How to Choose Between Countertop Types

Aug 20, 2013 | Tables & Counters

There are many different materials that you can choose for the countertops in your home. All of these options have various pros and cons as well as prices. At RH Homes, helping you find and install the best types of countertops for your home is just one aspect of the many home remodeling services that we offer. With this guide, you can begin thinking about the type of countertop that you would like us to install in your home.

Natural Stone

Within the category of natural stone, there are many different stones that are widely used for countertops, including granite, marble, slate, and soapstone. Natural stone is very popular because it comes in a variety of colors and is aesthetically pleasing. However, all stone needs regular sealing, otherwise it will retain stains. Granite is most resistant to heat and potential knife nicks, while marble is also very heat resistant but can chip. Soapstone is most susceptible to damage and becomes darker over time.

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is a popular alternative to natural stone because it resembles stone, but the color can be customized. It also requires much less maintenance; there is no regular sealing, it is nonporous, and it also resists stains and scratches. This material is generally made with a majority of quartz.

Solid Surface

Often referred to by the brand name Corian, solid surfacing is very popular for countertops because it is stain and scratch resistant as well as simple to repair if necessary. These are generally made either with acrylic, polyester, or both. Solid surfacing comes in a vast array of patterns and colors, and it can even be manufactured to imitate stone.


Laminate is another popular material usually referred to by the brand name Formica. This material is extremely durable and long lasting under any conditions. Laminate is produced using paper and resin, and it is very low maintenance and affordable. It is also very lightweight and can be made to resemble stone or wood.


Tile is very economical as well as resistant to heat, stains, and knife blades. It is also simple to repair if necessary. However, tile has become less popular because it is not seamless, and the grout between the tiles can absorb moisture and potentially stain.


Wood, also referred to as butcher’s block, is another traditional countertop type that has become less popular. Many enjoy the appearance of wood, but it is susceptible to absorbing moisture and will often need to be disinfected. In addition, wood must be oiled frequently for protection.


Concrete countertops are quickly rising in popularity as an alternative to stone. It is very customizable in terms of shape and color, and it is extremely durable. However, concrete also requires the application of sealant and can be more expensive.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is traditionally used in commercial spaces; however, it is also rising in popularity for homes because it is highly customizable. Of course, stainless steel is also incredibly resistant to heat, knives, and bacteria. However, it can dent and comes with a higher price tag.