Planning a kitchen remodel? You have a lot of decisions ahead of you! Here’s a crucial early one: what type of countertop styles are going in your new kitchen? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a vision for what you want your new kitchen to look like. But, translating that vision into reality can be more challenging than it first seems. After all, you need to consider the practical use of your kitchen, your budget, and the value you’ll get out of the completed project.
In this article, we’ll review the 5 most popular kitchen countertop styles materials and discuss the advantages—and drawbacks—of each.
Granite countertop styles are both beautiful and durable. Available as either a prefabricated countertop or a stone slab, this countertop can handle the heat and hustle of your home’s kitchen. It can take the heat of pans, stand up knife slashes, and resists staining. With its natural stone veins, granite is a great-looking fit for many kitchen remodeling projects.
If you’ve decided to install granite countertops in Phoenix, there are a few things you should consider. First is the price: granite countertops can typically cost more, per square-foot, than other types of countertop styles in this article, such as quartz and butcher block. The other thing to think about is aesthetics. Since it’s natural stone, granite only comes in the colors and patterns found naturally. This can limit your creative options, especially compared to the next type of stone we’ll talk about: quartz.
Just like granite, quartz is a highly durable stone countertop. Here’s a key difference: quartz is manufactured, with the stone crushed and then sealed into a protective resin. This has several advantages. First, it means that quartz countertops are available in far more colors, styles, and looks than granite. Since they’re manufactured, quartz countertops can have subtle patterns just not found in nature. That protective resin coating also helps protect the countertop from damage. Quartz never needs to be resealed and is highly protected against stains.
If you’re thinking about getting quartz countertops, there are some minor drawbacks to consider first. Unlike granite, quartz is not heat-resistant: you can’t put hot pans on it right out of the oven without potentially damaging the surface. Quartz also has a finished quality to it that may not appeal to homeowners interested in the natural look and feel of stone. For those remodelers, granite’s probably the better bet.
These solid wood countertop styles look amazing in any kitchen. They’re a particularly good fit in farmhouse-style kitchens, or any kitchen looking for a vintage flair. Butcher block brings warmth to any space. They’re also relatively affordable: installing butcher block, you’ll spend about half of what you would otherwise on quartz or granite.
Unfortunately, these countertops may not be cut out for full-time use in the kitchen. Contrary to its name, butcher block is vulnerable to scratching, dents, stains, and burns—just like you’d expect wood to be. To protect it, homeowners need to regularly reseal it, and may need to even repair it. If you add butcher block to your kitchen, you’re going to need to baby it a bit. For this reason, we generally advise that homeowners add it as an accent piece—perhaps using it for the kitchen island—and install a stone countertop throughout the rest of the kitchen.
Stainless Steel & Marble
Here are two other popular countertop styles options:
- Stainless steel resists stains and can hold hot pans. It’s perfect for contemporary kitchens, and may look great paired with your stainless steel appliances. However, it’s relatively expensive and can scratch and dent easily. As you might expect, stainless steel is also cold to the touch—it’s not a perfect fit for kitchens looking for warmth and character.
- Marble countertops are just stunning. There’s a reason why this stone has been used to create works of art. However, in a kitchen, marble has some issues. Compared to granite and quartz, it’s a relatively delicate stone that stains easily. It’s also one of the more costly countertop options. Just like butcher block, marble might work better as an accent piece than as your primary countertop choice.
Plan your kitchen remodel with a professional
As you now know, you have options when it comes to remodeling your kitchen. This isn’t even the half of it: you’ll also need to find the right cabinets to match your countertop styles, and then make decisions on appliances, backsplash, lighting, flooring, and more. It’s a lot to juggle, which is why you should strongly consider working with a design professional if you aren’t already. A remodeling contractor or home designer can help you find the right materials for your project and advise you on what works together.