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Top Kitchen Countertop Materials [20+ Photos]

If you’re looking for a surefire way to spice up the look of your kitchen while also increasing the value of your home, then you may want to consider replacing your kitchen countertops. As one of the most-used areas of any home, your kitchen sees a great deal of traffic. Unfortunately, your kitchen also sees a great deal of wear and tear.

by Powell/Kleinschmidt

No kitchen is complete without countertops. Deciding which kitchen countertops are most acceptable for your needs involves considering price, durability, maintenance, and more.

It’s also worth rethinking preconceived ideas about the best kitchen counter materials: Some materials, like granite, have become more affordable in recent years. Newer options, such as poured concrete and engineered stone, also present good options. Even laminate has improved looks from what you might remember.

If you’re ready to replace your old, scratched-up countertops with something much more durable and long-lasting, then consider the following choices.


From home improvement programs to most people’s descriptions of their dream homes, you hear much about granite as the primary countertop choice. In addition to the fact that it is one of the most complex substances known to man, holds up well to heat, and is available in hundreds of colors, granite is one of the few countertop choices that will last a lifetime. The downside is that it requires some maintenance, such as sealing, to avoid set-in stains.

Photo Credit: Mindy Gayer – Farm sink and steel gray cabinets in a cottage kitchen designed with a brushed nickel gooseneck faucet and black leather granite countertops.

It’s not hard to see why polished granite is the most favored countertop choice among homeowners. Extremely durable, granite is a long-lasting countertop pick. Thanks to technological advances in the fabrication process and an increased supply of natural stone, the prices may be more budget-friendly than you presume.

Photo Credit: Design Works – Transitional kitchen with a trough sink and two faucets designed with white cabinets and black leather granite countertops. A window over the trough sink is fitted with a gray roman shade inviting natural light to enhance the kitchens space.

Although most stones are in the tan color family, there are both lighter and darker alternatives. There are several grade categories for granite, which correlate to the cost of the stone: entry-level (or “builder’s grade”), mid-grade and high-grade. Higher grades are characterized by more unique patterns and more thickness.

Photo Credit: Kelley Vieregg – Chic blue pantry cabinets donning brass hardware and a leahter black granite countertop are finished with a stainless steel sink matched with a matte black gooseneck faucet. The faucet is mounted in front of a glass backsplash and beneath stacked blue shelves flanked by blue upper cabinets.


  • Low-maintenance
  • Wide range of prices from mid-range to luxury
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Water- and heat-resistant


  • Requires professional installation
  • Cracking is possible if not properly installed or sealed
  • May have seams
Photo Credit: Divine Custom Home – Angled kitchen features white shaker cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Simply White paired with Super White Granite countertops and a mini brick tile backsplash.













by John Maniscalco Architecture

by Chloe Warner

Butcher Block

Wood countertops can be relatively inexpensive when compared to other options, and butcher block counters are often preferred by professional chefs and people who spend a great deal of time in the kitchen because it is extremely easy to clean. However, butcher block can also be scratched easily and damaged by water. Luckily, the counters can be sanded and resealed over time.

by Soorikian Architecture

This classic countertop material is making a comeback in a big way. Available in various woods and finishes, butcher block counters lend warmth to kitchen design. Butcher block counters are also highly practical: If unsealed and unoiled, these counters are essentially built-in cutting boards.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Dinkel Design – Two white industrial pendants are hung over an ivory kitchen island accented with a butcher block countertop. Cherner Stools are placed at the island facing a stainless steel sink with a polished nickel gooseneck faucet.
Photo Credit: Eden LA – A butcher block countertop accents a black farmhouse island paired with black sawhorse stools and finished with a shelf topped with woven bins.


  • Easy to DIY and control costs
  • Can be sanded and resealed
  • Long-lasting
  • Can be used as a built-in cutting board


  • Can absorb stains and bacteria
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Swells or shrinks with seasons
  • Unsealed counters must be regularly oiled
Photo Credit: A List Interiors – Rustic wood ceiling beams accent a kitchen boasting a large square white island with French turned legs seating tan French cane stools at a walnut butcher block top. The island is finished with oil rubbed bronze hardware and lit by a vintage metal lantern.

Related: Charming and Classy Wooden Kitchen Countertops

by Jennifer Baines Interiors

by The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn


We think laminate kitchen countertops deserve another look! This option peaked in popularity before the turn of the last century, but there are still substantial benefits to these countertops, also known by brand names like Formica.

Photo Credit: Restless Arrow – Beautiful kitchen features stacked white shelves in place of upper cabinetry, over shaker base cabinets which pair with Formica marble laminate countertops which frame a gas stove situated below a white range hood.

The first and most persuasive reason to consider laminate countertops is the price. Other perks include effortless maintenance, various style options, and bacteria resistance.

Photo Credit: Holly Mathis – Vintage cottage kitchen with top kitchen cabinets sans doors and white raised panel base kitchen cabinets paired with laminate kitchen countertops. Bamboo roman shade over kitchen window and kitchen topiaries. Black and white checkered tile kitchen floor, stainless steel dishwashers and schoolhouse pendant.

