Properties

The following guide lists the durability, price, and pros and cons of each countertop material.

This guide uses the Mohs Scale to rate the common counter surfaces. The closer the material is to 10 the harder it is to scratch.

This image shows the average relative price of each countertop material.

Pros and Cons

Counter Surfaces Advantages Disadvantages
Laminate
  • Stain resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Color Options
  • Low-maintenance
  • Inexpensive
  • Can crack and scratch
  • Not heatproof
  • Usually replaced instead of repaired
Soapstone
  • Resistant to etching
  • Somewhat resistant to stains
  • Scratches can be easily sanded
  • Regular maintenance required
  • May crack, chip, and scratch
  • Color may darken
  • Must purchase by the slab
Solid Surface
  • Scratches and burns can be sanded
  • Deep gouges can be filled
  • Seams are hard to detect
  • Available in wide array of colors
  • Can be damaged by heat
  • Scratches and dents
  • Will stain
Butcher Block
  • Scratches and burns can be sanded
  • Gouges can be filled
  • Natural patina
  • Easily damaged
  • Burns, dents, stains, and scratches
  • Requires sealing
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Water discolors it
Marble
  • Heat resistant
  • Smaller kitchens and baths may be able to take remnants
  • Withstands high traffic
  • Durability is dependent on grade
  • Porous, and can scratch
  • Scouring powders or abrasives will mar
  • Can be etched by acids
  • Must be purchased by slab
Glass
  • Non-porous and, therefore, antibacterial
  • Heat resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Subdued appearance
  • Can crack, chip or break
  • Can't be repaired, must be replaced
  • Scratches easily
  • Shows fingerprints
Slate
  • Non-porous
  • Naturally anti-bacterial
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Subdued appearance
  • Can chip or crack
  • Edges and corners can be brittle and sharp
  • Must be purchased by slab
Stainless Steel
  • Durable
  • Stain-proof, spill-proof, and temperature-proof
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Will reflect light and brighten the area
  • Expensive
  • Scratches, nicks, and dents
  • Shows fingerprints
  • It's noisy
Granite
  • Won't scratch easily
  • Resistant to stains
  • Non-porous if sealed
  • Low-maintenance
  • High resale value
  • Many color options
  • Slab remnants can save money
  • Porous rock that is sealed
  • Yearly waxing required
  • Must by┬ápurchased by┬áslab
Engineered Quartz/Stone
  • Non-porous
  • Resistant to scratches and stains
  • Easy to maintain
  • No sealant required
  • Looks like natural stone
  • No need to apply wax or sealers
  • Slab remnants can save money
  • Do not expose to abrasives, acids, or oxidizers
  • Not heatproof, but is heat resistant
Ceramic/Porcelain/Tile
  • Inexpensive and durable
  • Available in many colors and styles
  • Broken tiles can be replaced with new ones
  • Uneven surface
  • Tiles can get scratched, cracked, or chipped
  • Grout can stain
  • Grout is porous
  • Moisture can penetrate
Concrete
  • Smooth and very strong
  • Heat and scratch resistant material
  • Lots of color options
  • Durable
  • Can crack
  • Somewhat porous
  • Must be sealed and waxed
  • Needs to be custom cast
Quartzite
  • Can be used as a cutting board
  • Not harmed by acidic drinks
  • Heat resistant
  • Non-porous
  • Naturally anti-bacterial
  • Does not require sealer or maintenance
  • Expensive stone
  • Can chip and crack
  • Must be purchased by slab