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5 stylish and affordable kitchen countertop materials

Kitchen countertops can be one of the most striking features of the kitchen. When thinking about what material to use, it helps to strike a balance between what you find beautiful or show stopping and how functional it’s going to be in your home. While there are many materials to choose from, only a few are good-looking, practical, and worth the money you spend on it. Here are 5 great kitchen countertop materials that fit the bill:

  1. Granite
  2. Granite is one of the all-time favorite kitchen countertop materials. Naturally durable, it can easily withstand high temperatures, scratches, and abrasions. It also sports a high-end look with appealing stone patterns and varying colors that can enhance any home.

    Since granite is a natural stone, sealant has to be applied every 10 to 15 years to avoid stains. You’ll also want to clean up any spills as soon as they occur to maintain granite’s good looks. The stone’s sharp edges are also susceptible to chipping, so go for rounded edges instead.

    Cost: $45-$200 per square foot

  3. Quartz
  4. Just like granite, quartz is a gorgeous and durable material that’s popular in kitchens. It’s also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it a top choice for those who want a stylish countertop on a budget.

    Unlike granite, however, quartz is practically maintenance-free. It’s stain-resistant so there’s no need for you to apply sealants every so often. However, sharp edges are prone to chipping, so make sure to have the edges rounded.

    Cost: $55-$155 per square foot

  5. Laminate
  6. The most affordable material by far, laminate is popular for its simplicity and versatility. It’s available in almost any kind of color and pattern so you can achieve the look of natural wood or granite without having to use the real thing. Laminate is also surprisingly durable, being able to withstand heat and stains. Just avoid slicing and dicing directly on the countertop to avoid leaving unwanted scratches.

    Cost: $15-$40 per square foot

  7. Recycled glass
  8. Recycled glass is innovative if you’re going for a look that’s modern. This sleek material is versatile, complementing whatever color your kitchen may be, and conveying both a vibrant and minimalist feel. While its non-porous surface makes it resistant to stains and scratches, you should avoid directly exposing it to heat. If you have to take pots and pats out of a hot oven or stove, place them on trivets or heat-resistant pads.

    Cost: $50-$125 per square foot

  9. Wood
  10. Wood can give your kitchen countertops a homey look like no other material. It can work with most home styles too, whether Mediterranean or contemporary.  With varieties like maple, birth, and teak, wood offers you many options.

    But while wood is heat-resistant and nice to look at, it is also more prone to damage if not properly maintained. Wood countertops may also need refinishing after around 10 years to smooth over nicks and ordinary wear and tear.

    Cost: $55-$200 per square foot

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