Your Countertop Guide

Types of Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop Materials

When you're renovating a kitchen or bathroom, you'll need to choose new countertops. There are many styles and materials that are available, but they all have their benefits and disadvantages. If you're ready to make the decision on one of the biggest design elements in a kitchen or bathroom, learn about the pros and cons of each of the different types of materials.



Easily one of the most popular types of countertop materials, granite has many benefits. People often love its diversity of color and pattern. It also works well in kitchens because it can withstand heat and knives without damage. One disadvantage is that it needs to be taken care of, including sealing. Also, due to its weight, you will need to make sure that your cabinets underneath are of high quality construction.



This material is always elegant, and it withstands heat well. Unfortunately, marble is very prone to absorbing stain, and those stains are not easy to lift. It is also a stone that needs to be sealed from time to time.



As a partially engineered product, with both resin and chips of quartz embedded within the resin, quartz countertops can come in a wide range of colors due to the ability to dye the resin. It is also durable, so it withstands heat and nicks from knives. One potential con, depending on your taste, is that you will likely be able to tell that it’s an engineered product.


Corian and Other Brands of Solid Surfacing

One of the benefits of Corian-type countertops is that they are very resistant to stains. They also don't require any kind of sealing, and the color options are nearly limitless since it's an engineered material. Unfortunately, this type of material can be burned and nicked.


Stainless Steel

Popular in restaurants and other commercial kitchens, stainless steel is becoming more popular because it works well in industrial style kitchens. It also holds up well against heat, and will have minimal wearing with knives. Stainless steel, however, it not everyone's taste, and it can look cold and uninviting if there aren't design elements that will liven and warm it up. It also only comes in one look.


Butcher Block

Butcher block wood has been becoming increasingly popular. On the one hand, it is a logical surface for preparing food, it has a warm appeal to it, and it can be sanded down if it begins to look worn. The downfall is that it needs to be sealed regularly because, since it's wood, it soaks up moisture. It can also grow mold if it isn't cared for.



Formica is still used in kitchens and bathrooms because it is very cost-effective. It also comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The major disadvantage, however, is that it is noticeable that it is a lesser quality material than many of the stones.


Choosing a countertop for the bathroom or living room is only one of the many steps to remodeling. We realized that, which is why the Design Center of Boise streamlined the process of picking out all of the necessities of kitchens. For a full list of our products and services, check out our products page.

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