combine it with gold and black accents.