Although the non-porous material won’t stain from wine or oil spills, it certainly can chip or burn. And, of course, laminate will be out of place in a high-end kitchen. Nevertheless, it is a good option for budget-mindful homeowners, rental properties or house flips.

Photo Credit: Erota Custom Building – L shaped kitchen features cream cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Ivory White paired with gray plastic laminate countertop and subway tiled backsplash. Kitchen with white microwave over white stove flanked by stacked cream shelves accented with cream corbels as well as schoolhouse pendant over sink next to white dishwasher and counter-depth white refrigerator. Large schoolhouse pendant over cream kitchen island with shelving and butcher block top.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Relatively easy to DIY install
  • Easy maintenance


  • Not suitable for home value
  • Not resistant to heat
  • Damage is impossible to repair
  • Visible seams

Quartz/Engineered Stone

If you’re looking for a countertop choice that will resist stains and does not require much maintenance, engineered stone might be your best bet. It will not become scratched as easily as other materials, and requires no sealing. However, engineered stone is also relatively expensive.

by Paul Anater

If durability and style are the foremost considerations, quartz may be the proper selection. You would have to vigorously try to scratch, stain or otherwise damage this countertop material. The non-porous material also means it will not hold bacteria or viruses. These advantages do come at a steeper cost than other countertop materials.

One misinterpretation about quartz is that it’s an entirely natural stone. This engineered stone is made from crushed quartz and resin filler. Still, quartz countertops are often seen as alternatives to granite or marble — which is less durable.


  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Extensive style options available
  • Very hygienic due to non-porous construction
  • Doesn’t chip or crack easily


  • May be sensitive to heat
  • More expensive than the average material
  • Heavy and difficult to DIY install

Concrete, marble and tile are also popular selections for kitchen countertops – and for good reason. They’re all beautiful and can give your kitchen a much needed update. However, when selecting a material for your kitchen countertop, just remember that you get what you pay for. The best options are also some of the most expensive because they’re built to last for several decades.


There may be no kitchen countertop material more elegant than marble, a natural stone that completes many high-end kitchens. Available in hues including whites, greys, and even greens, marble countertops have long been valued by bakers for their naturally low surface temperature.

Photo Credit: Rachael Goddard – Modern kitchen features a honed black marble bar with wooden shelves, polished black marble countertop and wood and metal tractor stools lit by white pendants.

It’s probably no surprise to hear marble is going to take a big chunk out of your budget. Outside the expense, there are other significant downsides to marble, starting with the fact it’s frustratingly easy to stain and scratch.

Photo Credit: Alison Giese Interiors – Kitchen features a brown island with a honed marble countertop and gold stools.

Homeowners in love with marble may find it best to use it for a portion of the countertop while using a more durable material in high-use spots.

Photo Credit: Rachael Goddard – A sliding cutting board accents a kitchen sink with brass gooseneck faucets mounted to a marble waterfall edge island.


  • Great for home value
  • Every stone is distinctive
  • Heat- and water-resistant
  • Great surface for doughs and chocolate work


  • Requires regular sealing
  • Stains, chips, and wears easily
  • Must be professionally installed
  • Among the most costly options

by Jennifer Heffel

Poured Concrete

An excellent option for kitchens varying from farmhouse style to more industrially inspired, poured concrete countertops have gained favor in recent years. Concrete readily allows for tinting and decorative textures. Skilled professional installers can even incorporate pieces of tile or glass for a truly one-of-a-kind countertop.

Photo Credit; Kelly Caron Designs – Outdoor kitchen features an island with blue concrete tiles, a concrete countertop with sink, a range hood over grill and a pizza oven.

Although don’t be misled by the name — concrete may not be as budget-friendly or durable as you may suppose. Cracking is conceivable, particularly if your home’s foundation is prone to settling. DIY-ing is technically possible, but it’s safe to expect a premium price for a professional-quality job.

Photo Credit: Kristina Crestin Design – Under a window, an oil rubbed bronze gooseneck faucet is mounted to a concrete washstand countertop over a concrete trough sink.


  • Customizable with color, texture, and more
  • Heat- and scratch-resistant
  • DIY is feasible for basic designs
  • A stylish and unique alternative


  • Requires regular sealing
  • May chip, crack, or stain
  • Takes up to 28 days to dry after installation
  • Custom finishes make for a high cost

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are among the most affordable varieties and come in a wide range of colors and patterns, including designs that mimic granite and other stone. Natural stone tiles are pricier than ceramic but are much more affordable than slab granite or marble.
Laminate is easily one of the most obvious choices for a durable countertop and an affordable option. The surface doesn’t require you to seal it or to avoid spills that could lead to staining.
One of the top choices for kitchen countertops is granite. This material is a popular option that is durable and tough, allowing the granite to withstand impact and abrasive damage. Additionally, this material is resistant to heat, making it an ideal choice for the kitchen.

If you need more design help for the kitchen, take a look at these related articles:

Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is a seasoned blogger, entertainment journalist and all around professional wordsmith with a passion for interior design and home organization. A self-proclaimed eternal wanderer and neat freak, she enjoys sharing her eclectic tastes and zeal of creating a beautiful and balanced space through DIY home décor. After graduating with a degr[...]

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