Kitchen countertops make a strong impression, and serve as a highlight in your kitchen. With so many choices, it can be confusing to know which kind is the right choice for you. Here you can see the most popular materials for countertops at a glance, and easily compare the pros, cons, and relative prices.

The two most popular kitchen countertops are granite and engineered stone. Other options present more unique or more affordable alternatives, with various tradeoffs.
To give you an idea of how these surfaces compare visually, we’ve included an image of each material in grey tones.

Side-by-side images of grey countertops

Granite

granite countertops

Quartz

quartz countertops

Solid Surface

solid surface countertops

Laminate

laminate countertops

Ceramic Tile

ceramic tile countertops

Stainless Steel

metal countertops

Concrete

concrete countertops

Recycled Glass

recycled glass countertops

Comparisons of countertops

Type
Description
Appeal
Heat Resistant
Scratch Resistant
Stain Resistant
Maintenance
Approx Cost*

Granite

Very hard natural stone, cut in slabs. Elegant, highly popular.
Other types of stone not recommended for kitchens.
Yes Yes Yes
if polished and sealed properly
Very durable.
Requires sealing and resealing regularly.
$45-$95/ sq ft

Quartz

Engineered stone using natural quartz particles.
Harder than granite.
Generally more uniform look than natural stone.
Elegant and increasingly popular
Yes Yes Yes Very durable.
Very low maintenance. No sealing required.
$50-$100/ sq ft

Solid Surface

Made of  acrylic resins (plastic) to imitate stone and concrete. Seamless and can be made with integrated sink and backsplash. No No
but minor damage can be sanded out
Yes No maintenance unless damaged $35-$100/ sq ft

Laminate

Thin plastic sheet over plywood printed with images to mimic other materials. Available in fun patterns or realistic imitation, but usually shows seams on edges. No No
and can’t be repaired
Yes Low maintenance Easy to clean $15-$40/ sq ft

Wood/ butcher block

Strips of wood glued together to form a slab, usually made from hardwoods like maple & oak. Provides a warm, country look. Not recommended near sink. No No No
but can be sanded and resealed
Requires sealing and routine maintenance $40-$80/ sq ft

Metal (stainless steel, copper)

Made by wrapping a sheet of metal around wood core. Modern, industrial look.
Can be loud.
Shows fingerprints.
Yes No
and can dent
Yes No sealing required.
Clean with stainless steel cleaners.
$90-$160/ sq ft

Concrete

Color tinted, treated concrete custom poured to exact dimensions. High end exclusive material, customizable to any shape.
Different colors and textures.
Can integrate with custom sink.
Yes No Yes
if sealed
Very durable,
but should be sealed routinely
$65-$190/ sq ft

Recycled glass

Engineered with shards of recycled glass mixed with cement and pigment. Considered an environmentally friendly surface.
Unique, decorative
Yes Yes No
will stain similar to concrete in areas between glass
Durable, strong material. Requires buff with wax periodically and resealing every year. $68-$100/ sq ft

Ceramic Tile

Individual tiles set with grout. Wide range of colors and styles.
Possible for DIY.
Yes Yes Yes
but grout can stain
Tiles easy to clean,but grout requires routine cleaning and periodic renewal $10-$50/ sq ft

 *Approximate cost varies by region. Numbers listed to give relative comparison.

For more information about countertop choices, some good resources are: