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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 Hip2BeHome 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!


But enough about us. What type of kitchen surface do you have at home?

Let us know in the comments below!


Sara (sara@hip2behome.com) loves sharing decor that inspires people on a budget and finds joy in traveling to new places.  

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Comments 33

  1. Sinda

    I love posts like this!!! I have no idea what is best when buying home items like this. I would love to see one about flooring–tile, laminate, hardwood, etc. What are the pros and cons of each?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Ooh! What a great question, Sinda! We’ll be sure to add that to our list! Stay tuned!

  2. Janet

    What no Corian? I love mine.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the suggestion, Janet! We’ll have to review that one too!

    • Jen s.

      Never ever get a corian integrated sink. Mine has horrible spider vein cracks around the drain. It was installed by prior owner so there’s no warranty coverage. 😣 I would LOVE to put in quartz!

  3. Dawn

    We rebuilt our home after the flood of Harvey, and I researched this until I cried. I finally landed on a quartz counter top that looks similar to marble. We are careful with it, and in the year that we have had it, it looks brand new. I have it for kitchen counters, my 8’x4′ island, and I also have quartz for the bathroom counter tops. I only paid $5,000 for all of it, so it really isn’t too expensive when you are already remodeling. I am completely happy with quartz.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How cool! Thanks a ton for sharing your experience with us, Dawn! SO glad you are loving your quartz countertops!

  4. Nancy

    Awesome post. I’m so glad to have read this post at this time. It’s 10:15 in the morning and I have an appointment with the kitchen designer for our new home at 11:00 . They only deal with Quartz for kitchen counters/island counters and bathroom vanities so this was EXTREMELY helpful to read and perfect timing. Thanks for the review because it boosted my level of confidence in going with quartz for sure. Thanks so much!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! That’s so exciting! Super glad this post was so helpful! You are very welcome! 🙌

  5. Ivette

    We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel & went with Quartz (the one that looks like Marble w/ the gray veining). It’s absolutely gorgeous. I love that there’s no maintenance & it’s very durable.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh good! SO happy you are pleased with your quartz countertops, Ivette! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  6. Lindsay

    Love this post! Thanks! I’m in the beginning stages of thinking about a kitchen remodel and this was so helpful!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh perfect! You’re very welcome!

  7. ArmyBrat09165

    I love my vintage maybe Formica or linoleum the color is all the way through and they have held up well. Mine are old and they came with the house but they are like new. Just wipe them down and they are beautiful. Of course I have my kitchen looking vintage and I have no plans on reselling so I don’t have to worry about resell value.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s great to hear! Good to know they have been low maintenance!

  8. Nikki

    We used butcher block in our kitchen about 8 years ago…..mainly because it gave the kitchen a warm, homey, soft feel vs granite (which we do have in our bathrooms) I LOVE it!! It’s totally worth the maintenance!!!! Guests are always commenting on it when they come to our house. Yes, we do have to put conditioner on it once a month as it starts to look dry but it’s on the “chore list” for my teen girls. I keep a squirt bottle of vinegar cleaner close at hand to keep it sanitized regularly.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How neat! I do love the look of the butcher block. Thanks for sharing with us, Nikki!

  9. Lucy

    I agree quartz is the way to go. They are easy to clean and I can cut and prep on them without having to worry about scratching or staining.

  10. Debbie in PA

    While not the popular option, i plan to go with Formica when we remodel. My kitchen has formica which was installed in 1979…yes there are some snafu’s on it and it’s actually started de-laminate in one area, but hey, its 40 years old! I am not into modern at all, and love retro, and there are some patterns that fit right into my vibe. Don’t care about resell value, as i will be here for a while I hope, and whoever buys this house I am sure will want to do their own thing.

    • Lana

      We did laminates 3 years ago and they are a dark slate pattern. I still love them and they only cost $1600 for my huge kitchen. They still look as good as they day they were installed. New laminates are very durable.

  11. Bunny

    Great post Hip2Save team. Thanks for the information!

    I volunteer in an industrial kitchen and all the counters are stainless steel. They are quite scratched up from heavy usage but super durable & so easy to clean. Not sure it would be practical for a residential kitchen, but would be nice for an outdoor area.

    • Liza (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the helpful tip Bunny!

    • HQB

      The house I grew up in has stainless steel countertops, as does my brother-in-law’s house (he chose them when he remodeled), and I have an island with a stainless steel top – they are wonderful in a residential setting! I love the way they look with wooden cabinets, and they are zero-maintenance. If I ever remodel I am definitely going for stainless steel.

  12. crystal stearns

    I did lots of research 10 years ago when we did a whole house remodel. I did granite on my 4ftx7ft island. One solid slab and very costly. But it like a good man, I plan to keep it for a very long time. I placed quartz on my counter/cooking area and bar. It costly just as much as solid one piece of granite. 10 years ago the quartz selection was not what it is today. Love them both and would recommend them. Costly but low maintance. I have stainless steel backsplash and would not want them as a counter top.

  13. Tamara

    We are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen. I was so torn on what to use for countertops. We ended up deciding on the white and grey marbling quartz on the countertops and a black granite on my center island. We are currently waiting on the countertops to be created/cut. Get back to me in a few years and I can compare the 2 for you. Great article!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the feedback, Tamara! I love your countertop choices!

  14. Donna

    I am looking into replacing our countertop soon. One option I do not see hear and would love feedback on is EPOXY!

  15. Lana

    We recently had our house appraised and the appraiser said that granite counters do not add one cent of value to your home. She congratulated us on our choice of laminates since we were just getting the house ready to sell.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing that with us, Lana!

  16. Denise

    I ended up with quartzite. I wasn’t happy with the look of quartz–looked so blah and flat–compared to real stone. Marble was so expensive. Quartzite was a good in-between of natural stone with life and depth in it. Mine is white with grey marbling. Many color options. Just be sure to seal it very well…very well. Sitting oil can leave a mark. I had to learn this the hard way because my installer was, let’s say lazy, and didn’t bother to tell me this.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the review and helpful tip, Denise! Good to know!

  17. Julie

    Formica and linoleum here too! I don’t mind it, but it’s been a fight to keep my husband and kids from ‘Scrubbing’ the Formica and making dull spots after they take off the finish. The Linoleum wears like iron, I wish the pattern I have wasn’t so 1980!

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