Five Great Kitchen Countertop Materials

With all the choices for countertop material, which one is right for you?

If you have ever walked into a kitchen and been instantly pleased with the overall appearance of the space, it has a lot more to do with the countertops and cabinetry than you might realize.


Soapstone countertop


While a nicely decorated kitchen, and one in a palette that you find appealing is always going to grab your attention, you also tend to notice the details relating to the use of that space. For instance, if your aesthetic style leans more towards the country kitchen look or the trendier cottage styles, you may find pale palettes, bead board panels, and unique drawer pulls appealing. What about the countertops? It is likely that you would appreciate a heavier wooden countertop or even a butcher block surface because it is so synonymous with this country cottage charm.


We'll consider five great kitchen countertop materials that help to forward your design goals, provide excellent function and performance, and really set the overall tone of the space. Many homeowners remain unaware of the significance of the countertop, and believe that it is the durability or stain-resistance that is more important than the color, texture, or general feel the material creates.


The Overabundance of Choices

If you begin looking around the Internet to uncover the basic or most common options in countertops, you are quickly overwhelmed. There are, quite literally, dozens upon dozens of materials, styles and designs. This is why you will want to begin with a very clear idea of your overall palette. After all, if you are going for a neutral space with natural elements, choosing the wrong material can upset all of your plans.


Modern small kitchen interior with natural stone countertop


The expert advice is to consider the color, the type of activities you will perform on that counter, the budget, and the general appeal it has to your particular taste. Working with designers is great, and can help you achieve things you could never have done on your own, but you still have your personal tastes, and it is important to consider this when looking at countertops. 

To facilitate the decision making process, just consider these top options:

1. Natural stone - this can include slate, soapstone and the ever popular granite materials. Granite is a fairly common option that can be customized to your needs and which comes in a dizzying array of hues and colors. Nearly seamless, it is impervious to most issues and will last for decades without any special care. Other stone materials are less prevalent or diverse, but can give you a low maintenance and relatively natural look that works well in many kitchen styles.


White Cabinets with Granite Countertop


2. Wood - in line with the natural appeal of stone, wood countertops are a classic in even modern kitchens, but they do need a bit of upkeep and maintenance. They can have marble or tile features for activities like pastry rolling, and a wood countertop is often the top choice for those who do a lot of slicing and chopping.


Wooden countertop


3. Tile - ceramic tile is gorgeous and highly versatile. It can demand a bit more maintenance, and is a perfect option for the backsplash rather than the counter itself. It can be easily broken, so is not good for a workspace, but if you have an island or dining area, the tile can create a truly beautiful space in the kitchen.


Tile backsplash


4. Laminate - many of us know it as Formica, but that is simply a popular brand of laminate. This is a long-lasting material that can hold up to years of stress and strain. It can be made to emulate more costly costlier materials, and is a top choice in kitchen makeovers.


New Home Kitchen


5. Solid surface - more costly costlier than laminate, this includes the famous Corian products among others. Incredibly long wearing, resistant to damage, and aesthetically appealing, they are usually seamless and available in hundreds of colors and designs. You can emulate stone easily and enjoy years of service.


Kitchen Home Improvement Project


Choosing kitchen countertops is the perfect way to solidify the overall design of the space. Choose one of these five materials and you will be able to count on them to last for years, and all while retaining good looks and style.

Images used with permission, courtesy of and

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