Non-porous - Corian has a solid surface that is non-absorbent and highly resistant to stains. What it is: Butcher block countertops are made up of glued strips of hardwood — often maple, but sometimes ash, teak, oak, or even bamboo. Cons: Recycled paper counters require occasional sealing and cannot tolerate abrasive cleaners. What it is: Soapstone is a natural stone which takes its name from the soft, almost soapy feel of its surface. Cons: Because it is very porous, marble must be sealed as often as once a year, and even then, it will likely still stain when in contact with very acidic substances. What it is: Originally invented by DuPont in the 1960s and marketed under the brand name Corian, solid surface countertops are made from acrylic and polyester blends. Unlike soapstone, however, slate is non-porous and requires no maintenance. If installed properly, they will be smooth and very durable. Is stainless the right fit for you? Granite is a natural stone countertop material which has been highly prized in the kitchen for many years. Wood countertops come in a variety of types of wood – from black walnut to bamboo – but a recent, eco-friendly trend is to use reclaimed wood: wood that’s been salvaged from a prior use, like in a house, barn, or other structure. And as mentioned above, tile is easily cracked by dropping objects. Not to be confused with countertops labeled “quartz” – which are a kind of manmade composite, consisting of about 90% quartz and 10% resin – quartzite is a relatively new solid-stone alternative to granite or engineered quartz countertops. What it costs: Prices vary widely from supplier to supplier. Cons: Bleach and chloride can easily damage stainless steel. Periodic waxing or oiling will keep it in the best condition but isn’t strictly necessary. Like other hard surface countertop materials, quartz is non-porous so it resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. Today, with over a half century of product, reinforced acrylic composite countertops are available in a stunning variety to suit any home décor. What it costs: Between $30 and $50 per square foot installed. Pros: Concrete countertops are heat and scratch resistant. A middle finish (e.g., #4) would be ideal for looking shiny without advertising imperfections. It is expensive when compared to other common countertop materials. When DuPont let their patent expire in the 1990s, a wave of different solid surface materials entered the market, including Hi-Macs, Staron, Hanex, Wilsonart, and Durat, amongst others. The average cost for a Countertop Installation Professional is $1610. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant. Pros: Quartz has a wider variety of colors available than natural stone, since pigments can be added to the resin. However, some homeowners will prefer the more natural look of granite, marble, slate or wood for their home. These brands mostly use the same recipe – DuPont’s original – but differ in the colors they offer. Pros: The neutral colors of quartzite look nice against almost any kitchen color scheme. It also is durable, resisting chips and scratches, and stands up well to heat. Cons: Depending on the type of quartzite, periodic sealing must be done (as with any stone surface) to avoid staining. What it is: Countertops made from concrete – generally with pigment added to make them look less like a sidewalk! Here is a look at their strengths and … Cons: Quartz can be scratched, and it melts under temperatures higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which means a hot pad must be used. There are three basic styles of butcher block: end grain, edge grain, or face grain. By contrast, face grain consists of boards laid flat, which is less suitable for a heavily used kitchen countertop because it is easily susceptible to dents and cuts from chopping. Unlike other surfaces, nicks and scratches can be repaired through sanding. Plus, it’s completely recyclable! What it costs: About $60 to $70 per square foot installed. They are also heat-resistant, but only to 350 degrees. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. It is naturally gray in color (usually darker gray, although lighter varieties exist) with veins of lighter color running through it. Granite Countertop Comparison Guide Concrete Countertops Pros and Cons 8 Surprising Things About Quartz (Engineered Stone) Countertops This means you can safely set that hot pan down without worrying about leaving a mark. And Corian gets bonus points for the ability to be formed into curved or flowing shapes. It takes heat better than most countertops. Corian Countertops Pros Greater selection - Because Corian is man-made, it is available in a wider variety of styles and colors than granite, which is a natural stone. CHALK PAINT PROS: Chalk paint dries quickly. They are then sealed to make them non-porous and heat/stain resistant. It is also very vulnerable to scratching. And although tiles tend to get cracked or chipped, they can easily be replaced individually without having to buy a new countertop. When you