When selecting your countertop materials, there are several things you should consider: your lifestyle, budget restraints, and the overall look and durability of the material.

It is important that the material is not only comfortable to work on, but since it is the hardest working surface in the kitchen, it also needs to perform at a high level.

Below is a chart outlining the pros and cons of common countertop materials.
Material Pros Cons
Plastic Laminate
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Economical
  • Good stain resistance
  • Wide array of colors and
  • Readily available
  • Durable
  • Not impervious to stains
  • Cannot be repaired
  • Cannot be cut on without damage
  • Scorches easily
  • Edge seams susceptible to water damage
  • Easily scratched
Solid Surface
(Made from polyester or acrylic resin in addition to mineral filler)
  • Minor scratches can be
    sanded out
  • Nonporous
  • Easy to clean
  • Highly stain resistant
  • Vulnerable to heat
  • Slight possibility of melting or cracking
  • Easy to clean
  • Stains and scratches can be sanded out
  • Won’t dull knives
  • Surfaces must be treated with a food-safe mineral oil, linseed oil, 
    or tung oil
  • Must keep wood surfaces as dry 
    as possible
  • Susceptible to water damage and scarring
  • Heat resistant
  • Withstands water when sealed
    or glazed
  • Durable
  • Grout can trap dirt and food
  • Stain resistance requires sealing
  • Not ideal for cutting
  • Highly versatile in color, style, and finish
  • Naturally heat resistant
  • Prone to staining, must be
  • Should be waxed periodically
Stainless Steel
  • Hard wearing
  • Resistant to water, rust, heat, and bacteria
  • Can be dented and scratched
  • Shows fingerprints
  • Never cut directly on it
  • Water spots can develop if not
    dried thoroughly
Quartz (Engineered stone, blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments)
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Nonporous
  • Resistant to water, heat, and bacteria
  • Waterproof
  • Edges can chip
  • Does not resist impacts
  • Some patterns can appear unnaturally uniform
  • 100% natural
  • Durable
  • Can be treated to maintain pristine qualities, or encouraged to weather
  • Easy to clean
  • Resists bacteria and stains if properly sealed and maintained
  • Most damage can be sanded out
  • Honed surfaces require regular sealing
  • Will absorb stains if not sealed properly

Nov, 23, 2014