If you’re remodeling your kitchen, you want a countertop that will last. A durable one is a great investment, and will increase the value of your home.
Consumer Reports tested a variety of countertop materials to see how well they resist stains, heat damage, cuts, abrasion, and impact. These 10 most durable countertops stood up to the test.
Granite is the material of choice for many homeowners because it’s durable, versatile, and comes in a variety of colors. It’s also a natural stone that can add an element of elegance to any kitchen.
One of the biggest benefits of granite countertops is that they are easy to clean. Spills wipe up quickly and the surface is resistant to etching from most acidic substances.
Another big plus is that they’re extremely heat-resistant. This means you can cook on them without risk of scorching the surface.
Granite is a natural rock formed by the partial melting of continental rocks. It’s found in plutons that range in size from small stocks to huge batholiths.
Quartz countertops are one of the most durable countertop options available. They are also beautiful and versatile, offering a wide variety of colors and designs to choose from.
Unlike many other countertop materials, quartz isn’t porous, so liquid won’t easily seep into the surface. This is an important benefit for a kitchen or bathroom where oil, wine or other liquids could spill on the counters.
Another reason to go with quartz is that it’s easier to maintain than most other materials. It won’t need to be resealed often, and it can be cleaned with soap and water.
3. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel countertops are among the most durable surfaces available for kitchens. They are hygienic, chemical and heat resistant and don’t stain easily.
They’re also easy to clean and disinfect with regular cleaning habits, which makes them a great choice for restaurants and busy households.
Another great thing about stainless steel is that it doesn’t stain, making it an excellent choice for a kitchen with lots of messes. Acids, drinks, oil and other stains won’t set on stainless steel.
While stainless steel is extremely durable, it can scratch and dent if it’s not installed correctly. It also can be quite noisy if you cook or use the countertop for anything else. You’ll want to opt for a lower gauge (14 or 16-gauge) to keep the noise level down.
4. Butcher Block
Butcher block is a versatile wood countertop option that’s durable and easy to care for. Its natural beauty and unique appearance make it a popular choice for homeowners who want to add an organic, rustic element to their kitchen design.
Butcher-block countertops are often made from end-grain or blended-grain wood, which are designed to withstand chopping and other heavy use. They’re usually a good choice for smaller prep areas, though you can also opt for a larger-scale island or counter top.
Butcher-block countertops are not without faults, however: They’re prone to water damage and stains. They also need to be oiled regularly to fill in scratches and protect the surface. They also require frequent disinfecting to prevent bacteria from growing on them.
Concrete is one of the most durable materials available, making it a great choice for any homeowner looking to build their kitchen. It’s also one of the most customizable options, with many styles and colors to choose from.
It can be patterned or painted to add a unique look, and you can even dye it any color you want. It can also be embedded with aggregates like stone or glass, which is a great way to add texture and interest.
Embedded elements add personalization to concrete countertops, as well. You can incorporate bits of broken dishware, glass fragments from your backyard, and other mementos to create a countertop that’s truly one-of-a-kind.
Marble countertops are a popular choice among homeowners who want to add luxury and a grand aesthetic to their kitchens. They are available in a variety of strains, colors, and finishes.
To create a marble countertop, artisans use a large slab of marble that has been quarried and transformed by intense pressure and heat. The result is a smooth surface with elegant veining that adds a rich, organic look to any space.
However, like other natural stone surfaces, marble is highly porous and will absorb stains, making it susceptible to staining if not properly sealed. It’s important to choose a marble countertop that is polished or honed, and seal it regularly to prevent stains.
One of the most durable options for kitchen countertops is tile. This material can be made from ceramic, porcelain or glass and offers endless possibilities for customization.
Homeowners can find tile in thousands of colors, sizes and patterns that will suit any decor. This makes it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms alike.
Tile is also heat resistant, so it’s a good material for counters next to a stove or oven. This means you can set hot pans on it without fear of damage.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly countertop material that has the look of natural stone or wood, laminate may be the perfect choice. Laminate counters are durable, easy to maintain and come in a variety of styles and colors to suit your design needs.
However, like any material used in a kitchen, laminate can have its drawbacks. For example, it can chip and scratch easily if you’re not careful.
It’s also susceptible to delamination, especially if your kitchen has unusual moisture levels. This can lead to water seeping through cracks and absorbing into the substrate underneath the laminate, which can cause warping and swelling.
Fortunately, there are some waterproof laminate options that don’t have this problem. Still, if you plan on using laminate countertops in a moist environment, make sure to clean up spills promptly and avoid exposing them to standing water.
The kitchen is one of the busiest places in your home, and it gets a lot of wear and tear. That’s why you want something that will be tough enough to withstand all the daily activities and look good for years to come.
Quartzite countertops are a great choice for your kitchen because they offer the look of marble but the durability and flexibility of granite. Some even come with the added benefit of being more resistant to stains and scratches.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone, formed over thousands of years by sandstone under intense pressure and heat. It varies in color from white to gray depending on the minerals and impurities present in the original sandstone.
Quartzite countertops are a great option for kitchens because they’re durable, easy to maintain, and versatile. They also look a lot like marble, which many homeowners love.
But while quartzite is a durable stone, it’s not as hard as granite or marble, so it won’t hold up if you’re careless about using coasters, wiping up spills immediately, and avoiding sharp knives directly on the counter.
This is where a natural stone sealer comes in handy. It’s easy to apply, and you’ll only need to do it if your quartzite needs it. It’s a low-cost option that will save you money in the long run.
Q: What are the most durable countertops for kitchens?
A: The most durable countertop materials for kitchens are granite, quartz, and solid surface. Granite is a natural stone that offers superior strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for busy households. Quartz is an engineered stone composed of different minerals and resins that is both stain-resistant and heat-resistant. Finally, solid surface countertops are made from acrylic or polyester resin mixed with colorants and pigments, offering both high-performance strength as well as a variety of colors and designs.
Q: How do I care for my kitchen countertops?
A: To ensure your kitchen countertop lasts a long time, it’s important to take proper care of it. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleansers or scouring pads as this can damage the surface. Instead, opt for gentle detergents and soft cloths when cleaning your countertop. Additionally, always use cutting boards to avoid scratching or chipping the surface when preparing food.
Q: What is the difference between granite and quartz countertops?
A: Granite is a natural stone created by volcanic activity which means no two pieces are alike in color or patterning. It is highly durable but also more vulnerable to staining than quartz due to its porous nature. Quartz countertops on the other hand are engineered from ground quartz crystals thus providing greater uniformity in terms of design and color tones compared to natural stones such as granite. However, quartz is more prone to scratches compared to granite since it has less density than its natural counterpart.