get written estimates, expect quartz countertop prices to be $115-$200 per square foot. It is gaining popularity as it is extremely resistant to cutting marks, but it is also the most expensive option. Cons: Reclaimed wood is scarce because its popularity is so high right now, and as a result, it is more expensive than ordinary wood countertops. Using reclaimed wood can potentially make your project LEED or FSC certified, qualifying your home for special tax benefits. Also, some colors of glass are more expensive than others. Some surfaces perform differently outdoors vs. indoors regarding durability and maintenance, so you definitely … Cons: Sealing and regular maintenance are necessary due to concrete’s natural porousness, which can lead to easy staining. It will stand up to many impacts that would damage another surface. Also, you cannot purchase solid surface countertops directly yourself, so no DIY here: you must go through a licensed dealer and have them professionally installed. They are durable, non-porous, and non-staining. The numbering system goes from 0 to 8, with 8 being the most polished finish, but also reflecting the most scuffs and fingerprints. Be aware of the few potential drawbacks and their price. Depending on the binder used, recycled glass can be very environmentally friendly – or not so much, as some binders are made with toxic chemicals. There aren’t many cons to this engineered stone. Quartzite is a naturally occurring rock that starts its life as a kind of sandstone and evolves into quartzite when subjected to heat and pressure. Non-porous also means it’s easy to keep clean and sanitary, which makes it a great choice for people who do a lot of cooking with fresh vegetables. In addition, there are many tints, stains, and methods that can make your countertop one of a kind. Also, the surface reflectiveness of a given piece of stainless steel is classified by a number indicating the amount of polish. That isn’t necessarily a weakness since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also, because they are somewhat porous, they must be sealed and waxed regularly. What it costs: Between $75 and $150 installed, depending on the gauge of steel. What it costs: Recycled glass countertops run anywhere from $50 to $100 per square foot, plus around $80 per hour for installation, which results in a cost of about $75 to $150 per square foot installed – slightly higher than typical granite or quartz. Also, because the edges of slate counters can be sharp, professionals recommend having the corners rounded off. Pros: Because granite is highly sought after and considered beautiful, the countertops will add non-depreciating value to your home. What it costs: Usually between $125 and $250 per square foot, depending on thickness and quality. What it costs: Typically, soapstone countertops run between $60 and $105 per square foot installed, depending on where you live and how thick a slab you want. Also called engineered stone countertops, quartz countertops are here to stay. Resin-based composites don’t have this maintenance requirement, but also can’t be buffed to the same high sheen. Quartz countertops are relatively new, but they’ve found a loyal following because of their many good qualities such as their attractive appearance, durability and the fact they don’t have some of the weaknesses of natural stone. What it is:Long considered a sign of luxury, marble is a natural stone created by sediment under pressure, which develops a crystalline structure that allows it to be polished. Cons: Granite is very difficult to remove, and should be considered a “forever” upgrade, because you may have to rip out the … Recycled paper countertops are typically only available in dark, matte hues, although some companies offer more vivid colors. Stainless steel worktops are made of thin sheets of stainless steel fastened to a wood or other backing. Pros: Because they are made primarily of recycled materials, they are more environmentally friendly than many naturally sourced materials. What it is: Slate is a soft, dense natural stone like its cousin, soapstone. What it costs: $85 to $200 per square foot installed, depending on the type of quartzite you choose and where you live. What it is: Becoming more popular among people seeking an eco-friendly solution to countertop materials – or people out for a unique, whimsical look in their home – recycled glass countertops consist of fragments of recycled glass held together with a binder, usually cement or resin. What it costs: About $40 to $80 installed. For many, the answer is a resounding yes based on its look, durability and sanitary benefits. It must be sealed roughly every 10 years or so to prevent staining, and it can crack if hit by a large, heavy object. In truth, granite sets the bar for comparing outdoor countertop materials but others can make good outdoor kitchen countertops as well. PROS AND CONS. Plus, it can be cleaned with a simple mixture of lemon juice and salt. Granite is a premium building material that stands out for …, A backsplash