Kitchen Countertop Materials

From granite to laminate, learn about the different options for kitchen countertops and find the right material for your home.


Large, open kitchen

I'm just beginning to look into the choices in countertops and I must say I'm amazed at all the different materials available now. Can you help me understand the differences?


You're right; the material choices in countertops today are more varied than ever. The most common are laminate, solid surfacing, quartz surfacing, and granite. Other choices are ceramic tile, butcher block, stainless steel, glass, and concrete. Let?s consider the most common types.

Laminate is the least expensive and most practical countertop material to buy and install. It's a thin veneer available in a wide range of patterns and colors. Granite is the most expensive material. What you get for your money with granite is durability and a natural product where each piece is unique. Solid surfacing is a thick piece of synthetic resin that can look like granite or other materials but has a softer, warmer feel. Quartz surfacing uses synthetic resin to bond crushed quartz and color pigments.

Which you choose depends on your budget, style, and practicality. Today's high-end kitchens usually call for granite. Many people prefer solid surfacing for its warmer feel to the touch.

Answered by: Greg Cook, Home Remodeling Editor

About Greg

As a diehard do-it-yourselfer, Greg Cook has shared what he knows about building and remodeling with a national consumer audience for more than 25 years. He has served on staff at magazines and websites such as Better Homes and Gardens,, and Remodeling Ideas. Since launching his freelance career in 2006, Greg has contributed to Popular Mechanics, Men's Journal, and a host of special interest and custom publications. He specializes in energy efficiency and sustainability.

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