Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Selecting the perfect kitchen countertop can seem like a pretty complicated task. There’s a huge variety options available to you, including stained concrete, natural stone, acrylic or laminate, and classic wood. Between all the materials available to you, there’s a seemingly endless amount of available patterns, colors, and designs to choose from.
No one countertop will satisfy everyone, and there are several factors to consider before making a decision. Divine Home Remodeling is here to help you find the perfect countertop to satisfy your needs at the right price.
Natural Stone is probably the most common modern countertop material, and can be made of a variety of stones including granite, soapstone, and slate. Each stone has its own benefits and limitations. Granite is the most popular, due to its wide variety of colors and finish types. Granite is treated with a sealer that makes it stain resistant for around 10 years, making it a durable option as long as you use proper stone cleaners for maintenance. On the downside, granite’s high quality also makes it one of the most expensive choices, costing anywhere from $100 to over $300 per square foot.
Soapstone and slate have less colors available, but can be fabricated into sinks that match the countertop design. Because it’s porous, needs to be sealed in order to reduce staining. Slate, however, is nearly maintenance-free, and steel wool can be used to buff out any minor scratches. Soapstone is priced $100 to $150 per square foot, and slate can cost around $150 to $200 per square foot.
Wood is a more traditional countertop material, but has lost popularity due to the increased use of stone or acrylic. The natural beauty of wood can’t be beat, but a higher need for maintenance makes it a less appealing choice for some homeowners. However, wood is the only countertop material recommended for slicing, cutting, and chopping, making it an ideal work area for certain kitchen occasions. Prices of wood countertops vary depending what type of wood you use, but it will cost around $100 to $250 per square foot on average.
Solid surface counters are made of 100% polyester, 100% acrylic, or any combination of poly and acrylic. Common types of solid-surface materials include Corian, Staron, and Wilsonart. The benefits of using a solid surface counter is that they’re highly resistant to stains and scratches, as well as easy to repair and renew. This is one of the most diverse countertop materials available, coming in hundreds of colors and patterns. Some criticize solid-surface materials as imitation stone, but their durability combined with their variety of design options make it one of the most popular countertop materials.
Quartz Composite (also known as engineered stone) is another solid surfacing material that’s composed of around 90% quartz and 10% acrylic or epoxy. Quartz composite is much harder than other solid surface counters, and has much more depth and radiance. The high quality of quartz composites makes it slightly more expensive than solid surface countertops, but both are comparable to high-end granite and will run you between $200 and $350 per square foot.
Porcelain and ceramic tile were once popular countertop options, but that popularity has decreased due to the increased popularity of more low maintenance and seamless materials. Tile, like wood, still has its uses despite needing more maintenance. Tile is a great option for designing stylish backsplashes, islands, eat-at counters or wet bars. However, you need to make sure to use tiles rated for counters or floors, as wall tiles are more thin and will crack easily.
Tile has a diverse price range, making it an affordable option for many homeowners. The average cost is about $5 to $10 per square foot, with pro installation costing from $30 to $50 per square foot.
Plastic laminate, often referred to as formica, is a durable material that can survive even the toughest kitchens. It’s available in hundreds of colors and dozens of patterns, but make sure to only use matte or fine-matte finishes for countertops. Two basic types of laminates include 1/16-inch general purpose, which should be used for your countertops, and 1/32-inch vertical which should only be used for backsplashes, cabinet doors, and drawer faces. The cost of plastic laminate ranges from $2 to $3 per square foot, while custom-built counters will be around $20 to $50 per square foot.
Concrete counters are becoming increasingly popular due to the high quality of the casts and their resemblance to natural stone. Pre-cast counters are very flat and smooth, but they also need several weeks of curing time to be sealed. Adding pigments to the concrete during mixing allows you to create a wide variety of colors, and once cured, the slabs are stain resistance due to the sealing. But cracking is always a concern with concrete, so these countertops are reinforced by materials such as fiberglass, wire mesh, or stainless steel fibers that provide extra strength. A pre-cast concrete countertop costs between $100 to $150 per square foot, which makes it a very reasonably priced option when you consider that each counter is custom made.
As you decide which counter-top works best for you, try thinking about kitchen backsplash ideas that can go well with the new design. In case you want a custom glass backslplash we will help coordinate this as part of your project.
We hope this guide to countertops educated you on the variety of materials available to you. If you feel that your kitchen counters are due for an upgrade, contact Divine Home Remodeling today for a free estimate.