is a practical necessity and enhances beauty wherever …, Putting an attractive bevel on a countertop enhances its beauty, …, Quartz countertops are elegant, gorgeous and long-lasting, but they are …, When homeowners are considering granite countertops for their kitchen or …, Are your marble countertops looking dull, perhaps with light scratches …, Granite countertops, like other natural stone countertop materials such as, marble, sandstone …, The Benefits of Engineered Stone Countertops, The Pros and Cons of Soapstone Countertops, Pros and Cons of Granite Bathroom Countertops, Pros and Cons of Crushed Glass Countertops, How To Polish Granite & Restore That Factory Shine, How to Repair Fissures, Cracks and Chips in Countertops. Wood is naturally more sustainable than minerals like granite because wood is renewable, but reclaimed wood is a recycled renewable resource, which makes it even more environmentally sound. The manufacturing process allows a much wider range of colors than you’ll find in natural stones such as marble or granite. For a contemporary, upscale look with very low maintenance required, quartz countertops are definitely worth considering. Pros: Solid surface countertops offer a wider range of colors and looks than any other material, although none of them are particularly natural looking. They are also vulnerable to scratches and dents. They are very inexpensive compared to other countertop materials. The look of quartz countertops is fairly contemporary. Slate comes in dark, subtle colors and is naturally matte. Pros and Cons of Popular Bathroom Countertop Materials Granite Slab Counters 20 Options for Kitchen Countertops Corian Solid Surface vs. Because it is non-porous, spills wipe up easily and don’t stain. These inviting, rustic-looking countertops are rising fast in popularity, as farmhouse-inspired design is trending everywhere. They have a feel that’s soft and warm, and often compared to soapstone. Quartzite is also harder than granite, making it a little more durable. It is somewhat heat resistant (although protection should be used if you intend to leave a hot pot sitting for a while). However, they are repairable if damaged. House, Deck Cost, Plus Pros and Cons of Building a New Deck in 2021, Around $45 to $75 per square foot installed, Top 15 Kitchen Countertops Costs and Pros & Cons in 2021, Bathroom Remodel Cost in 2021: Budget, Average, & Luxury Bathroom Upgrades, Window Replacement Cost in 2021: Window Types and Pros & Cons, Top 20 Home Addition Ideas, Plus Costs and ROI Details in 2021, 6 Best Kitchen Faucet Brands and Their Costs: Best Functionality & Style, Garden Patios Costs, Plus Pros & Cons, and ROI in 2021, 2021 Stone Siding Cost, Pros & Cons: Natural Stone vs. MSV. Now that I’ve finished all of the painting, and because I’ve done it before a different way, I thought it would be really valuable to share a pros and cons list for each process—latex paint versus chalk paint. The Pros, Cons and New Creative Uses for the 4-Inch Backsplash Free … Also called engineered stone countertops, quartz countertops are here to stay. It also may have undesirable imperfections or have been treated with toxic chemicals in the past – which would be almost impossible to determine. Cons: Cement-based composites require sealing every 5 years to protect them from stains from acidic foods. Solid-Surface Material vs. There are two grades of soapstone – artistic and architectural – but only architectural soapstone is suitable for countertop use, as it is much stronger than artistic soapstone. What it is: On the other end of the warmth spectrum from stainless steel, we have the natural beauty of wood countertops. Finally, the thickness of the steel is also rated by gauge, where lower numbers indicate thicker steel, better for heavy use; 16 and 18 gauge are the most common in-home settings. What it is: Countertops made of stainless steel have been the choice of professional chefs for decades thanks to the stain- and heat-resistance of stainless steel and its overall durability. Granite Solid-Surface Material . End grain consists of small blocks arranged so that their ends are visible on the surface (see the picture above). Keep in mind, however, that those prices are competitive with other high-end countertop materials such as granite, marble, concrete and slate. They look like natural stone countertops, but these engineered quartz countertops have some additional benefits you can’t get naturally. 