How to Choose the Right Countertop Material for Your Kitchen

Finding the right countertop material for your kitchen is a journey. You have to consider numerous factors to make the best investment. Use this guide to simplify the process and investigate every option before starting your next home renovation.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with homeowners every day about choosing the right countertop material for their remodels. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, or San Diego with reliable, pre-screened general contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience. Keep reading to learn about the best countertops to consider for your project.

choose the best countertops for your home

Popular Types of Countertops

People often love the appearance of particular countertops but don’t know the material’s name. Read about the most popular types of countertops to better research your options.

Marble kitchen countertops

1. Marble

If you’ve ever caught your breath while looking at a countertop material with natural veining, you were likely looking at marble. The unique material has a modern aesthetic that works with various interior design color schemes. It’s durable and heat resistant but may have a premium cost.

Marble undergoes special treatment to become strong enough for countertop use. The extra manufacturing gives it a higher price tag than other counter materials. It’s something to remember if you’re already falling in love with pictures online or options at local stores.

Kitchen with granite countertops

2. Granite

Gorgeous granite countertops might be in your future if you like a mix of natural mineral veins and splotches of color. The tough stone comes in numerous colors, which is one of the reasons why 24% of homeowners choose granite as their countertops. It’s also heat resistant.

If you’re always cooking, granite countertops could become your new favorite part of the kitchen. They’ll be fine under warm appliances, hot dishes, and years of use. Even minor abrasions don’t show up against this rugged igneous rock.

Soapstone countertops

3. Soapstone

When you picture soapstone, imagine sleek stone countertops in dark gray or black hues. The non-porous material won’t change after years of liquid spills. As long as you treat it with mineral oil once a month for the first year, your counters will evoke earthy vibes that ground your home.

Quartz countertops and white shaker cabinets

4. Quartz

Businesses source quartz from global quarries, but there are two ways to make it. You could select engineered quartz counters to benefit from their stylized manufacturing. A natural quartz countertop would have more color variations due to time and weathering forming it gradually. The primary differences come down to the price tag and installation fees.

Quartz also has a bonus — it doesn’t require fancy cleaning products because it does so well under soap and water. It’s a robust material people use for countertops and backsplashes.

Laminate countertops in newly remodeled kitchen

5. Laminate

Anyone with a passion for DIY renovations can check out laminate countertops. They’re budget-friendly and lightweight. Select the design and color you like from the options at your preferred countertop company.

Laminate counters are easy to work with, although they may start peeling after a few years due to the coating. Some foods can stain more economical laminate counters if they linger longer than a few hours.

The upside of laminate counters is you can use most cleaning supplies to remove the stains. They don’t require specialized cleaning because laminate is a robust material.

Modern white kitchen with fresh produce

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Countertops

Once you have a few countertop materials in mind, it’s time to narrow your options. Remember these factors to choose the proper countertop material for your lifestyle.

how often do you cook in the kitchen

1. How Often You Cook or Bake

Messes are an unavoidable part of kitchen activities. If you’re always cooking or using the latest culinary gadgets, food will splatter across your counter. The material should be stain-resistant and waterproof so your time in the kitchen doesn’t ruin your newly purchased counters. Soapstone, quartz, and laminate materials may be the best place to start your search.

durable counters for a large active family

2. How Rambunctious Your Family Is

Even if your family is careful in the kitchen, accidents happen. Dishes fall, kids throw toys, and other incidents lead to chipped counters or scratched surfaces. Extra durable counters could be best for your home if you have a large, active family. Check out the designs or colors available with marble, quartz or granite.

busy-working-professional low maintenance counters

3. How Much Time You Have

Sometimes, counters require specific routine maintenance. Porous counters could need sealant sprays every few weeks, while others will break down under standard cleaning supplies.

Consider how much time you have to keep up with the extra work. It might only take a few minutes, but many people don’t have those precious moments. If you want low- or no-maintenance counters, compare your options with sealed marble or laminate materials.

Interior design kitchen styles

4. Which Interior Design Style You Prefer

A fancy tiled countertop may look out of place if the rest of your home looks like an off-grid, rustic cabin with only natural materials. Imagine each potential countertop in your home to compare it with your existing interior design.

The best material will match your home’s beauty and potentially double as decor. Coastal or rustic homes would look great with soapstone or marble counters. Mid-century modern and modern farmhouse homes may look better with quartz. It depends on your personal preferences.

Consider budget friendly countertops

5. What Your Budget Is

You shouldn’t have to purchase something out of your price range to make your kitchen look gorgeous. Reflect on your monthly budget to determine how much you want to save or can put aside for your upcoming renovation. You should settle on an amount that won’t disrupt your daily life to reach.

It may be easier to set a budget when you get quotes from countertop installation businesses. Buying and installing countertops costs an average of $3,315, depending on your material preference and installation method.

Do you enjoy doing big projects by yourself? You can also order your counters cut to your kitchen’s dimensions and put them in place without help. Secure them to the walls and cabinet to enjoy a newly renovated kitchen for a much more budget-friendly price.

Pick the Best Countertop Material for Your Lifestyle

Your future counters should work with your daily needs. Reflect on your lifestyle to determine if they should be more durable, stain-resistant, or low maintenance. No matter which counters you choose, you’ll be that much closer to the ultimate kitchen makeover.

Need help finding a great contractor for your construction project in the Los Angeles area? Let GreatBuildz assist you in finding the perfect match. Just share the details of your project and we’ll help pair you with one of our trusted, pre-vetted local contractors. Contact GreatBuildz today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.


Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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