How to Choose the Right Countertop for Your Kitchen | LBK Blog

How to Choose the Right Countertop for Your Kitchen

When we help clients design their kitchen, selecting a countertop is inevitably the decision that takes the most time and causes the most angst for the homeowner. There a so many different materials, styles, and price ranges to consider that it becomes overwhelming. So, one of the first things our designers do to help is to educate the homeowner on the different countertop materials available.

Kitchen Countertop Materials: A Primer

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the most popular types of countertops.

Natural and Engineered Stone


Granite is the most popular countertop material because of its durability and versatility:


  • Durable, strong, and heat resistant
  • Thousands of types and styles to choose from
  • Nearly maintenance free when properly sealed
  • Price has lowered in recent years


  • Can crack under heavy stress, improper installation
  • Dulls knives quickly, should always use a cutting board
  • Is a porous stone and must be properly sealed
  • Relatively expensive
When there were no cost issues to consider, granite is a solid choice. Its durability makes it practical over the long-term and the variety of selections means there are plenty of choices to match your style.


Soapstone is a natural stone that is a popular selection in the Bucks County and surrounding areas because it works so well in Historic and Early American style homes.


  • Deep, rich color and character that deepens with use
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Chips and damage can be sanded out
  • Antique patina that works well with area home styles


  • Rich color may deepen over time and with use
  • Must be regularly treated with mineral oil
  • Surface can scratch and dent


Another natural stone. Elegant, unique (no two pieces are the same!), and arguably the most beautiful selection, but very expensive and can stain and scratch.


  • Heat resistant and waterproof
  • Adds significantly to home value
  • Elegant, unique, makes a statement


  • Expensive
  • Can be scratched and damage. Repairs are difficult and require an expert
  • Stains easily unless properly sealed


Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz mixed with a binder. It is non-porous, heat resistant, scratch resistant and uniform in pattern. It requires little maintenance. One of the only down sides is that it is more on the pricy side.


  • Easy to maintain, no sealing necessary
  • Engineered stone, uniform, non-porous
  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • Natural appearance
  • Practicality justifies expense


  • Expensive

Solid Surface (Corian, Avonite)

Pressed sheets of acrylics and resins that are seamless and is available in a large variety of colors, patterns, and styles.


  • Invisible seams
  • Damage sanded out, easily repaired
  • Stain resistant
  • Huge selection of colors and patterns
  • Less expensive than natural stone


  • Can be scratched and damaged
  • NOT heat resistant, will scorch

Trendy/Specialty Materials

It’s easy to get wrapped up in kitchen trends. But trends come and go and your trendy kitchen can soon become dated and passe, prompting you to remodel far sooner than you expected and costing you more in the long run. With that said, below are some alternative countertop materials that may work for you if you are looking to achieve a specific style.

Stainless Steel

If you are going for the professional chef’s kitchen, industrial, or ultra-modern look, stainless steel may be your material of choice.


  • Durable and impervious to heat damage
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Built to spec, custom, seamless
  • Sleek, contemporary look


  • Scratches easily
  • Noisy
  • Can be expensive to fabricate


Source: Trueform Concrete

Another unique and contemporary style for those that want to make a statement.


  • Can be formed into unusual shapes
  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • Can be textured and tinted
  • Unique, sophisticated, and modern style


  • Expensive
  • Must be sealed and maintained
  • Can chip and crack over time, with use
  • Heavy! May require reinforcement below
  • May be too modern for future homebuyers
Nick Kornea, President / Designer at Luxury Bath and Kitchens

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