Pros & Cons of the Most Popular Countertop Materials

Remodeling a room is an important project, and the decisions made can significantly impact the outcome and longevity of the updated space. The choice of countertops is critical because you have to consider the costs and benefits of each potential material.

Below, we compiled some pros and cons of the most popular material choices to help you make the best decision for your next remodel.

Granite

Pros

Granite is an excellent option because of the variety of colors and patterns available. It is also resistant to chips and breaks due to its sturdiness. This makes it a long-lasting and durable material choice for any commercial space. There's a reason why granite is one of the most popular choices from major vendors like Cambria countertops.

Cons

Granite is a very heavy material, making the installation very difficult and will present a need for added support beams or construction in the counter below the granite. This could drive up the cost of an already expensive material to install and use.

Marble

Pros

This stone is created when limestone is compressed by pressure and heat, making for an incredibly durable, heat-resistant option. Marble materials are usually lighter in color and will provide an excellent countertop that is mostly resistant to scraping and chipping. It also has a relatively high heat capacity making it more difficult to warm and cool the surface, so it won't burn if you place a hot pan onto it after cooking or baking.

Cons

One of the downsides of marble is that it is relatively not resistant to acidity and staining. Anything acidic in nature, like citrus juice or wine, will cause corrosion and potentially stain the lightly colored countertops.
However, this can be remedied by adding a sealant material applied to the surface annually retouched to prevent unnecessary staining to the countertop.

Quartz

Pros

Quartz is rated very highly on the Mohs hardness scale, close to 7 or 8, making it one of the most durable materials available for countertops. It's harder than most other materials, making it resistant to chipping and scraping, which often happens while cooking. Quartz is also relatively lightweight, making it relatively easy to install and very long-lasting.
Another benefit of using quartz as a countertop is the appealing patterns and light shades of pinkish color that are a hallmark of this natural stone.

Cons

A significant downside of quartz is the very little resistance to heat. Once installed, you will need to be very careful about what kinds of hot pans and pots you place onto the countertop's surface. Before investing in this beautiful but temperature-sensitive option, consider if this is something you or a client will want to deal with.

Laminate

Pros

Laminate is an artificial material that mainly consists of plastics and cardboard that are fused together to recreate patterns similar to natural materials, like marble or wood. These are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to install — it's even ideal for a DIY project.

Cons

A downside of using laminate as your material is the risk of breakage and chipping, as it does not have the same level of hardness as some other countertops like marble or granite. It is also challenging to keep clean and tidy due to the porous nature, which can more easily allow stains.

Finding the Right Material for Your Remodel

Before you drop a lot of money on one kind of material, ensure it's precisely what you or your client wants. Each comes with unique advantages and disadvantages, allowing some to be more affordable while others will last a lifetime.

Use this guide to inform your decision to envision your ideal countertops in your remodeled space.

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