Fix Your Foundation Before It’s Too Late

Kitchen Countertops: Beyond Laminate And Marble

by Howard Barnett

Kitchen countertops have come a long way in recent years. You no longer have to choose between a cheap laminate material or an expensive marble countertop. There are lots of options that fall in-between those two extremes. It's a good idea to think about the material and how you use your kitchen before you chose a new countertop. There are some that look beautiful, but require lots of maintenance. Others are not designed for people who do lots of food prep in their kitchen. 

Stainless Steel

If you're someone who does a lot of cooking, then you should consider a stainless steel countertop. These are the preferred material in professional kitchens around the world. They are simple to clean and excellent for food prep. So, if you're dicing vegetables, rolling out pie dough, or slicing meat, then consider a steel countertop. They don't hold bacteria or germs like other materials.

These countertops require no maintenance. All you have to do is clean them after you're done cooking. They are costly because they are all custom installations. Unlike tile, quartz or granite, the steel needs to be shaped and fitted to your exact counter space. Tiles are premade and granite and quartz are cut into slabs at a factory. Stainless steel is unique in that it needs to be shaped on-site.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

If you're someone who doesn't do lots of cooking, and you think that stainless steel looks too cold and impersonal, then consider tile. Tile has the added benefit of being the most visually versatile. You can get tiles in any color or size. You can choose to go small with mosaic tile, or large with traditional square tiles.

Tiles are easy to install and, therefore, the installation cost is not very expensive. Many homeowners will even tackle a tile installation themselves.

Tile is relatively durable and after it is sealed. It resists stains quite well. The downside is that the grouting that is used between tiles is prone to staining. This means you will need to be vigilant about cleaning the grout. So, if you don't want to do any maintenance, then you should avoid tile.


If you don't like the idea of cleaning grout, and you also find stainless steel too cold and off-putting, then think about quartz. This is a material that is a great choice for people who do lots of prep work but still want a decorative style countertop.

Quartz countertops are sealed before they are installed in your kitchen. This means that they will not stain. They are also great for people who like to bake. They are completely smooth, as opposed to tile. This means that you can roll out pastry dough and bread dough on a floured surface with ease.

Unlike stainless steel, you can get many designs. Quartz countertops can be dark or light. You can choose a design that has a solid color, or one that shows off the brilliance of the tiny little quartz crystals in a multi-colored surface.