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Countertop Buying Guide

With all the materials, styles and colors available in today’s market, choosing the right type of kitchen countertop of bathroom vanity can be confusing. It is important to take into account your personal style and taste, the decor of your space, and the overall look that you want to achieve.

Lexmar USA is committed to providing you with the ultimate kitchen and bathroom solution that meets your needs as well as your budget. Our goal is to not only meet your expectations, but exceed them! To help you along with your decision, we’ve created a Countertop Buying Guide that will give you information on the types of countertops available as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

We believe strongly that our Lexmar Solid Surface Countertops and Engineered Stone and Quartz Countertops will provide you with the ultimate in value and longevity – but see how the pros and cons of all countertop materials measure up – and then call us!

Material AdvantagesDisadvantages Average Costs
Laminate Countertops
  • Laminate is proven and has been used in kitchens for years.
  • It is considered durable and very economical.
  • Available in tons of colors and textures.
  • Laminate is easy to maintain

 
  • If you get a sizable scratch, cut or chip it can be difficult to repair.
  • Seams show in most installations.
  • Although the overall laminate is inexpensive the finishing and front edge of the counter can be more expensive than expected.
$30 to $40 per square foot
Engineered Quartz and Stone Countertops
  •  Expensive
$60 to $75 per square foot
Solid Surface Countertops
  • Extremely flexible in terms of color, shape and sizing
  • Durable and pretty easy to maintain – any shallow scratches can be buffed out
  • Nonporous so it doesn’t absorb foods or other materials and it is stain-resistant
  • Available in almost any color – which is solid throughout, pattern and finish, including a natural stone look
  • Seams can be easily hidden
  • Brand names include:
  • Not a natural material
  • Susceptible to heat, scratching, cutting and burning
  • Can be moderately expensive.
$50 to $75 per square foot installed
Granite Countertops
  • Natural and offers a number of attractive color choices.
  • Very hard and durable
  • Resistant to stains, scratches, color fading and heat
  • A favorite of homeowners and builders
  • Can last literally for the life of the house
  • New sealing materials require fewer applications so they need less maintenance than they used to.
  • Considered expensive but the costs are dropping because of supply and demand
  • Requires sealing at a semi-regular basis although new sealing materials have lessened the need
  • Granite has been known to crack if it isn’t installed properly
  • Can be prone to staining – even with the sealing
$50 to $200 per square foot
Soapstone Countertops
  • Typically used as science workbenches because of its hardness and durability.
  • Natural stone
  • Because of the mineral deposits, its considered “softer” than marble
  • Resistant to heat, stains and etching
  • Needs maintenance and mineral oil to maintain the texture of the stone
  • Softer than marble and can chip
  • Comes in smaller slabs so it needs more joints during installation although the seams can be made invisible.
$50 and $150 per square foot
Concrete Countertops
  • Extremely hard and durable and therefore scratch and heat resistant
  • Chosen for its industrial and different “look” although it can be color tinted
  • New treatments have eliminated cracking and porosity
  • Cost can be considered high if you need custom work.
  • Is not naturally porous or crack resistant to look for appropriate treatment
$75 to $200 per square foot (includes professional installation – can be done DIY)
Ceramic Tile Countertops
  • Hard and Durable
  • Resistant to heat, scratching and staining
  • Wide price range because of the varied choices available
  • Many colors, textures and designs
  • The counter can be uneven
  • The tiles can chip and crack easily
  • Cleaning can be harder because the grout can become stained
  • Can get pricey depending on the tiles you choose
$15 and $100 per square foot, depending on type of tile.
Wood or Butcher Block Countertops
  • Warm and homey look
  • Easy to clean
  • Resistant to wear and tear with sealing
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Can be sanded and resealed as needed.
  • Susceptible to water and stains
  • Needs to be maintained with oiling and sealing.
$40 to $65 per square foot installed.
Stainless Steel Countertops
  • Professional and modern look
  • Very easy to keep clean
  • Heat and burn proof
  • Stainless steel is expensive to fabricate.
  • Considered noisy and somewhat cold.
  • May dent
  • You’ll need a cutting board.
$80 to $110 per square foot installed.
Marble Countertops
  • Waterproof
  • Will not be heat damaged
  • Attractive and natural color palette
  • Not usually recommended for kitchens because its considered soft Needs regular sealing and maintenance
  • Can be damaged by oil, is susceptible to rust and can be damaged by household acids
  • Considered somewhat expensive.
Price can run about $75 per square foot installed

View our Gallery of Projects.

For more information on our superior line of Granite, Quartz & Solid Surface Countertops, Countertop Remnants, Sinks, or Shower Surrounds and Pans, contact Lexmar USA today or talk to your home contractor about using a Lexmar product in your home renovation.