Choosing a kitchen counter is an important part of your kitchen design. It is important to choose something that you like, can handle the stress of your household’s activity and that you can afford.
Here is a list of popular kitchen counter top materials, their strengths, weakness and pricing.
Used in laboratories for its resistance to stains, chemicals and bacteria, soapstone is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. At $80 to $100 per square foot installed, it might be on the more expensive side, but it can be a lifetime investment.
This natural stone has plenty of character, with unique grains, colors and customizable finishes. When properly sealed, it’s one of the most durable options out there. While it can cost as low as $50 per square foot installed, prices can go up quickly with more exotic slabs and difficult installations.
A copper countertop is surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. However, it’s not for perfectionists — since it’s a “living” surface, it reacts to different substances, creating a blend of matte reds, browns and greens. But for those who love the look, the minimum $100-per-square-foot cost is worth it.
Engineered Quartz Kitchen Counters
Engineered quartz comes in just about every shade imaginable. This engineered product combines ground quartz, resin and pigments for a tough, nonporous material. Recommended for Green homes because of the natural material used in manufacturing. Get ready to pay up, though, since costs range from $95 to $105 per square foot installed.
Very affordable counter choice (starting at $30 per square foot installed), ceramic or stone tile is incredibly durable, and one of the few DIY countertop options. Maintenance can be difficult, but choosing a durable and dark grout can make things easier.
Recycled Paper-Based Kitchen Counters
Recycled paper sounds like the worst material for a kitchen countertop, but this ecofriendly choice is quite durable. It has the look and feel of soapstone and at $40 to $80 per square foot installed, it’s a fraction of the cost.
Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters
Plastic laminate still has a serious fan base. The wide range of customizable edges and finishes means it can work in any design. It is $8 to $20 per square foot installed. However, it’s not very durable countertops, so it is not recommended for heavy-duty cooks
Marble has an unrivaled, classic look that always seems to be in style. Marble is known more for the color it develops with us. It’s a softer stone than granite, and can scratch and stain easily; the cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot installed.
Pigments, stains and dyes can create concrete counters with color and visual texture. With the right sealer, a concrete counter can be well worth its cost — at least $100 to $150 per square foot installed.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters
Professional chefs love stainless steel because it’s non-staining, heat resistant and easy to clean. A price tag of $80 to $90 per square foot installed means it’s more affordable than most stone counters, too.
Solid-Surface Kitchen Counters
Is it stone, wood or plastic? This miracle material has the ability to emulate just about any look without the same damage risk or maintenance. Prices range from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer.
A high-quality wood with the right kind of sealer can make for a beautiful, warm and long-lasting countertop. The price varies substantially depending on the type of wood you choose, but butcher block counters tend to range from $30 to $85 per square foot, for materials only.