Choosing between matte or glossy countertops can be a difficult decision. Both options have unique pros and cons to consider in terms of appearance, maintenance, durability, and cost. This comprehensive guide compares matte vs. glossy countertops to help you select the best option for your home.


The main difference between matte and glossy countertops is the finish. Matte countertops have a flat, non-reflective surface while glossy countertops have a shiny, glass-like finish that reflects light.

Matte Countertops

Matte countertops like concrete, Quartz, or soapstone have an understated, modern look. The smooth matte texture hides fingerprints, smudges, and watermarks. Matte surfaces don’t distract or distort reflections. This clean appearance suits contemporary minimalist kitchens.

Matte countertops also showcase the natural veining, patterns, and colors of the material. The flat finish highlights the subtle beauty of stone and concrete. Matte surfaces draw attention to the aesthetic qualities of the countertop material itself.

Glossy Countertops

Glossy countertops like granite, marble, and ceramic gleam with a polished, wet look. The high-shine finish reflects ambient light and accentuates the veining and patterns in natural stone. Glossy countertops have a depth that makes colors appear richer.

The reflective surface also creates a sleek, luxurious look. Glossy countertops are visually striking and make a bold style statement. The shine brings drama and flare to kitchens designed with an elegant, upscale aesthetic.

Maintenance and Durability

Maintenance requirements and durability vary between matte and glossy countertops. Glossy finishes better resist scratches but require more upkeep. Matte surfaces hide wear but can stain more easily.

Matte Maintenance

Matte countertops like concrete need periodic sealing to prevent stains from soaking in. Acidic substances like wine or fruit juice can etch and dull the surface over time. Matte finishes are prone to absorbing oils that can darken the material.

However, the porous nature of matte materials allows for light sanding and resealing to refresh the finish. Matte countertops hide everyday scratches, scuffs, and abrasions well. The lack of shine disguises minor marks and wears. Proper sealing and routine cleaning keeps matte countertops looking new.

Glossy Durability

Glossy surfaces better resist scratches, chips, and dings thanks to the hard polished finish. The impermeable glass-like coating also prevents stains from setting. Glossy countertops are less prone to damage from heat or impact.

However, the high-shine finish also highlights any marks that do occur. Fingerprints, water spots, and smudges stand out on the slick reflective surface. Glossy countertops require frequent polishing and daily cleaning to maintain the flawless, gleaming finish. Any dulled areas become conspicuous.

Cost Comparison

Prices vary widely within each category, but matte countertops generally cost less than glossy on average. Consumers pay a premium for the shine and dazzle of polished stone.

Matte Countertops

Of the most affordable countertop materials, almost all have matte finishes. Options like laminate, Quartz, concrete, and butcher block range from $20-150 per square foot installed. Even higher-end matte materials like soapstone and Quartzite average $70-250 per square foot.

The muted look and more porous nature of matte finishes bring costs down. Matte countertops offer an appealing combination of modern style and reasonable pricing.

Glossy Countertops

Glossy countertops carry luxury price tags, with costs starting around $100 per square foot. Marble, onyx, polished granite, and ceramic often exceed $200 per square foot installed.

The intricate fabrication required to achieve the flawless polished finish drives up costs. Glossy countertops also use rarer and more expensive natural stones. For homeowners seeking a lavish, opulent look, the splurge delivers captivating results.

The Pros and Cons

| Countertop Finish | Pros | Cons |
| Matte | Hides scratches and smudges | Requires diligent sealing |
| | Understated, modern look | Stains can set in surface |
| | Affordable pricing | Dulls over time if unsealed |
| Glossy | Resists scratches and stains | Expensive |
| | Dazzling, reflective surface | Shows water spots and fingerprints |
| | Luxurious, dramatic aesthetic | Needs frequent polishing |

Which is Better for Your Home?

Choosing between matte vs. glossy countertops depends on your priorities:

Matte is ideal for:

  • Cost-conscious budgets
  • Low-maintenance lifestyles
  • Modern, minimalist kitchens

Glossy is best for:

  • Luxury, high-end kitchens
  • Formal spaces like dining rooms
  • Homeowners who enjoy meticulous cleaning

Take lifestyle habits, design style, and budget into account when deciding between these two beautiful but distinct looks. With the right selection, you can enjoy durable, eye-catching countertops that perfectly suit your home.


Which is more durable, matte or glossy countertops?

Glossy countertops are generally more durable and resistant to scratches, chips, and stains. The hardened polished finish protects the stone surface. Matte finishes are more prone to absorbing stains but hide minor scuffs better. With proper sealing and care, both can last for many years.

Do matte countertops show wear and tear?

Matte countertops conceal small scratches, scuffs, and cuts better than glossy thanks to the non-reflective finish. However, excessive wear and tear over time will still be visible. Stains from spills can also appear on matte surfaces if not promptly cleaned. Proper sealing is key for matte countertops.

What is the most durable matte countertop material?

Quartz is the most durable matte countertop. The ground Quartz aggregate creates an extremely hard, scratch-resistant surface. With a Mohs hardness rating of 7, Quartz withstands heavy usage. Other durable matte options include Dekton, ceramic, and soapstone.

Do glossy countertops show more scratches?

Yes, the high shine of glossy countertops highlights any small scratches or imperfections. While glossy materials resist scratches better than matte overall, any marks that do form stand out vividly on the light-reflecting surface. The tiniest hairline scratches become visible.

Is a matte or glossy backsplash better?

Matte and glossy backsplashes both have pros and cons. Glossy is more stain-resistant and illuminates the colors, while matte hides flaws better and avoids too much shine. Consider whether the backsplash material matches the countertop finish for the most cohesive look.

How do you clean matte countertops?

Use a gentle pH-neutral cleaner and soft rag or sponge when cleaning matte countertops. Avoid abrasive scouring pads. For soapstone and concrete, apply mineral oil periodically to nourish and maintain the surface. Promptly clean spills before they soak in. Reseal as needed per manufacturer instructions.


The perfect kitchen countertop finish comes down to your desired look, lifestyle, and budget. Matte countertops offer an elegantly understated appearance at more affordable prices for low-maintenance homeowners. Glossy countertops provide striking visual drama and luxury for those seeking an opulent aesthetic. Assess your goals, home style, and habits to select the ideal countertop sheen. With this helpful comparison as a guide, you can choose between matte vs. glossy finishes with confidence.