Kitchen Countertops | The Best Materials And Styles | Décor Aid

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The Best Kitchen Counter Tops By Material And Style

kitchen countertops

Are you looking to elevate your kitchen with dynamic new countertops but aren’t sure of the best materials for your style? To get you inspired, we tasked our renovation experts to take you through the pros and cons of different countertop materials so you can make the best decision for your kitchen while giving you sage ideas on design as well. From concrete to wood and the industrial kitchen feels of stainless steel, here’s everything you need to know.

Granite

granite kitchen countertops

Granite is expensive and elegant and has been a counter-top of choice for good reason, but times are changing as more materials and options are coming on to the market. That said, if you want a luxury kitchen space, then a granite counter top will suit all of your needs.

Pros

  • Heat resistant
  • Thousands of colors and styles available
  • High durability
  • Low maintenance once sealed

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Possibility of cracking if not installed correctly
  • Knives dull quickly when cutting on granite

How to Style It:

There are so many options when it comes to granite; you can style minimalist with a black or white counter top, or warm up the room a little with a light gray. Introduce some pattern and texture with an interesting grain or veining, for something a little different than plain kitchen countertops.

Laminate

laminate kitchen countertops

Laminate kitchen countertops are inexpensive and easy to clean. They can be purchased ready-made or made custom to fit your kitchen. You get what you pay for with this surface; it’s never going to look premium like marble, but as more and more designs are becoming available and quality is increasing, they are becoming more and more popular.

Pros

  • Huge range of colors and styles available
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Inexpensive
  • Can fit yourself if you have DIY skills

Cons

  • If scratched, very difficult to repair
  • Seams are visible (meaning it can look cheaper)
  • Has the potential to look low-end

How to Style It:

Choose the most premium option you can afford and if you can get your counter top custom made to fit your kitchen, then do. Having it custom made means less joints and seams, making your kitchen counter will look more premium. So many colors and styles are available; so, you can have pretty much whatever style you had in mind. Some of the marble effect ones are great; choose a gray marble style counter top and accompany that with light gray cabinets for a relaxed and modern kitchen.

Marble

marble kitchen countertops

A wonderful way to add a unique feel to your kitchen; as with any natural material, no two pieces of marble will be the same. It’s expensive, so be prepared for that if you want to do all of your kitchen countertops in marble. Because it’s so expensive, it’s often just used for island countertops.

Pros

  • Beautiful stone, stunning natural veining
  • Heatproof
  • Waterproof
  • Very hard wearing

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Needs sealing to avoid staining
  • Possibility of scratching; repairs are difficult

How to Style It:

Go for a gorgeous white marble counter top with stunning veins of light gray running through it, for a truly luxurious feel in your kitchen. This looks stunning in an all-white kitchen but looks just as good against grey and dark blue. There are so many colors and styles to choose from, but we can guarantee whatever you choose will make for a luxurious kitchen counter top.

Ceramic Tiles

tile kitchen countertops

Tiles are cheap and if you don’t like the look of laminate worktops and you need kitchen countertop ideas on a budget, then this is the option for you. Ensure the tiles are ceramic and non-porous, as you don’t want anything to be absorbed.

Pros

  • Huge range of colors and styles available
  • Affordable
  • Heat resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Can fit yourself if you have DIY skills

Cons

  • Grouting can stain and be hard to clean  
  • Tiles could crack under impact

How to Style It:

Have fun with your tiles and choose a bold pattern and color to complement your kitchen. Yellow and white tiles brighten up your kitchen space and blue and white tiles add a traditional feel. How about a Moroccan inspired kitchen counter top? Choose bold patterned tiles to make an impact.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel kitchen countertops

Stainless steel makes for a contemporary looking counter top. It’s great if you are worried about bacteria, as it is the easiest of kitchen countertops to keep clean and germ free. They can be made to fit your kitchen and because they are made to your specs, you can keep them seam and joint free – for an elegant statement.

Pros

  • Completely heat resistant
  • Completely stain resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Modern premium countertop

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Easily scratched
  • Surprisingly noisy

How to Style It:

Stainless steel kitchen countertops look perfectly in-keeping with a modern industrial kitchen – style with stainless steel units for a truly industrial look. Looking for something a little softer? Take a trip down the route of elegance; stainless steel reflects light and looks pretty up against light kitchen units. For a seamless look, have a stainless-steel backsplash fitted too; limiting the number of materials and textures used.  

Engineered Quartz

quartz kitchen countertops

Engineered quartz is made up of quartz particles and minerals, which are then bound together with resin to create your worktop. As it is engineered, it comes in a huge range of colors and styles, so the perfect kitchen counter top is out there for you.

