May 312012


If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen and are having some trouble deciding on which countertop to select, I don’t blame you.  The truth is there are so many options on the market, and so many variables to consider, that the single task of choosing the material that’s right for you can be downright exhausting.  So to help you narrow down your search, I’ve compiled 8 of the most popular materials used for countertops and outlined the pros and cons of each.



Pros: Made of plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface that’s easy to clean and maintain. Come in a large variety of colors, patterns and textures. Durable and inexpensive.

Cons: Scratches and chips are almost impossible to repair. The material will show seams where the sheet is cut, and the price goes up considerably with front edge finishing.  Not heat resistant and will get damaged if you set a hot pan on it.



Pros: Many colors and styles are available, and you can create beautiful and unique mosaic designs and patterns. Usually you can place hot pans on a tile counter-top without damaging it. You can find a large selection of beautiful tile in all price ranges.

Cons:  Even if you use an epoxy-based or antimicrobial grout, the grooves become areas that collect dirt and generally make the surface more difficult to clean. Tiles, especially ceramic ones, can chip relatively easily and must be replaced.  If you’re hiring someone to install the tile, it’s a labor intensive process and can be costly.



Pros: Naturally beautiful, smooth and rich, dark gray material (and slight variations in color and tone are also available).  The look can be fitting to contemporary or traditional styles. You can set hot pans on it without causing damage, and inherent properties make it stain resistant and siliceous (meaning it won’t be affected by acids such as vinegar, lemon, etc.) It’s generally easy to clean.

Cons: It does require somewhat regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil to keep its luster and beauty. With time it is likely to darken, although this may not necessarily be a negative thing. Some cracking may occur. It can be expensive.



Pros: Available in a wide range of colors and patterns. It’s seamless, stain resistant, and any scratches can be easily buffed out.

Cons:  Setting hot pans on it can damage the surface, some solid surface materials can stain, and it can be moderately expensive.



Pros: Heat and scratch resistant. A variety of tints can be added to create unique finishes, designs and colors.  It’s strong and durable, and new treatments available can make it virtually crack- resistant.  It’s cast in place, so unusual shapes can be easily achieved.

Cons: Mid to high range on cost due to custom work and cracking is possible.  Must be sealed due to porosity.



Pros: Available in thousands of colors and patterns. Can have a very elegant look. Heat resistant and an extremely durable and hard material.

Cons: Must be sealed, can crack if under stress or if not installed properly. Expensive, but becoming more affordable.  Requires some maintenance and may need resealing annually.



Pros: Luxurious material that can add re-sale value to your home. Water proof, heat-resistant and beautiful.

Cons: Very expensive. It’s porous so it can stain easily unless professionally sealed.  Requires frequent maintenance and may need resealing every year.



Pros:  Engineered stone is composed of 93% quartz particles. It is available in a larger range of colors than its natural stone counterparts. Non-porous surface resists scratches, stains and acid.  Easy to maintain (no annual re-sealing required), and clean.

Cons: Expensive and can never quite achieve the look of natural stone.


I hope this short list helps in your decision-making process. Remember that Advance Concept’s professionals can install counter tops too!  Give us a call today for a free estimate!