Thinking about redecorating your kitchen and want to know more about kitchen counter tops before you start to shop?

Here’s a quick primer on the most common kinds of counter tops and some information about each.

We know: 1-Minute Lesson On Kitchen Counter Tops

Kinds and Qualities of Counter Tops

Butcher Block

Made from wood, like cutting boards. Relatively inexpensive. Vulnerable to cuts and nicks, but sandable. Needs to be well-cleaned. Usually maintained with wood oil or beeswax.

Authentic Stone

Usually made from granite or marble. Granite is best for kitchens because it resists stains, scratches, cracks and cleans up with warm water. (It’s also possible to get other, less hard stone tops like sandstone, soapstone and limestone.)

Engineered Stone

Looks like granite, but made from quartz and resins. It resists stains and abrasions, but can be damage with impact.

Ceramic Tile

Made from natural clay, fired and glazed. Big variety of colors and styles. Tile can look great, is easy to maintain and can be repaired. Because there is grouting between the tiles, it can look dirty over time unless you seal the grout, or use new, stain resistant grout.


Layers of plastic and paper, fused under high heat and pressure. Includes formica. Least expensive and most common option. Comes in lost of styles and colors. Resists stains, grease, heat and impact. Easy to clean.

Solid Surface

Made from acrylic or an acrylic blend, includes the brand Corian. Lots of variety in styles and colors, easy to clean and non toxic. Avoid hot objects on the counter and it can be damaged by too much cutting. Will stain at times.

Other materials

Stainless steel, which is good for areas where lots of water is used, and cast concrete.

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