6 Mar 2019

How to decide on a countertop material in your kitchen

Article written by: Jules Hopkins at House Tipster

Adding a kitchen countertop delivers several benefits that start with adding value to your home. A countertop increases the space you have to prepare food, as well as entertain guests in a less formal environment. Kitchen countertops can turn a boring kitchen design into a vibrant design. You can also significantly increase the storage space in a kitchen by installing a countertop. The question is not whether adding a kitchen countertop is a good idea, but instead, how to decide on a kitchen countertop in your kitchen.

Three factors determine the type of countertop that you add to your kitchen:

  • Material
  • Color
  • Budget


Homeowners considering installing a kitchen countertop can be overwhelmed by the number of material options available. Let’s look at six popular material options to get you started on the journey to choose the right countertop for your kitchen.


Granite presents a stunningly beautiful mottling, as well as a variety of colors that brighten up a high traffic area of your home. The long lasting granite countertop material resists the types of damage caused by heat, moisture, and knife scars. As with most other types of stone, you have to seal granite to prevent stains from ruining its appearance. Sealing adds another cost factor to granite, which typically runs between $35 and $100 per square foot for it to be installed.


At between $40 and $100 per square foot installed, marble sits on the high cost end of kitchen countertop materials. However, you get a sleek kitchen accessory that guests immediately notice whenever they walk into the room. The material can withstand prolonged exposure to heat because it retains a cool surface temperature. Like granite, marble does not prevent stains from diminishing the appearance of the material.


Quartz represents the middle ground between expensive stone and easy to care for countertop materials. Resin and quartz chips contain different colors to produce a dazzling display whenever the materials are exposed to natural and artificial light. Easier to clean than a stone material, quartz can run between $40 and $90 installed.

Stainless Steel

At between $65 and $120 for each square foot, stainless steel represents the most expensive kitchen countertop material (aside from copper). Associated with commercial kitchens, stainless steel is one of the strongest materials available for a countertop. However, the material does dent at times, as well as show unsightly stains and fingerprints.


Affordable tile handles exposure to heat and sharp knife blades. The easy-to-repair-and-replace material runs between $10 and $80 per square foot, which makes it one of the least expensive materials used to construct kitchen countertops. Because of chips, tile can create uneven surfaces for using a cutting board or for rolling dough out to make a pie crust.


Laminate does not run higher than $30 a square foot installed. Manufactured with resins that bond to a particle board, laminate is a low maintenance material that is simple to clean. Because of its light weight, the material does not require a heavy cabinet base for support. However, laminate is susceptible to the damage caused by heat and scratches.


A kitchen countertop can be one of the most important home décor decisions you will ever make. Therefore, you should spend the time necessary to select the best color for the countertop. Choosing the right color scheme for a kitchen countertop depends on your preference, how often you plan to use the kitchen accessory, and the overall ambiance and appearance you want to establish for your house.

Design of the Kitchen

Does your kitchen contain wooden doors and cabinets or does the kitchen present a more contemporary appearance dominated by glistening stainless steel appliances? How your kitchen looks goes a long way in determining the type of material used to construct a countertop. Unlike paint, the overall look of your kitchen should remain consistent for several years, if not decades. The first step to choose the right countertop color is to decide whether to complement or differ from the current design of the kitchen.

Kitchen Design Changes

Choosing a kitchen countertop color foremost depends on the color scheme of the kitchen. When you want to complement the paint color of the walls, you have to remember that paint colors often change in high traffic areas of a home. If you choose a bold color scheme to match wall paint color, the bold color scheme can become outdated if you decide to tone down the color of the paint added to the kitchen walls. Choose a kitchen countertop color with a more conservative color scheme to ensure design relevance for years to come.

Avoid Store Sampling

The kitchen countertop process typically culminates with the sampling of different material colors. However, sampling different countertop material colors in a store by comparing the colors, wood, and paint strips does not provide the same accurate assessment as taking the material color samples home and comparing the material color samples to the walls and accessories in your kitchen.

Do You Plan to Accessorize the Kitchen?

Kitchen accessories come and go about as often as Martha Stewart’s favorite Bundt cake recipe. You should account for one of the facts of kitchen design by selecting a countertop color that blends in with a wide variety of kitchen accessory colors. You might eventually add wallpaper over painted walls or replace wooden cabinets for more portable stainless steel storage units.


Your home improvement budget also plays a role in determining the type of material you want for a kitchen countertop. Tile and laminate countertop materials work for homeowners operating on restricted home improvement budget. You can save even more money by selecting butcher block or a solid surface material.

Just remember that choosing price over quality can cost you more money in the long run by requiring a major refurbishing or the replacement of an inexpensive kitchen countertop. The money you fork over now for granite countertop can save you money long term because the durable material lasts much longer and requires less maintenance than a cheap kitchen countertop material.

Article written by: Jules Hopkins at House Tipster