- 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|
- Engineered stone is very hard and durable.
- Stain resistant and holds up to oils, acids (vinegar)
- Heat and burn resistant
- Very low maintenance and easy to keep clean.
- Available in many colors
- Brand names include:
|$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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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