Kitchen countertops are one of the most important design elements in any kitchen. Not only do they serve as crucial workspace, they also make a major style statement. With so many options on the market, choosing new countertops for your kitchen remodel can feel overwhelming. Below we discuss the 10 most popular types of countertops, including the pros and cons of each material to help you select the right one for your home.

Granite Countertops

Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops due to its natural beauty, durability, and timeless appeal. This natural stone comes in a wide array of colors and patterns, ensuring a one-of-a-kind look.


  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Available in many colors and patterns
  • Easy to clean
  • Adds value to home


  • Expensive
  • Requires periodic sealing
  • Can stain or etch
  • Heavy and may require cabinet reinforcement

Granite makes a gorgeous addition to both traditional and contemporary kitchens. While an investment, granite countertops will stand the test of time with proper care and maintenance. The endless options allow you to select a style that reflects your personal taste.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz has surged in popularity in recent years as a durable and stylish alternative to natural stone. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments, quartz offers the look of granite or marble without some of the drawbacks.


  • Highly durable and scratch resistant
  • Stain, heat, and water resistant
  • Easy to maintain – no sealing required
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Non-porous


  • Less natural looking than stone
  • Seams more visible
  • Higher cost than laminate

With quartz, you can enjoy the beauty of stone with excellent durability. From white quartz to mimic marble to darker options with bold veining, quartz offers limitless design possibilities. Easy maintenance makes it a great option for busy kitchens.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate, also known as Formica, offers an affordable option for kitchen countertops. Made by fusing layers of kraft paper with resin, laminate comes in a wide range of solid colors and realistic-looking wood grains.


  • Most affordable countertop option
  • Easy installation
  • Durable and scratch-resistant
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Low maintenance


  • Not heat or scratch resistant
  • Seams are visible
  • Can be susceptible to water damage if not properly sealed

Laminate is the perfect choice for budget-friendly kitchen makeovers. The classic material has come a long way and now offers many trendy options beyond basic white. Durable, sleek laminate can transform the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Butcher Block Countertops

Offering a timeworn appeal, butcher block remains a popular kitchen countertop choice today. Traditionally made from thick slabs of hardwood, modern versions feature various wood types and finishing options.


  • Warm, natural aesthetic
  • Available in many wood species
  • Adds unique character
  • Naturally bacteria resistant
  • Easily repaired and refinished


  • Requires frequent sealing
  • Easily scratched and stained
  • Not heat or water resistant
  • Relatively high maintenance

Butcher block makes a rustic design statement in any kitchen. No two pieces are the same, ensuring your countertops will have a one-of-a-kind look. Offering both vintage charm and practical work space, butcher block pairs nicely with many kitchen styles from modern to farmhouse.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel offers a contemporary, industrial look, perfect for modern kitchen designs. While less common for whole kitchens, stainless steel makes an excellent choice for islands and peninsulas.


  • Sleek, modern aesthetic
  • Durable and easy to sanitize
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Can be fabricated seamlessly
  • Low maintenance


  • Prone to scratches
  • Can be noisy
  • Less cushioning for glassware/breakables
  • Higher cost than laminate

Stainless steel is ideal for avid home chefs thanks to its seamless design and heat resistance. paired with wood cabinets, stainless steel islands create a striking focal point and prep space. Keep in mind stainless shows every fingerprint and needs frequent polishing to look its best.

Concrete Countertops

Part of the trend toward industrial-rustic design, concrete adds an edgy, ultra-contemporary look. Concrete offers the malleability of wood with excellent durability.


  • Highly durable and heat resistant
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Unique look with custom color options
  • Can be cast seamlessly
  • Low maintenance


  • Needs resealing every 1-2 years
  • Heavyweight requires cabinet reinforcement
  • Can show imperfections or hairline cracks
  • Higher cost for custom concrete

Concrete resists just about anything, making it an ideal choice for active kitchens. The neutral gray hue integrates into both modern and transitional spaces and provides a blank canvas for colorful accents and accessories. Keep in mind proper sealing is key to preventing stains.

Tile Countertops

Glazed ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles make an excellent choice for kitchen countertops. Tiles offer the modular look of a backsplash extended across the countertop surface.


  • Durable, water resistant surface
  • Heat resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in endless colors, shapes, sizes
  • Can be replaced/repaired section by section


  • Grout requires sealing
  • Breakable if dropped on
  • Takes longer to install
  • Not seamless appearance

Tile offers almost limitless customization opportunities, allowing you to perfectly match your backsplash and counters. The modular construction means you can easily replace one section if damaged, without having to redo the whole top. Keep in mind grout requires regular sealing to prevent stains.

Glass Countertops

Glass countertops provide a super sleek and modern look. Offering translucent shine and depth, glass can completely transform the aesthetic of your kitchen.


