Kitchen countertops: Which do you choose?

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any home. In addition to be the center of any entertaining in the house, it is often cited as one of the most critical features of any home purchase. There are various kitchen countertop materials to choose from & choosing wisely could go a long way in making your kitchen really stand out. Below are some of the more common types seen in South Florida.

Granite countertops

Pros: This is one of the most popular countertops seen in the U.S. It is a natural stone that is very strong and resistant to scratches.

Cons: Relative to other options, granite can be expensive. Since it is a natural stone, color options will be more limited than other options. Lastly, a stone sealer should be used periodically to preserve this stone.

Quartz countertops

Pros: Since this is an engineered stone (manufactured in a factory), there seems to be endless color options. In addition, this stone is quite hardy and requires virtually no maintenance. The surface is nonporous, making it stain-resistant, and most spills can be cleaned with mild dish soap and water.

Cons: If you are in the habit of placing hot pots or pans directly on the counter, then quartz may not be for you. Extreme heat can cause permanent discoloration of quartz countertops. In the event that you get a chip or a scratch, you will most likely require a professional repair.

Concrete countertops

Pros: This is one of the newest entrants in the space & has certainly increased in popularity. These tops are custom poured and homeowners can add items such as stones, embedded glass, tiles, or other creative items. As you would expect, this material is extremely strong and resistant to chipping.

Cons: As with any concrete, it requires time to cure upon installation. Therefore, it is not an item that can simply be installed in one day. In addition, concrete is also very porous and can stain easily. You will want to seal these countertops regularly to avoid any staining.

Stainless-steel countertops

Pros: Stainless-steel countertops are extremely common in commercial applications due to their durability and ease of cleaning. If an industrial look is what you are after, then this is certainly a great option.

Cons: As mentioned previously, stainless-steel is much more common in commercial applications than in residential. With this said, stainless-steel countertops may negatively impact resale value as most buyers would not prefer this finish. In addition, these counters can be cold to the touch and therefore not provide the warm ambiance that many look for in a kitchen.

Marble countertops

Pros: Marble is a natural stone that offers unique features. Another benefit is that it is easily matched with most decors.

Cons: Marble is a porous natural stone that requires sealing every few years. Similar to marble flooring, proper maintenance is required to keep a polished, shiny surface.

Corian countertops

Pros: Corian is actually a brand name from Dupont for a material that is a fusion of acrylics and polyesters. Although it is manufactured to appear like a stone, it is a non-porous substance that is easy to clean.

Cons: Corian countertops are not heat resistant, so a hot pot or pan can cause it to warp easily. In addition, these countertops are known to scratch easily.

Laminate countertops (i.e. Formica)

Pros: Laminate is a combination of paper and resin that’s bonded together with high heat and pressure. These tops are a lot cheaper than their stone counterparts, and you can find a variety of designs that mimic a wood look or the design of more expensive stone.

Cons: As one of the least expensive countertops available, you certainly get what you pay for. These tops are known to scratch and chip quite easily. Therefore, these tops are known to show wear and tear easily and therefore do not last very long. Lastly, resale value is a concern with this product as it is viewed to be a lower grade finish.


As with any finish in the home, personal preference will dictate the materials you choose. Overall, natural stones seem to be able to stand the test of time even as styles change. Of course, color tone preferences seem to vary over time. If you are remodeling a kitchen for a property that you are looking to sell soon, you will want to keep up with the latest interior design trends.


REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.