Pros

  • No sealing required
  • Completely heatproof
  • Scratchproof to a point
  • Available in huge range of colors and styles

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not 100% stain resistant

How to Style It:

Pick out the tones and colors from your worktop and use these in and around the rest of your kitchen. If there are gold flecks; choose bronze accessories and fittings to complement your worktop.

Wood

wood kitchen countertops

Wood kitchen countertops are cute and traditional and will give a country feel to any kitchen. They require a bit of work and maintenance, but if you treat them well, they will treat you well. They don’t go out of style; you can style them traditionally or with a modern twist, so they are in-keeping with current trends.  

Pros

  • Gives a country feel
  • Can be sanded and resealed to rectify damage  
  • Long lasting if cared for well

Cons

  • Easily stained if liquid is left to sit on the surface
  • Scratched easily
  • Sanding and re-sealing is a big job and needs to be done often

How to Style It:

Wood kitchen countertops can be styled traditionally or with a modern edge. Style your wood counter top with traditional colors that evoke a farmhouse kitchen; antique cream units, or pastel blue or green. Paired with a classic ceramic sink, your kitchen will be a country haven. For something a little more modern, take a trip down a more industrial route. Subway tiles, teamed with dark, masculine units will turn your kitchen into an industrial haven; add copper toned accessories for the perfect look.

Concrete

concrete kitchen countertops

Concrete countertops are usually cast to fit the shape of your kitchen – this means they are a perfect fit and are great if you have an oddly shaped kitchen which would have resulted in lots of joints. The concrete is highly polished, so a lovely glossy finish is achieved and can be textured, or acid stained to produce different variations on color. Previously prone to cracking, new treatments are available to reduce that possibility.

Pros:

  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Unusual and interesting look; not an everyday countertop
  • Different textures and colors are available

Cons:

  • Expensive (custom work required)
  • Possibility of cracking, but sealants can reduce risk
  • Needs to be sealed regularly

How to Style It:

Left to look more like concrete as you know it, this is a counter top which will look industrial and wouldn’t look out of place in a minimalist, modern kitchen. The gray color will complement all white kitchen cabinets perfectly, and it will go well with stainless steel fixtures and fittings. Concrete kitchen countertops also look stunning against dark kitchen cabinets and white tiles, for a gorgeous masculine look.

Images via Pinterest

The Best Kitchen Counter Tops By Material And Style

kitchen countertops

Are you looking to elevate your kitchen with dynamic new countertops but aren’t sure of the best materials for your style? To get you inspired, we tasked our renovation experts to take you through the pros and cons of different countertop materials so you can make the best decision for your kitchen while giving you sage ideas on design as well. From concrete to wood and the industrial kitchen feels of stainless steel, here’s everything you need to know.

Granite

granite kitchen countertops

Granite is expensive and elegant and has been a counter-top of choice for good reason, but times are changing as more materials and options are coming on to the market. That said, if you want a luxury kitchen space, then a granite counter top will suit all of your needs.

Pros

  • Heat resistant
  • Thousands of colors and styles available
  • High durability
  • Low maintenance once sealed

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Possibility of cracking if not installed correctly
  • Knives dull quickly when cutting on granite

How to Style It:

There are so many options when it comes to granite; you can style minimalist with a black or white counter top, or warm up the room a little with a light gray. Introduce some pattern and texture with an interesting grain or veining, for something a little different than plain kitchen countertops.

Laminate

laminate kitchen countertops

Laminate kitchen countertops are inexpensive and easy to clean. They can be purchased ready-made or made custom to fit your kitchen. You get what you pay for with this surface; it’s never going to look premium like marble, but as more and more designs are becoming available and quality is increasing, they are becoming more and more popular.

Pros

  • Huge range of colors and styles available
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Inexpensive
  • Can fit yourself if you have DIY skills

Cons

  • If scratched, very difficult to repair
  • Seams are visible (meaning it can look cheaper)
  • Has the potential to look low-end

How to Style It:

Choose the most premium option you can afford and if you can get your counter top custom made to fit your kitchen, then do. Having it custom made means less joints and seams, making your kitchen counter will look more premium. So many colors and styles are available; so, you can have pretty much whatever style you had in mind. Some of the marble effect ones are great; choose a gray marble style counter top and accompany that with light gray cabinets for a relaxed and modern kitchen.

Marble

marble kitchen countertops

A wonderful way to add a unique feel to your kitchen; as with any natural material, no two pieces of marble will be the same. It’s expensive, so be prepared for that if you want to do all of your kitchen countertops in marble. Because it’s so expensive, it’s often just used for island countertops.

