All About Kitchen Countertops


A kitchen countertop should be easy to clean up and easy to work on. The ideal countertop has a smooth, durable surface with low porosity and minimal grout lines.

 

Below, we've listed and explained all of the most common options for kitchen countertops and their benefits and drawbacks. Read through and choose the best option for you!

Additional Reading: Helpful Kitchen Countertop Tips


Solid Surface Countertops


A solid surface countertop is fabricated from a large slab of natural stone or man-made quartz. If you order a solid surface countertop, a fabricator will come out to your house, measure your cabinets, cut the slab to your specific measurements, and install it for you. 

 

This is by far the most expensive countertop option; but with no grout lines, easy cleanability, the option of undermount sinks, and the improved resale value of your home, solid surface countertops are a sound investment.

Granite

New Venetian Gold granite countertop
New Venetian Gold granite

Granite has been the most popular kitchen countertop material for a long time. Whether you use 12x12 tiles or full solid surface countertops, granite is a beautiful, durable natural stone and an excellent choice for kitchens.

 

However, because it is a porous natural stone, you’ll need to seal it to help protect it from stains. We recommend investing in a high-quality 15-year stone sealer such as Sealer's Choice Gold and a granite-specific cleaner such as Stone Clean & Shine. With these products, you'll be able to protect and extend the lifespan of the color and the polished finish of your granite.

 

Through one of our countertop fabricators, we're able to offer straightforward pricing on several popular colors of solid surface granite countertops.

Quartz

A Cambria Brentwood quartz countertop
A Cambria Brentwood quartz countertop

Solid surface quartz countertops are becoming increasingly popular due to their high durability and the fact that they don’t require sealing.

 

Some brands, such as Silestone, even come with anti-bacterial coatings that further reduce the spread of germs; an ideal feature for a kitchen!

 

While a quartz countertop is one of the most durable and best-looking options for a kitchen counter, it is also usually the most expensive.

 

To learn more about quartz counters, the installation process, and how to receive a price quote, visit our Quartz page.

Not Recommended: Marble, Travertine, Limestone

Stained White Carrara marble
White Carrara marble with wine stains

Calcium-based natural stones (such as marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx) are not recommended for kitchen counters because acidic food and drink (such as lemon juice, peppers, vinegar, or wine) can etch and erode the stone.

 

If you have your heart set on a marble kitchen counter, be prepared to put extra effort into protecting your stone and quickly cleaning up any spills. Also, invest in a high-quality sealer and a polishing cream such as Renue to help extend the lifespan of your marble.

Large Format Tiles


We have several lines of high-density, commercial-grade, large-format porcelain tiles that are perfect for kitchen countertops.

 

Unlike natural stone countertops, porcelain tiles are virtually pore-free, so they never need to be sealed and will never stain. You can use any household cleaner on them, and commercial-grade porcelain is up to 30% stronger than granite!

Granite Tiles


Light-colored granite tile countertops
New Venetian Gold tile countertops

A common solution for kitchen countertops, 12x12" granite tiles are available in several hundred colors and a wide range of prices.

 

These easy-to-install tiles are far less expensive than granite solid surface countertops or mini-slabs, but require polishing or edging profiles to create a finished-looking edge.

 

Granite tiles have far more grout lines than other options, and if set improperly can result in an uneven surface.

Finished Edges


Close-up of porcelain countertop with Schluter metal edging
Two different Schluter edge profiles, Rondec and Rondec Step, are used to finish off this dual-color porcelain countertop.

If you utilize a tile option for your counters, you will need some way to finish off the edge.

 

Most porcelain lines have prefabricated bullnose tiles. These tiles are usually 3" or 4" tall with a long, rounded-over side and are used to finish off outside corners and edges.

 

With a natural stone or through-body porcelain, you can shape or polish the edge of the tile to create a soft, professional-looking transition. We can polish tiles for you or you can rent a polisher for a do-it-yourself installation.

 

You can also utilize Schluter edge metal, which come in a wide variety of profiles and finishes for a long, continuous, clean-looking edge.


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