Pros reveal most popular countertops for remodels

The striations in this bathroom's granite countertop give the appearance of movement. Countertop materials differ by cost, plus advantages and disadvantages. (Photo courtesy of member Laura G. of Tampa, Florida)

The striations in this bathroom's granite countertop give the appearance of movement. Countertop materials differ by cost, plus advantages and disadvantages. (Photo courtesy of member Laura G. of Tampa, Florida)

When it comes to your kitchen, the countertops play a big role in functionality and appearance. It's one of the most important areas to consider during any kitchen remodel. Just like everything else, trends come and go as technologies improve.

Currently, trends in kitchen countertops favor the most durable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing materials. Experts agree granite is the most requested material for countertops in today’s remodels.

Granite's pros and cons

“Granite is the most popular trend to date,” says Dewayne Randle of highly rated Irving Counter Top in Irving, Texas. “Granite is a natural stone that comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. The colors naturally vary throughout, making it unique. You won’t find a piece of granite that’s identical to another. It’s highly resistant to heat and scratching, making it the most durable countertop material available.”

The Dallas-area countertop installer says granite has become more affordable to homeowners during the past several years, which has been a contributing factor to its popularity.

Price, disadvantage

“The price varies between $38 and $75 per square foot,” Randle says.

Indianapolis countertop expert Tom Jeffers, of highly rated Pioneer Kitchens, says the only downfall with granite is that it’s a porous material.

“Because it’s porous, it has to be resealed,” Jeffers explains, noting the process is relatively easy. “Simply wipe the sealant on, let it set and wipe it off.”

Jeffers suggests resealing granite once a year, while other professionals might recommend every two or three years, depending on what type of sealer you use.

Quartz

The second most popular countertop material used in kitchen remodels is quartz, Jeffers says.

“It doesn’t have the natural varying colors that granite does, but the selection of colors and patterns is getting better,” he says. “Some types of quartz are even made to look just like granite.”

Randle says quartz and granite run similar in terms of cost.

It runs at about $42 to $80 per square foot,” he says. “It looks and performs just like granite, except the color consistency is always the same and it’s manmade.”

A big advantage to using either granite or quartz is the ability to install undermount sinks.

“When you have an undermount sink, the transition between countertop and sink is seamless, so you can wipe all the crumbs from the counter right into the sink,” Jeffers explains, adding the lack of a dip or a crack between the countertop and sink makes cleaning much easier.

Laminate

If you’re remodeling on a budget, experts agree the most affordable option is laminate, a material that Randle says has “been a popular choice for countertops since 1958.”

“The price runs from $12 to $15 per square foot,” he says, noting durability is its only downfall.

“It’s not nearly as durable as others,” he says. “If you take a hot pan off the cooktop and put it on the countertop, it won’t hurt granite but it will burn laminate. Granite does not scratch, but laminate does.”


More Like This

The good and bad of laminate countertops

counter.jpg

Laminate countertops are far more affordable than granite, and make great alternatives. (Photo courtesy of Jessie Shaw)
Laminate countertops are far more affordable than granite, and make great alternatives. (Photo courtesy of Jessie Shaw)

A Dallas countertop installer and an Indianapolis countertop installer give expert insight on laminate.

Comments

I also would like to hear about other kitchen counter tops - what about Porcelain....it's supposed to be very good.

We have a Corian countertop and integrated sink, which we love.

Granite has been covered ad nauseum. I don't hear much about corian type materials but would like to know more. And what about the metal countertops that are getting so much attention now.

Granite: I've read it emits low-level radiation, and that red granite emits the most. Also, how safe is the sealant, I presume tiny amounts end up in the food prepared on it. Other materials: whatever happened to Corian and similar countertop products? I'd love to see this article expanded, agree with Rob.

Is this a multi-part article or is it only about these three countertop materials? I would be interested to learn more about all the other materials that could be used for a countertop... especially the less common/more interesting options available... and how they stack up against granite/quartz.

Add comment

Deals
Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!