Thinking of renovating your kitchen? Choosing the right counter top material that fits your specific needs and kitchen style can be daunting. Apartment Therapy has put together a series all about counter tops listing the pro’s and con’s of each material.
Pros: Industrial Strength, durable, shiny, nonporous and easy to clean and disinfect, can be cut to any size and installed seamless, impervious to heat, rust, corrosion, and stains.
Cons: Dents and scratches easily; fingerprint smudges show up easily.
Pros: Warm look and feel; naturally anti-bacterial, strong and durable, biodegradable, affordable, particularly compared to granite or quartz counter tops.
Cons: Requires bi-annual sanding and oiling to protect the wood; sealed counters should not be cut on.
Pros: Extremely hard and durable; glossy sheen; non-porous and stain-and-crack resistant; does not require sealing or resealing; wide range of colors; easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth.
Cons: Expensive; not heat tolerant; seams are inevitable for large counter top designs.
Pros: Each slab is unique, hard, durable, scratch-resistant, impervious to stains, heat, and water when sealed, relatively easy to clean, comes in all colors, still highly covetable with an even higher resale value.
Cons: Expensive, heavy, needs annual resealing, ubiquitous, “granit fatigue”.
Synthetic Solid Surface
Pros: Non-porous, so it’s stain-, mildew-, and germ-resistant; strong and self-supporting, needs no plywood underlayment, easy to buff out scratches; can be installed seamless and made to imitate other high-end materials like marble and granite.
Cons: Vulnerable to heat, dents, and scratches; relatively expensive.
Pros: Non-porous, highly resistant to stains, scratches, shock, and temperature changes; low maintenance; durable; each slab is completely unique; available in a wide variety of colors; can be made seamless.
Cons: Very expensive; currently only produced in France; since it’s a newer product its longevity hasn’t been tested.
Pros: Durable, handles heat well, resistant to stain and nicks; low-to-mid range cost; easy to work with; nonporous construction; lighter than natural stone.
Cons: Requires a sealant like mineral oil; not suitable with abrasive cleaners.
Pros: Heat-resistant; very durable if sealed; shapes, edge details, and texture can be fully customized (i.e. you can add recycled glass or stone pieces into the mixture); can be made to look seamless with a filler.
Cons: MUST be sealed to protect from stains, water and heat damage, and bacterial growth, but even with sealing moisture or oil can make the counter top look “wet” and sloppy; can be expensive depending on the level of customization required.
Pros: Beautiful natural grey color, smooth matte feel, resistant to etching from acids, scratches can be sanded or oiled away; great surface for making pastries.
Cons: Requires maintenance; not as heat resistant as granite; not impervious to dents and scratches; regular oiling and buffing recommended; the color darkens with age (which may be a pro for some).