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Pros & Cons of Popular Kitchen Countertops – Which One is the Best?

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huge white kitchen with copper range hood and wood and iron barstools lined up at island counter

In the market for new countertops?

Choosing new kitchen countertops or updating the ones you already have is a big investment! I’m laying out all the pros and cons of each popular countertop material so you can see which one will best suit your lifestyle and budget. Plus, I’m sharing our team’s favorite pick!


1. Granite countertops

cream colored kitchen cabinets stainless steel range with black knobs and granite stone counters

Pros:

  • Thousands of options to choose from
  • Adds value to your home for resale
  • Easy maintenance when sealed properly
  • Very strong
  • Durability can stand up to kitchen messes
  • Heat resistance
  • Every natural slab is unique

Cons:

  • Expensive to install compared to other options on the market
  • Somewhat porous, so sealing is required to maintain its beauty
  • Will dull your sharp knives if cutting on the surface
  • Can break or chip

white kitchen cabinets with temporary plywood countertops and stainless steel appliances

Michelle’s granite disaster 😱:

“Our granite was 13 years old and was coming apart at one of the seams where there was a small crack. Well, one day I was hammering chicken and I hit the crack. UGH! It made a big hole in the granite 😞so needless to say, we’re currently living with plywood until our new counters get here.”


2. Soapstone countertops

Soapstone countertops

Pros:

  • Heat resistant
  • Non-porous
  • Soft to the touch and looks expensive
  • Can be sanded if damaged
  • Doesn’t require sealing

Cons:

  • Color can darken over time
  • Soft material that can scratch and dent easily
  • May need periodic oil treatments to maintain its beauty
  • Limited range of colors available, from whites to charcoals

3. Laminate countertops

Laminate countertop options at Lowe's

Pros:

  • Easy to maintain
  • One of the most inexpensive options
  • Thousands of color variations to choose from
  • Homeowner DIY potential

Cons:

  • Doesn’t improve resale values
  • Can scratch and chip easily
  • Can stain and burn
  • Seams are not seamless

4. Marble countertops

Marble Countertops in kitchen

Pros:

  • Beautiful depth and veining
  • Adds excellent resell value to homes
  • Waterproof and heatproof
  • Classic and timeless style
  • Bright white isn’t available with other natural stones
  • Easily accessible

Cons:

  • Porous stone can stain easily
  • Some rare types of marble can be very expensive
  • Scratches easily and would be hard to repair or fix

5. Quartz countertops

kitchen with Quartz countertops

Pros:

  • Can be formed into any shape necessary
  • Typically looks like natural stone
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to clean
  • No sealing is required

Cons:

  • Not a real stone, which some people may not appreciate
  • Very expensive
  • Extremely heavy (some cabinets may have to be reinforced prior to installation)

6. Concrete countertops

white kitchen cabinets with cement countertops with stainless steel appliances

Pros:

  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • Extremely durable
  • Adds a unique or exotic texture to your kitchen
  • Adds retail value
  • Colorizing and staining techniques are available for totally custom appearances

Cons:

  • May not appeal to potential, future homebuyers
  • Very expensive to have custom made and installed
  • Prone to cracking over time
  • Porous and susceptible to stains
  • Needs to be sealed frequently to maintain its appearance
  • Extremely heavy (some cabinets may have to be reinforced prior to installation)

7. Butcher block countertops

large butcher block island with stainless steel range red knobs white cabinets and mexican style tile floor

Pros:

  • Easy to sand if they become damaged
  • Don’t require special cleaning techniques
  • Don’t dull your kitchen knives if cutting directly on its surface
  • Can last a very long time if maintained every few years

Cons:

  • Limited color variations
  • Porous and can harbor germs
  • Needs to be properly sealed to keep sanitary
  • Susceptible to liquid stains
  • Needs to be treated with mineral oil to maintain its beauty

kitchen with white cabinets and black oval stools

Here’s what some of us at Hip2Save have to say about our favorite (or not so favorite) countertops:

Quartz vs Granite & Marble: “I love quartz countertops because there’s really no maintenance at all! The best part, quartz is non-porous so it’s resistance to staining is much better than granite and marble. You can even get the look of marble with quartz – which I love!”Collin


Quartz vs Laminate: “My rental has a cheap and horrible counter. Even when I use a good cleaner on it, it takes the clear coat off! BUT I do love the way my parents’ quartz countertop looks, and it’s obviously more durable.”Alana


Quartz vs Laminate, Tile, & Granite: “I’ve had Formica, tile counters, granite, and for sure we love QUARTZ the best! They have the stone look but seem to be totally indestructible! They won’t stain, can handle the heat, cutting. ALL OF IT! We have beige quartz, but I really LOVE the white and gray quartz that looks like marble – super dreamy counter goals!”Lina


Quartz vs Granite: “We had granite and just tore it out. Right now we’re waiting for quartz to be installed because that’s the most durable and beautiful in my opinion.”Michelle


Quartz vs Granite: I’m gunning for quartz in my remodel. Our granite chipped, and none of us even knows how it happened. We’re pretty careful.”Jamie


Quartz vs Marble & Soapstone: “I absolutely love marble and soapstone! They are both a nightmare to maintain because they’re soft & porous, but the stone is absolutely beautiful and earthy. Ugh, so hard to resist!!! That said, quartz is my fav PRACTICAL counter material.”Marley


So what’s the verdict?

 

✅ Quartz – 6/6 team votes

After sharing the responses from six of my fellow Hip2BeHome team members, it’s pretty clear to see which countertop our team prefers in their kitchens! We’ve tried them all, and we’re squarely Team Quartz!


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