Pros

  • Beautiful stone, stunning natural veining
  • Heatproof
  • Waterproof
  • Very hard wearing

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Needs sealing to avoid staining
  • Possibility of scratching; repairs are difficult

How to Style It:

Go for a gorgeous white marble counter top with stunning veins of light gray running through it, for a truly luxurious feel in your kitchen. This looks stunning in an all-white kitchen but looks just as good against grey and dark blue. There are so many colors and styles to choose from, but we can guarantee whatever you choose will make for a luxurious kitchen counter top.

Ceramic Tiles

tile kitchen countertops

Tiles are cheap and if you don’t like the look of laminate worktops and you need kitchen countertop ideas on a budget, then this is the option for you. Ensure the tiles are ceramic and non-porous, as you don’t want anything to be absorbed.

Pros

  • Huge range of colors and styles available
  • Affordable
  • Heat resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Can fit yourself if you have DIY skills

Cons

  • Grouting can stain and be hard to clean  
  • Tiles could crack under impact

How to Style It:

Have fun with your tiles and choose a bold pattern and color to complement your kitchen. Yellow and white tiles brighten up your kitchen space and blue and white tiles add a traditional feel. How about a Moroccan inspired kitchen counter top? Choose bold patterned tiles to make an impact.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel kitchen countertops

Stainless steel makes for a contemporary looking counter top. It’s great if you are worried about bacteria, as it is the easiest of kitchen countertops to keep clean and germ free. They can be made to fit your kitchen and because they are made to your specs, you can keep them seam and joint free – for an elegant statement.

Pros

  • Completely heat resistant
  • Completely stain resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Modern premium countertop

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Easily scratched
  • Surprisingly noisy

How to Style It:

Stainless steel kitchen countertops look perfectly in-keeping with a modern industrial kitchen – style with stainless steel units for a truly industrial look. Looking for something a little softer? Take a trip down the route of elegance; stainless steel reflects light and looks pretty up against light kitchen units. For a seamless look, have a stainless-steel backsplash fitted too; limiting the number of materials and textures used.  

Engineered Quartz

quartz kitchen countertops

Engineered quartz is made up of quartz particles and minerals, which are then bound together with resin to create your worktop. As it is engineered, it comes in a huge range of colors and styles, so the perfect kitchen counter top is out there for you.

Pros

  • No sealing required
  • Completely heatproof
  • Scratchproof to a point
  • Available in huge range of colors and styles

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not 100% stain resistant

How to Style It:

Pick out the tones and colors from your worktop and use these in and around the rest of your kitchen. If there are gold flecks; choose bronze accessories and fittings to complement your worktop.

Wood

wood kitchen countertops

Wood kitchen countertops are cute and traditional and will give a country feel to any kitchen. They require a bit of work and maintenance, but if you treat them well, they will treat you well. They don’t go out of style; you can style them traditionally or with a modern twist, so they are in-keeping with current trends.  

Pros

  • Gives a country feel
  • Can be sanded and resealed to rectify damage  
  • Long lasting if cared for well

Cons

  • Easily stained if liquid is left to sit on the surface
  • Scratched easily
  • Sanding and re-sealing is a big job and needs to be done often

How to Style It:

Wood kitchen countertops can be styled traditionally or with a modern edge. Style your wood counter top with traditional colors that evoke a farmhouse kitchen; antique cream units, or pastel blue or green. Paired with a classic ceramic sink, your kitchen will be a country haven. For something a little more modern, take a trip down a more industrial route. Subway tiles, teamed with dark, masculine units will turn your kitchen into an industrial haven; add copper toned accessories for the perfect look.

Concrete

concrete kitchen countertops

Concrete countertops are usually cast to fit the shape of your kitchen – this means they are a perfect fit and are great if you have an oddly shaped kitchen which would have resulted in lots of joints. The concrete is highly polished, so a lovely glossy finish is achieved and can be textured, or acid stained to produce different variations on color. Previously prone to cracking, new treatments are available to reduce that possibility.

Pros:

  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Unusual and interesting look; not an everyday countertop
  • Different textures and colors are available

Cons:

  • Expensive (custom work required)
  • Possibility of cracking, but sealants can reduce risk
  • Needs to be sealed regularly

How to Style It:

Left to look more like concrete as you know it, this is a counter top which will look industrial and wouldn’t look out of place in a minimalist, modern kitchen. The gray color will complement all white kitchen cabinets perfectly, and it will go well with stainless steel fixtures and fittings. Concrete kitchen countertops also look stunning against dark kitchen cabinets and white tiles, for a gorgeous masculine look.

Images via Pinterest

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