  • Eye-catching, unique aesthetic
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • Customizable with various colors
  • Available recycled/upcycled


  • Relatively high cost
  • Can break if dropped on
  • Challenging do-it-yourself install
  • Shows fingerprints readily

Glass countertops make a bold design statement. The glass can be customized with various colors, finishes, and accents. Glass plays with light beautifully and gives the space a lightweight, floating effect. Use caution when handling glass to prevent chips or cracks.

Reclaimed Wood Countertops

Bringing rustic, eclectic charm to the kitchen, reclaimed wood makes an eco-friendly countertop choice. Salvaged from old barns, fencing, or factory floors, the worn patina of reclaimed wood adds character and vintage allure.


  • One-of-a-kind aged appearance
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable
  • Natural variations in tone and grain
  • Relatively affordable
  • Easy to install


  • Requires frequent sealing
  • Not heat or water resistant
  • Needs gentle cleaning
  • Signs of age may include scratches/stains

Reclaimed wood offers artisanal appeal that instantly warms up any kitchen. Filled with natural whorls, knots, and nicks, reclaimed wood tells the story of its past life. While not the most durable option, reclaimed wood tops bring livable vintage charm.

Soapstone Countertops

A slightly lesser known natural stone, soapstone offers a unique soft gray coloration with natural dark veining. Steeped in history, soapstone is ideal for traditional styles.


  • Heat resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Accrues a patina over time
  • Smooth to the touch
  • Naturally antibacterial


  • Softer than other stones
  • Needs yearly resealing
  • Darkens with oil/acid
  • Rare stone, limited supply

Soapstone has an ultra-smooth feel, perfect for kneading doughs or rolling pastry. The soft gray is versatile enough for both rustic farmhouse and upscale traditional spaces. Soapstone darkens over time, adding to its aged character. Avoid using harsh cleaners which can strip away the patina.

Marble Countertops

Prized since ancient times, marble countertops offer timeless beauty and luxury with its soft veining and upscale connotations. Carrara marble remains the most popular kitchen option.


  • Elegant, sophisticated aesthetic
  • Available in many colors and patterns
  • Heat resistant
  • Develops patina over time
  • Softer surface than granite


  • Requires resealing yearly
  • Easily etched by acid
  • Stains if unsealed
  • Chips and scratches fairly easily
  • Expensive

Marble makes a commanding style statement with its refined aesthetics. With proper sealing, marble withstands everyday use fairly well. However, marble is softer than granite and more prone to etching or scratching from sharp objects. Marble conveys luxury, so may elevate resale value in higher-end homes.


Is granite still popular for countertops?

Yes, granite remains one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. Prized for its natural beauty, durability, and timeless look, granite has been a top option for years. The range of colors, patterns, and finishes ensure granite fits into both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.

What is the most durable material for kitchen countertops?

The most durable kitchen countertop materials are granite, quartz, ceramic or porcelain tile, and stainless steel. Granite and quartz are very hard, scratch resistant stones. Tile is waterproof and stands up to heavy use. Stainless steel offers extreme heat resistance and durability. Each of these options will withstand years of wear in busy kitchens.

How much do countertops usually cost?

Countertop costs range widely depending on the material. On average, laminate counters cost $20-50 per square foot installed; granite $40-100 per square foot; quartz $50-120 per square foot; solid surface like Corian $40-100 per square foot; ceramic or porcelain tile $40-100 per square foot; concrete $85-125 per square foot; and stainless steel $75-200 per square foot.

What are the easiest kitchen countertops to maintain?

The easiest kitchen countertops to keep clean and maintain are porcelain, ceramic tile, quartz, laminate, stainless steel, and solid surface. Porcelain and ceramic tile are highly water resistant and easy to sanitize. Quartz and solid surface like Corian do not require sealing and resist most stains. Laminate and stainless steel only need simple cleaning. Granite and natural stone require yearly sealing.

Should I get an integrated or waterfall countertop?

Waterfall and integrated countertops offer a sleek, contemporary look. Integrated countertops seamlessly flow into the sink basin, with both carved out of one material for a continuous appearance. Waterfall countertops have a raised front edge that waterfall down over the cabinet face. These specialized fabrication techniques work best with solid surface materials like quartz which can be molded and carved easily.


With so many options for kitchen countertops, from natural stone to eco-friendly wood to gleaming glass, the choices can feel endless. Carefully considering your budget, kitchen aesthetics, and how you use your workspace will help narrow your selection. For active families, durable quartz or granite provide virtually indestructible surfaces that can withstand years of meal prep and entertaining. Home chefs will appreciate the functionality of seamless stainless steel. And for those seeking to make a design statement, glass or concrete offer eye-catching drama. Whatever your needs, there is a kitchen countertop material perfect for your space. With some thoughtful planning upfront, you can select the ideal countertop to both showcase your personal style and provide a functional surface crafted to last.