While it may seem like countertop material (or the choice of wood for that matter) is all about aesthetics, selecting the right one for your kitchen can profoundly impact the quality of your cooking and cleaning experience.
Some materials can even affect the performance of your appliances. For example, if your microwave is on a countertop that chips easily or scratches when exposed to certain chemicals, the functionality of your microwave could suffer as a result.
We’ve broken down the most common countertop materials and their pros and cons. Here’s what you should know when making your decision.
Material 1: Granite
Granite is one of the most durable and beautiful materials available in the countertop market. Using recycled granite slabs and minerals, this material is exceptionally sturdy and can withstand high heat and heavy use. It’s also rare to find a kitchen with granite counters that don’t have a variety of stains, cracks, chips, and gouges.
With time, this material will begin to dull, so it’s best to keep the surface clean regularly. Spills and grease stains should be wiped up immediately to avoid staining.
Granite is highly porous, so it’s not recommended for use in high-humid environments. It also may be more prone to damage from heat and scratches than other countertop materials.
- Looks stunning
- Highly durable
- Can stain
- Can be damaged by heat
Material 2: Quartz
Quartz is a popular countertop material due to its high heat resistance, meaning that temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit can be safely maintained on this countertop. It’s one of the most resistant materials to scratches and stains and resists most acids and chemicals.
Like granite, quartz is also a prevalent choice for high humidity kitchens, but its heat resistance allows it to be used in kitchens with stoves and toasters. While it’s also resistant to scratches from knives and other objects, it can chip or break when exposed to excessive heat.
- Highly resistant to scratches
- High heat resistance (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Very durable
- Can chip or break when exposed to excessive heat
Material 3: Soapstone
Soapstone is one of the most naturally beautiful options for countertops. It’s naturally resistant to heat, making it an excellent choice for high-use kitchens. It also has a unique composition of minerals, meaning that with regular cleaning, you will never develop any food stains or discoloration.
Soapstone is a perfect choice for kitchens with pets or children, as it’s considered a non-porous surface that is difficult to scratch or chip. However, it is one of the most vulnerable surfaces to cracking and splintering, and some people develop allergic reactions to it.
- Resistant to heat and food stains
- No discoloration
- Very expensive
- Causes allergies in some people
Material 4: Quartzite
Quartzite is another form of quartz with very high heat resistance, making it a popular choice for kitchens with stoves and ovens. The main difference between quartz and quartzite is their hardness. Quartz is softer than quartzite, but scratches and dents can damage the latter.
Like quartz, quartzite is also resistant to stains and highly resistant to heat, wind, and water. However, this material can chip around the edges if it’s not sealed correctly.
- Extremely resistant to heat and water
- No discoloration
- Can chip if not properly sealed
When choosing the right kitchen countertop, you should consider the material you’re comfortable with, the finish and style of your kitchen, and the durability most vital to you. For example, if you’re planning on getting a gas stove, it’s best to choose a countertop material that is resistant to heat, as this will extend the life of your countertop.
Whatever material you choose, it is always best to purchase an extended warranty for peace of mind.
Duke Homes has been a trusted custom home builder in Greenwood, Indiana, for over 30 years. Our team takes pride in creating unique environments for our clients to call home. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just making some adjustments, we will ensure you’re happy with the results.