Countertops are an important part of your kitchen, not only for the beautiful aesthetics they bring but also for the functionality they provide. When designing your new kitchen or planning your remodel, you want to make the best choice for you and your family with lifestyle and longevity in mind, but also consider the potential resale value of your upgrades just in case. While granite is among the most popular choices for kitchen countertops, would you be surprised to find it is not considered the most durable surface? Surprised? Let’s take the guesswork out of countertop selection and learn about the top five kitchen countertops.
The Top Five – Pros and Cons Included
When you are planning your new kitchen, you naturally want a beautiful, durable countertop that suits your lifestyle. Whether you enjoy entertaining family or friends or appreciate the value of family prep and cook time, one of these five countertop favs are sure to be the ideal match for your kitchen and your lifestyle.
- Granite – Granite delivers on style and beauty, and promises to complement virtually any home décor. With prices starting at $40 per square foot, granite is always a popular choice for homeowners who love the look of natural stone. Granite is durable, resistant to chipping and cracking, as well as heat. Plus, when sealer is applied annually granite is also resistant to staining. Of course, granite is not indestructible. If you drop a heavy pan on it, it will chip, and if you don’t seal it annually, it can stain. When it comes to design, the natural beauty of granite is hard to beat but those same natural distinctions can make granite difficult to match and hide seams.
- Quartz – Quartz countertops combine the best of nature and man-made materials for a level of durability that is hard to beat! Quartz is created with a mixture of crushed quartz and resin to deliver a vast array of color options and mimic the look of granite. Quartz does not require sealing, and is naturally both stain and bacteria resistant, plus it is impervious to chipping, cracking, or cutting. Quartz costs are similar to granite, though quartz doesn’t deliver the heat resistance of natural stone. Like granite, seams can be visible with quartz as well.
- Recycled Glass – Also know as crushed glass, the price of recycled glass countertops starts at $60 dollars per square foot. These countertops are exceedingly durable and an environmentally friendly choice made from recycled bottles, windshields, and traffic lights. The crushed glass can be set in acrylic or cement, both offering the promise of a completely unique look. Recycled glass countertops won’t scratch, stain, burn, or chip, plus they are naturally non-porous which means sealing isn’t needed. The drawback to crushed glass countertops is they can crack, particularly around the corners and acidic foods and beverages can damage glass set in acrylic if not wiped up quickly.
- Tile – Tile countertops promise beauty and durability with a unique measure of style. The cost of tile, starting at $5 per square foot makes it attractive to many homeowners. Tile is easy to clean, resistant to stains, heat, and cuts, plus if it does happen to crack, single cracked tiles can easily be replaced. Tile offers a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and styles to complement any home décor. Tile countertops can crack, as mentioned, and because they often present an uneven surface can be a difficult surface on which to prepare food. Tile countertops need to be sealed annually, like granite.
- Laminate – Laminate countertop prices begin at around $10 per square foot. Laminate is a man-made material combining plastic and paper which can mimic virtually any other countertop surface from granite to wood. Laminate is stain-resistant and requires no sealing, but it is susceptible to cuts, cracks, scratches, and burns, and is challenging to repair.