Select the Ideal Material for Your Countertops

Countertops are a central part of your kitchen remodeling, and you may find it difficult to select just the right one for your home. However, understanding the pros and cons of some of the more popular options should make your decision a lot easier.


Granite countertops in a Gainesville VA kitchen

With its beautiful mottling and the range of natural colors and patterns that make each piece unique, this is a winner for many homeowners. It can withstand splashes, heat, knife nicks and other wear and tear. However, granite requires regular sealing to avoid stains and because it’s heavy, your cabinet boxes may not be able to support its weight if they are not very sturdy.


Nothing looks more glamorous than marble, so it’s a sure winner if you are looking for elegance. It also stays cool, so it’s great for pastry and baking stations. Unfortunately, it is very susceptible to stains, even with proper sealing, so you may need to limit it to one or two small areas. It can also chip and scratch.


Photo of clear glass counter topsIn addition to its sleek, streamlined appearance, glass also comes in endless color options and can be cut into any shape. It’s definitely one of the pricier options, but you’ll enjoy the fact that it’s easy to clean and is nonporous, which makes it stain resistant and very hygienic. It is also durable, provided you do not exert excessive pressure on it. Repair may be difficult if at all possible, so you need to be a bit more careful than you would be with other materials.


Combining quartz and binding resins, cambria provides a durable, safe and attractive option for your countertop. It is easy to maintain, sanitary, resistant to scratches and scorch and stain-proof. Although it is considered high-end, its resilient material will help you eliminate the costs of maintenance or repair.


This one offers subtle beauty – a cooler option to granite or marble. Its natural softness makes it fit very well with older homes, and most people like that fact that it darkens with time, having started out as light to medium gray. However, it needs some effort to maintain, requiring regular polishing, and it can also crack over time. It is also more vulnerable to knife scratches and nicks when compared to other stone types, and its natural roughness may spell danger for your china or scuff glassware.


You may think it’s just for floors, but concrete actually adds interest to an otherwise traditional space. It is extremely versatile and can be cast in any shape and tinted to whatever shade you want. It stands up well to heavy use, although it may fall short of other surfaces when it comes to heat resistance. Concrete is porous, so it may stain if not sealed frequently, and with time, small cracks could develop. It is also heavy, so it will require strong support underneath.


Solid surfacing was first sold under the brand name Corian, which is how the name Corian stuck. However, there are many manufacturers making it today. It is nonporous and therefore requires minimal maintenance – in other words, no sealing or special cleaning. It is susceptible to scratches and burns, but these can easily be sanded out. It comes in numerous colors and pattern options, and seamless installation eliminates the problem of cracks that trap dirt and debris.


A warm natural material, wood is an excellent chopping surface and is easy on china and glasswear. It is also resistant to moderate heat and can be cleaned with little effort. However, it is important to limit contact with moisture as it could blacken. It could also contract in dry conditions, scratch or scorch, and even get rust stains from metal kitchen equipment.

Butcher Block

A butcher block island in a Gaineville Virginia kitchenOffering the ultimate classic appeal, butcher block always looks fresh, which makes it great for traditional and cottage-style kitchens. It has a warm natural appearance and comes in varied wood tones. As the name suggests, it will develop a shopworn look over time. Although it is prone to scratches, you can easily sand them down. However, the fact that it’s made of wood means it swells and contracts with exposure to moisture. It also harbors bacteria, so you will need to disinfect it regularly, in addition to oiling to fill in the scratches and protect the surface.


This is one of your more affordable countertop materials that comes with the added benefits of being low maintenance, easy to clean and light. Although it has not always had a reputation for being stylish, this is changing as modern designs mimic stone and other pricier surfaces. On the flip side, it is prone to scratching, burns and sometimes staining, and with time, the layers could peel. Its raw particle board core makes it unsuitable for undermount sinks, and it’s difficult to repair in case of damage.

Countertops are an important part of a home remodeling project. When deciding on a Prince William County, Virginia contractor you should make sure they have experience with recommending the right tops for the renovation job. Contact Gainesville Home Pros for a free estimate.