There is debate in the construction industry about which type of material can be made into the best kitchen countertops. If you want to upgrade your kitchen countertops, you might want to know what the most popular opinions and science say on the subject.
Your cabinets and countertops give your kitchen personality. The color and type of material used to make their statements range from blatantly bold to refreshingly refined.
Like everything else in the home, countertops wear down over time. How fast and to what extent depends on the materials you are using. We have provided you with the top five most durable—and fashionable—materials used to make countertops.
There are many options for countertops that we haven’t included on this list; we chose these materials because of their hardiness and durability. Other options may include the following:
- Ceramic tile.
- Wood/butcher block.
- Stainless steel.
These can all make beautiful and hardy countertops, but our list includes the toughest materials available.
1. Quartz Countertops
The best material to use by far is quartz. There is some debate about this, but science can settle those arguments.
Quartz is a naturally occurring material, but the slabs used to make quartz countertops are anything but natural.
Countertops made from quartz are engineered, not harvested. Combining various polymers, resins, and pigments makes up these countertops’ hardy composition. Quartz is the most abundant component of these countertops, making up between 80-90% of the total materials.
This engineered combination lays the foundation for creating incredibly durable countertops. Because each countertop is custom-made from quartz powder, the finished product will come with few, if any, visible seams between stones.
The combined strength of materials works to form a smooth, nonporous surface that is scratch and stain-resistant.
If you want a durable material that looks great, quartz is the best option on the market. Although artificial, these countertops are the hardiest available.
2. Granite Countertops
The second-best material is granite. Some believe granite to be stronger than quartz, but this naturally occurring rock has some quirks that set it apart from its close competitor, quartz.
Granite is a naturally occurring stone made from several minerals that make up its beautiful and imperfect surface. The two types of minerals found in granite are quartz and felspar.
Yes, quartz is naturally occurring in granite. It is part of the reason the stone is so resilient.
The difference between granite and quartz countertops is in the texture. Quartz counters are smooth and unbroken. Granite is porous and pieced together.
The porous nature of granite makes it more susceptible to chipping and stains. Regardless of this, the stone is remarkably resilient.
Granite remains such a popular feature in home decoration despite its inferior durability and relatively higher cost averages than other materials because of its natural beauty.
Granite is not manufactured. What you get is what comes out of the ground. In much the same way a natural diamond is more expensive than a lab-grown one despite impurities, homeowners love raw granite’s natural look and feel.
This isn’t to say that a granite counter is coarse or unpolished; on the contrary, its porous surface is smoothed down and glistens with the right treatment. Natural granite has imperfections, just like diamonds. These imperfections can add to the mood the countertop gives your kitchen.
3. Recycled Glass Countertops
High up on the list of most durable materials is yet another manufactured countertop.
The primary ingredients in a recycled glass countertop are glass shards, acrylic, and sometimes concrete. As with quartz, glass countertops are rugged and beautiful. The combination of acrylic and glass makes these countertops scratch and stain-resistant.
The use of recycled glass makes these countertops very eco-friendly. The recycled glass is often from the glass formerly used to contain alcoholic beverages, such as beer and hard liquor bottles.
The acrylic coating over the glass mosaic lends to the countertop’s firmness and durability. Glass countertops are generally scratch resistant. Their acrylic surfaces prevent staining and facilitate easy cleaning.
The composite nature of the material used can make some glass countertops brittle around the edges. This brittleness isn’t a problem in normal wear and tear. So long as the owner is conscious of the edges when moving things around the kitchen, no problems should arise.
4. Concrete Countertops
We can also use the same material we use to make the foundations and frames of our homes to make stunning countertops.
Using concrete for interior decoration isn’t a new idea. As tacky as it seems to use concrete for countertops, the end product is often stunning and durable. Both concrete and rebar make up concrete countertops, creating a sturdy structure that can take a lot of abuse.
Despite the abundance of existing materials, the labor involved in making concrete countertops brings it into the same tiered-price range as glass, quartz, and granite countertops. While concrete is very scratch resistant, it requires yearly treatment to remain stain-resistant. The annual maintenance necessary to keep it in pristine condition brings it lower on the list, but it is still one of the most durable materials you can use to make countertops.
5. Solid-surface Material Countertops
Unlike its predecessors on the list, solid-surface material countertops are made almost entirely out of synthetic materials.
These countertops feature acrylic particles, plastics, resins, and pigments. It is much easier to make custom countertops to match the rest of your kitchen’s theme with this material as opposed to as-is materials such as glass and granite. The resins used to color these countertops can be whatever blend suits you the most.
This material is more resistant to chipping and cracking than materials made from solid pieces like concrete and granite. Still, the material doesn’t withstand heat or scratches nearly as well as other materials on this list. However, due to its almost entirely synthetic composition, solid surface material countertops are stain-resistant and do not require any recurring treatment to remain so.
This material can be easily sanded, buffed, and polished to look new, which gives it an advantage over other materials.
Superior Commercial Solutions Quartz Countertops: High Volume and Top Quality
Because we believe so strongly in the value of Quartz countertops, we at Superior Commercial Solutions have perfected the ability to produce large quantities of high-value material for our customers.
If you need a high volume of quartz countertops supplied to a construction site, we are your end-all professionals for the job. Contact us to learn more about our fast and efficient process for delivering large quantities of high-end kitchen countertops!