Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen and bathroom can be a fun but time-consuming task, with many factors to consider.
Aside from appearance, quality and durability are two factors to consider when choosing to invest in new materials for your home. Price is also likely to guide your decision- but a lower price point can often indicate a lower quality material that’s less likely to withstand years of wear and tear.
The best countertops for your kitchen and bathroom will also depend on the area it’s being installed in. Is it a high traffic area? Will the countertops be regularly exposed to heat, or stain-promoting substances? Do you require a countertop that you can place hot pots, pans or hair styling tools on without worrying about damage?
To help guide your decision on the best countertop to use in your kitchen and bathroom, here’s a list of the different qualities and features of popular countertop materials.
Quartz is an engineered material that contains other stone materials and cement. But quartz has earned its place in the countertop manufacturing industry for being extremely resistant against damage from water, heat, scratches and stains. Quartz is a non-porous material which means it doesn’t require regular sealing or maintenance to ensure it stays stain-resistant.
Quartz has a look that’s similar to stone, but can appear a little generic at times.
Granite is a popular choice for its unique appearance (available in over 20 shades) and ability to make any room look stylish and modernized. It can also withstand regular abuse from heat, spills and scratches when it’s been properly treated or sealed.
As a side note to caring for granite, some will argue that it doesn’t require sealing. But being a porous material, granite has the ability to absorb stains from wine, oil or hair dye. This is why getting it professionally treated and sealed every few years can help increase its lifespan and preserve its appearance.
Limestone is best known for being extremely heat resistant, which is an important feature for any bathroom or kitchen countertop to have. It also comes in a variety of colors and is considered one of the most aesthetically appealing bathroom and countertop materials to use in home renovations.
Like granite, limestone is a porous material that needs to be sealed. But when it comes to really tough stains, sometimes the seal isn’t enough to keep the stains off the material. Limestone is also more susceptible to scratches.
Marble is a popular bathroom countertop material because it can stand up well against heat. It’s also a unique material that can create a very appealing look, since no two slabs of marble have the same design.
While marble is beautiful, it’s not an ideal kitchen countertop material. As another porous material that requires periodic sealing, it’s prone to scratches, chips and dings in the kitchen that can leave permanent damage.
One of the biggest selling features of concrete countertops is how easily customizable – and beautiful- they can be. Although the word concrete may have you imagining a countertop that looks like a sidewalk, concrete countertops are anything but a boring grey slab of material.
Concrete is extremely tough and durable against wear and tear, scratches and heat and can last for years. These features make it an ideal material to use for your new kitchen or bathroom countertops. But concrete is also a porous material, which requires sealing every few years to avoid damage from common kitchen and bathroom stains.
As you can see, there’s no “one countertop fits all” solution. The best kitchen or bathroom countertops to install in your home will depend on its primary use, location and what type of damage it will be most exposed to.