37 … That means you won’t be able to set a hot pan down on them unprotected, and a water ring from a glass without a coaster may become permanent. A word of caution, however – the term tends to be used somewhat loosely by manufacturers, so it is important to check with your supplier to find out if your quartzite is “hard” or “soft” quartzite, which will affect how durable the material is, and how often routine sealing must be done to care for it. This long process creates a durable material well-suited to household use. We cover the pros & cons of this budget-friendly kitchen element. Pros: Stainless steel is the most durable countertop material and the hardest. You can always be confident that you are getting your quartz countertop absolutely clean, and that’s a great benefit in both the kitchen and the bathroom. What it costs: About $60 to $100 per square foot installed. It is hard and durable, and less prone to denting or chipping than quartzite. They are also extremely low maintenance, not requiring sealants or special cleaning materials. Cons: Over time, copper will naturally oxidize (patina) – it’s a “living” surface that will change color from red to brown to green and gradually dull. It’s very non-porous when compared to other similar surfaces, which makes it extremely unlikely to stain, and therefore it doesn’t require the periodic sealing that many other natural stone countertops require. They are very tough and won’t chip easily and require only soap and water to clean. The price of a Countertop Installation Professional can vary depending on … In one test, E Coli bacteria stayed alive on stainless steel for 34 days but died after only four hours on copper. It is formed from clay and silt which has been compacted over millions of years. More seriously, wood countertops in general are not heat or stain resistant. What material are you planning to choose for your worktop this time? What it is: You probably already know! Cons: The grout between tiles can collect food and be difficult to clean, resulting in stains. Cons: Because it is naturally soft, soapstone may scratch or chip more easily than other stone materials. Cons: Butcher block requires oiling every six months to keep the wood protected. Pros: Most importantly, reclaimed wood is sustainable. The ability to mix in pigments or even materials like seashells or glass offers a wide variety of aesthetic choices. This lends a rustic or historical look to your kitchen design. What it costs: Most Butcher Block countertops cost between $40 and $65 per square foot (including installation), but prices can vary widely, depending on your location, the kind of wood you choose, the kind of finish you get, how many square feet of countertop you’re installing, and whether you choose to install it yourself or hire help. Pros: Soapstone’s dark, warm, neutral look goes well with a variety of kitchen designs. Pros: Butcher block countertops look warm and welcoming compared to the cool, sterile look of steel or granite. Also, because it is a heavy stone, it requires professional installation. What it is: Sometimes known as “engineered stone”, what’s called “quartz” on the materials show floor today is actually a composite, consisting of quartz crystals held together with some kind of binder, often resin. What it costs:From $100 to $175 per square foot installed. It is non-porous and sanitary, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. Also, if hit with a sufficiently heavy object, a glass countertop may chip or crack, which can be costly to repair. Prices between $80 and $200 per square foot installed are not uncommon, depending on the color of the granite, the manufacturer, and where you live. Metal in the corners can also be welded to eliminate seams. Because Corian was the first of the solid-surface materials marketed for use as a countertop, the name often is used to refer to all solid surface materials, including brands made by other companies. Plus, wood is naturally anti-microbial. The most popular recycled paper countertop manufacturer is PaperStone, but they are also made by a variety of other companies, including RichLite, ShetkaStone, and Kliptech. Pros: Tile comes in many different colors and styles, and it is very heat-resistant, so cooks don’t have to fear putting down a hot pan of muffins on the counter. Concrete countertops have been in style for a while now, especially among people who like that industrial or rustic look, and they don’t appear to be losing popularity. What it costs: Typically $65 – $135 per square foot installed, but this can vary widely, since concrete countertops are often a DIY project. It also won’t change color over time (called developing a patina), unlike many natural surfaces and most other metals. Quartz leads the way if you want the look of stone for your countertops, whereas Corian offers a more contemporary appearance. They are not themselves recyclable, although they can be cut up and re-used. