10 COUNTERTOP MATERIALS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR REMODEL / by Keith Moehle

You know that feeling where you're putting together a puzzle and just need that final piece to complete it? Well, that’s how it can feel when it comes to choosing your countertops. 

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There are a lot of details that go into a kitchen remodel. You get to make all the exciting decisions like what style of kitchen you want, what layout is best for your family, what style and color of cabinets you want, what fixtures you want along with other fun choices. But I think we can all agree that the countertop is the cherry on top to your new dream kitchen. The countertops are what gives your kitchen life and makes you say “wow”! But before you pick the final details, make sure you know all the pros and cons of your countertop materials. 

Granite speaks elegance into a kitchen. Even the modest of kitchens will look luxurious with beautiful granite countertops. 

Pros

  • Almost impervious to heat

  • Strong and durable

  • Adds real estate value

  • Multiple colors and styles to choose from

  • Very little maintenance 

Cons

  • Can be expensive

  • Not suitable for DIY installation

  • Chance of cracking

  • Material is very porous which requires sealing at an added cost to prevent stains 

Marble is easily the most unique material as no two slabs are exactly the same. Due to its high price tag, marble is usually reserved for the kitchen island.

Pros

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  • Waterproof and heatproof

  • Add real estate value

  • Very attractive

Cons

  • Very expensive

  • Not available for DIY installation

  • Very easy to scratch and stain

  • Difficult to repair

  • Requires lots of maintenance 

Soapstone is a beautiful natural stone material that is usually dark in color with a silky feel. It can be used in both historic and modern homes. Soapstone can develop an antique look over time, which adds charm to any kitchen. Soapstone is also a popular alternative to granite. 

Pros

  • Rich in color

  • Semi-stain resistant

  • Fairly impervious to heat

  • Damages can be sanded out

  • An antique or historic look

Cons

  • May darken over time

  • Not suited for DIY installation

  • The surface may scratch and dent, but this may also add character to your kitchen

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Quartz is an engineered material that was created to be a more adaptable and better-performing alternative to granite and marble. Some types of quartz can even be made to look like natural marble. 

Pros

  • A large variety of colors and styles available

  • Possible for DIY installation

  • Easy to maintain

  • Slabs are made uniformly with little imperfections

  • Has a natural appearance

  • Stain-resistant and heat resistant

Cons

  • Can be  expensive

  • Countertops are very heavy

Solid Surface Material is a man-made material that consists of a blend of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed together into sheets and other shapes. This material tends to mimic a natural stone look. Solid surface materials are considered as a mid-tier material but can still add a luxurious feel to your kitchen. 

Pros

  • Stain-resistant

  • Damages can be easily sanded out

  • Multiple colors and patterns to choose from

  • Integrated sink/countertop units are available

Cons

  • Moderately expensive

  • Vulnerable to heat

  • No DIY installation 

Ceramic Tile offers more design options than almost any other countertop material. They’re durable, easy to clean, and great for anyone who wants to do the work themselves.

Pros

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  •  Easy to clean

  • Very affordable

  • Easy for DIY installation

  • Heat resistant

  • A very large variety of colors and styles

Cons

  • Expensive to customize

  • May crack under impact

  • Grout lines may stain and can be difficult to clean

Stainless Steel countertops are the perfect match for a contemporary or industrial style kitchen.

Pros

  • Heat resistant

  • Modern style

  • Easy to clean

  • Can be seen as a premium look

  • Adds real estate value

Cons

  • Noisy

  • Expensive to fabricate

  • Easy to scratch

Wood or Butcher Block will give any kitchen a warm and cozy look. This will be the perfect compliment to any farm house or contemporary design.

Pros

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  • Wide range of finishes

  •   easy to clean

  • Long-lasting when cared for properly

  • Can be sanded and resealed as needed 

  • Quaint country yet contemporary look

Cons

  • Fairly expensive

  • Vulnerable to scratches and cuts

  • Can be damaged by water or stains over time

  • Can crack or have bacteria if not properly maintained

Concrete countertops are the perfect custom accessory to any kitchen. Every concrete countertop has to be cast in your kitchen, which means no other home will have the same countertop as you. Not even the colors can be duplicated in another kitchen. 

Pros

  • Color tinted

  • Heat and scratch-resistant

  • An exotic and unusual look

  • Decorative textures

Cons

  • No DIY installation

  • Cracking may occur over time

  • Can be costly

  • Requires a lot of upkeep

  • May seem industrial which can lower resale value 

Laminate countertops are usually seen a low-end material but have recently grown in popularity. Laminates such as Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart are popular for retro and mid-century modern kitchens.

Pros

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  • Easy to maintain

  • Can be installed the DIY way

  • Very inexpensive

Cons

  • Viewed as low end

  • Chips or damages are hard to repair


Here at KM BUILDERS, we have the privilege of working with multiple vendors and lines that offer a large variety of countertop materials. We also have expert designers that can give you more in-depth information on all the pros and cons of each countertop material. So give us a call at 210-680-5626, and we’ll walk you through our showroom where you can see for yourself the variety we offer. With KM BUILDERS, there's something for everyone. 

----KM Builders is San Antonio's premier design-build remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, and whole-house remodeling. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your home remodeling needs!----