If you want low maintenance and durability, Quartz is King. It is naturally stain and heat resistant without a sealant, however, these counters are still sealed for extra protection and beauty. It is available in an array of styles and vibrant colors. Edges and corners can chip so rounded edges are usually preferred.
Cost: $55-$100 per square foot
Takes the No.2 spot for durability. Granite can withstand heavy use from heat and scratches, and with the variety of new lifetime sealants available maintenance is no longer an issue. But it can also chip on the edges, and sometimes due to heavy use may need to be resealed during it's lifetime.
Cost: $50-$100 per square foot
Comes in a variety of colors and is great for seamless installations. Solid surface sinks can be mounted seamlessly to the countertop, and it easily resists stains and heat. The only drawback is that these counters are prone to scratches and dents. Thankfully since it is a composite these flaws can be repaired easily.
Cost: $60-$100 per square foot
This certainly gives a contemporary and vibrant look to your kitchen! Recycled glass is resistant to heat, cuts, and scratches, but stains can be an issue. This countertop can add a lot of style without sacrificing too much durability.
Cost: $90-$120 per square foot
These counters can be customized anyway you can imagine. The colors and textures are limitless. However, cracks can develop if purchased from a subpar fabricator. Also when it comes to sealants, you must pick between two evils. Topical sealers resist stains but not heat, whereas penetrating sealers resist heat but not stains. And whichever one you choose, it will need to be reapplied occasionally.
Cost: $90-$120 per square foot
Absolutely beautiful! Soapstone can withstand heat quite well but it is prone to stains. It also scratches and nicks very easily, but these can be repaired. Although no sealers are used it needs to be rubbed with mineral oil periodically.
Cost: $70-$100 per square foot
A high end look that's featured in a lot of magazines. While it's great for baking, marble is softer and more porous than other stones like granite. Therefore, it scratches easily, isn't very heat resistant, and needs to be resealed regularly to ward off stains.
Cost: $70-$150 per square foot
Amazing what they can do with laminate these days! Although the colors, patterns, and textures have greatly increased, the cost of these counters have not. Laminate is excellent at resisting stains and heat, but it can be scratched easily. Most people assume these counters must have visible seams, however, there are a variety of manufacturers that can produce large counters and islands with no visible seams at all!
Cost: $30-$60 per square foot
Perfect for a modern look. These counters resist stains and heat, but do not rust or discolor. Just like a solid surface counter these can be combined seamlessly with a stainless steel sink. The only issue is fingerprints, scratches, and dents. But some matte and grain finishes do a good job of hiding these issues.
Cost: $50-$150 per square foot
So you want a country kitchen? These countertops can really complete the look. Butcher block is very easy to install and repair, but these counters will need periodic sealing and refinishing to continue looking new. Cuts, dings, scratches, and stains will happen. The finish will really affect performance. Varnishes improves stain resistance, but penetrating oils will decrease it.
Cost: $40-$100 per square foot
The Shops at Marlborough Barn
45 North Main Street
Marlborough, CT 06447
How well your counter holds up is directly linked to what it's made of, and more expensive does not equal more durable. Here are the most common type of Counters available.