One of the most important decisions when designing or remodeling a kitchen is which countertops to install. Each countertop style will impact the look and feel of the entire kitchen area in a unique way. There are numerous countertop options with each having its own pros and cons.
To help make the decision process less overwhelming, provided is a list of questions to consider. Then we’ll look at 6 of the most popular countertops in North Texas and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Five essential questions for selecting countertops
What is your budget?
Below we have included a price range (materials only) for each of the 6 countertop options that are highlighted. While there is a broad range based on quality, color, and type of materials it should help give you an idea of ballpark pricing. You will need to calculate the amount of square footage of countertop space and multiply it by the cost per square foot.
How will you use the countertops?
Identifying your “kitchen lifestyle” can help narrow your decision-making process. One countertop may be best for someone who spends a significant amount of time cooking for a family while another countertop may better for someone who rarely eats at home. The type of cooking may also play a part in the selection process – do you put hot items directly on the countertops, do you cut food directly on the countertop, how thoroughly do you clean counters after prepping food?
What is your desired look and feel?
The aesthetic appeal of updating a kitchen is the primary reason people choose to replace kitchen countertops. Having a vision of how you want your kitchen to feel is important when deciding which countertop to go with.
How long do you expect the kitchen countertops to last?
Some of the more inexpensive countertops will need to be replaced around 10 years while other countertops can last a lifetime. Higher-end countertops also add value to your home.
How much maintenance are you willing to do?
Some countertops require more maintenance than others. Some only need basic cleaning while others may need to have sealant applied every 6-12 months.
Now let’s look at six of the countertop options available. Hopefully, you will be closer to a countertop decision once you are able to evaluate the pros and cons of each material!
Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market due to its beauty, elegance, and durability. Granite countertops are made from natural stone so each has its own unique color and pattern. It is very durable and, if properly maintained, can last for over 100+ years.
Who would benefit: Since it has such wide appeal, granite countertops are desired by a wide variety of homeowners.
Pros: Granite is durable and resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. It is easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance. There are many colors and patterns to choose from and it holds its value well.
Cons: Can be expensive and difficult to repair if damaged. May need sealant applied 1-2 times a year.
Price: $45 to $175 per square foot
Quartz countertops are man-made and created through a manufacturing process that makes them durable and resistant to scratches. What makes quartz so appealing is that it has a wide variety of textures, colors, and patterns.
Who would benefit: Those who are looking for a durable yet low maintenance option for countertops.
Pros: Quartz is very resilient and requires less upkeep than many of the other countertops. The surface is nonporous which makes it anti-microbial and resistant to stains. Most spills can be easily cleaned with soapy water. It does not need to be sealed and it does not require regular maintenance.
Cons: Direct heat can cause discoloration or can cause the surface to crack. It can also be expensive.
Price: $55 to $200per square foot
Marble is stunning and can take your kitchen to that next level of luxury. The downside is that it requires more upkeep.
Who would benefit: It’s great for those who like to bake because it is so cool to the touch.
Pros: These countertops work well in almost any kitchen. They come in a wide selection of stunning colors and patterns. Its surface is cool and smooth.
Cons: Marble countertops are considered to be high maintenance because they are so porous. This means that they will need to be sealed every 3-6 months. Even if they are properly sealed they can stain easily. These countertops are not durable and they can easily scratch or chip.
Price: $75 to $250 per square foot
Butcher block countertops
Butcher block countertops make your kitchen feel warm and inviting. It is a relatively affordable option depending on the wood or grain you choose. It is great for cooking and scratches can usually be removed by sanding. They can be custom-made for your specifications.
Who would benefit: Those who do a lot of food prep.
Pros: Butcher-block and solid wood can be used as a cutting board, which makes it great for prepping meals and chopping. It is easier on dishes since it is softer than most solid surface countertops.
Cons: Butcher block is high maintenance and needs to be resealed every six months. It is not very durable and can be marred by scratches, spills, and burns.
Price: $40 to $150 per square foot
Concrete countertops can be beautiful and are easily customized. The endless amount of ways to customize the look of concrete allows a level of creativity that will make sure the countertops fit your kitchen perfectly.
Who would benefit: This is a great option for someone looking for a creatively designed countertop. Concrete also works well for an outdoor kitchen.
Pros: Concrete countertops are heat and scratch-resistant. If installed properly, they will be smooth and durable. In addition, there are many tints and stains that make these countertops very customizable.
Cons: Concrete is also porous which means counters can stain easily and require regular resealing. Concrete countertops can also crack. This can make maintenance challenging. They are difficult to install and can be one of the most expensive types of countertops on the market.
Price: $75 to $150 per square foot
Stainless steel countertops provide an industrial, contemporary feel for kitchens. They are durable, heat resistant, easily cleaned and are commonly used in commercial kitchens.
Who would benefit: People who are serious about cooking.
Pros: Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain. It is durable, spill-proof, and heat resistant. Stainless steel adds brightness to a kitchen space because it reflects light.
Cons: These counters also tend to feel cold and impersonal. Stainless steel countertops can be noisy. They can scratch or dent, and show fingerprints. It is also very pricey.
Price: $75 to $300 per square foot
Some final questions
What is the most popular material for kitchen countertops?
Granite has historically been the most popular countertop for kitchens. However, Quartz has recently exploded in popularity rising to the most desired countertop.
Which countertop is easiest to maintain?
Quartz is considered the most low-maintenance option for kitchen countertops. They are durable, long-lasting, and nonporous. Also, they can be cleaned easily with soap and water.
Which countertop is most durable?
Quartz takes the top spot for durability followed by granite in second place. Either of these options can last a lifetime.
We hope this helps you with your countertop decision. The professionals at Modern Blu are available to help guide you through the process as you create the kitchen of your dreams. Please give us a call if you are in the Flower Mound, Highland Village, or Lewisville areas.