Marble countertops create an inviting and timeless look, whether you choose clean, classic white marble or one of the dozens of other colors available. The natural mineral deposits and impurities in this stone give rise to streaks, specks, and unusual patterns, which ensure that your countertop looks utterly unique. Some marble countertops may even be more affordable than their granite equivalents.
Compared to granite, marble is softer and more porous, so it can be more prone to scratching, etching, or staining. For some people, this means that marble is a high-maintenance choice. It’s true that you will need to clean up spills quickly and treat the surface every two years with a special sealer. However, if you can make peace with the fact that the appearance of your countertop will change slightly over time, marble can be a stunning option.
If you love the idea of marble countertops but want an option that is a little more uniform or low-maintenance, engineered quartz countertops may be a perfect choice. Options such as Caesarstone and Silestone are made primarily of quartz, which is mixed with small amounts of resin to create a strong, minimally porous surface. Quartz countertops are available in a wide range of distinctive colors, and they offer more uniform patterns and colors than all-natural countertops.
To many people, wood offers a beauty that other materials, whether natural or engineered, simply cannot rival. Traditional wood countertops can add immediate warmth to your kitchen or elegance to your bathrooms. Wood offers a surface that is warm to the touch, quiet to work on, and — with proper treatment-resistant to heat, bacteria, and citrus staining. With regular care, the appearance of a wood countertop will only improve in time. One often-overlooked benefit of choosing wood is that it can be more easily cut and installed than stone surfaces, which can lead to cost savings. Wood may not be the right choice if you want an extremely low-maintenance material; wood counters may need oiling as many as two or three times a year to prevent drying. However, if you are willing to put in a little extra work, wood can add value and timeless beauty to your home.
Tile countertops are an appealing option for more creatively inclined homeowners, as they allow for full customization of color, pattern, and texture. Ceramic or porcelain tile also creates a polished, classic look that will stand the test of time with proper care and maintenance. You may also be attracted to tile if you want a highly cost-effective option.