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbor bacteria or viruses. The seams on engineered stone countertops are sometimes noticeable too, about like those with granite countertops, but this isn’t a deal breaker for most people. In general, ordinary wood countertops run $50 to $100 per square foot installed; expect to pay slightly more. Cons: Slate has very few downsides, except that it doesn’t come in a wide range of styles or colors. Also, reclaimed wood is more durable than ordinary wood countertops due to having been exposed to the elements for many years. It’s not a budget option, and it’s very loud when setting pots and pans down. They are extremely cheap and can be installed yourself if you’re into DIY. If you’re willing to live with those things, quartz countertops should meet or exceed your expectations. This consumer buying guide covers top 15 countertop options, along with each material’s pros and cons, and the average cost to install. Stainless steel comes in different grades and finishes, and the best grade of steel for kitchen countertops is type 304, which is highly scratch resistant and very strong. It does not get scratched easily. Pros: The coolest thing about copper is how anti-microbial it is naturally. Soapstone has been used in kitchen countertops for centuries and looks particularly natural in a farmhouse-style kitchen (which happens to be a major design trend). It is also labor-intensive because it is so heavy, which means that it may require additional structural support than what your counters already offer. It also rarely comes in slabs longer than 7 feet, which means that longer kitchen counters will require multiple slabs and more complicated installation work. Quartz is a manufactured product and can be very attractive. This also means it is naturally anti-microbial. Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. They are quite inexpensive and are easy to work with and install because of their light weight. It also requires very little maintenance, if any. Finally, quartz is not as resistant to heat as granite, crushed glassed or concrete, so caution will have to be used with hot pots and pans in the kitchen or hot hair tools in the bathroom. Did you know? It's just a matter of weighing the pros and cons and deciding what look or style works with all your other outdoor kitchen design ideas.. Chalk paint is thick and requires less coats of paint. On average, the total cost of installing Butcher block countertops is between $2,000 and $4,500. Granite countertops are becoming more and more common thanks to their increased availability and affordability. It is also beautiful and gives a unique warmth to a room that stainless steel tends to zap. The finish has a depth that can’t be produced with solid surface materials like Corian. Pros: Every recycled glass countertop is unique because a different blend of glass is used in each one. Also, copper scratches and dents easily. The resulting white or gray rock tends to have beautiful streaks of color, giving it the look of marble while maintaining the toughness of granite. On the other hand, quartz weighs in about two pounds heavier per square foot, which provides a more substantial feel. It is not as hard as its cousin granite, but not as soft as soapstone, either. Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops. What it is: Like stainless steel, copper countertops are made of thin sheets of copper fastened to plywood or some other kind of backing. The appearance of the finished engineered stone is rich, even luxurious. It does not get scratched easily. The biggest concern for some will be the price. Pros: Unique and beautiful, marble is also heat-resistant. If you’re looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, you’re not alone – 95% of homeowners looking to renovate say that “kitchen countertops are their top priority this year”. What it costs: Granite can be expensive. It is available in a wide variety of colors and blends well with many different flooring and wall designs. Pros: As mentioned before, slate is practically maintenance-free. Scrubbing the counters can result in a blurred finish. It is non-porous and sanitary, heat-resistant, and easy to clean. What it costs: Around $45 to $75 per square foot installed, depending mostly on the color you select. To hire a Countertop Installation Professional to install your countertop, you are likely to spend between $1000 and $1800 total. They were originally intended to mimic the look of natural stone, while being stronger and non-porous. Pros: Concrete countertops must be handmade, and therefore can be customized for any project. It can be found in a variety of natural colors, including white, black, gray, yellow, pink, and green, and sometimes with prominent veins of mineral deposits that are considered attractive. And the cold aesthetic may not be for everyone. The name Corian is the Dupont Corporation's brand name for its flagship solid surface countertop material. Average Cost to Tear Off & Replace a Roof on 2,200 Sq.Ft. Second, reclaimed wood has a unique appearance because it typically contains more than one species of wood, and the pieces have generally been weathered for many years. Now that you know both the pros and cons of steel countertops from Countertop Investigator, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. It integrates nicely with stainless sinks. Edge grain is the most used for countertops because it is strong and less expensive; it’s created by gluing long boards together on their sides. It’s fairly pliable, so it is unlikely to crack from too much weight. They can be made of reclaimed or salvaged wood, which drastically reduces their environmental impact. 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