One of the first features you may notice in a kitchen is the countertop. However, when it comes time to select a kitchen countertop of your own, it may require considerations beyond just the appearance. There are a lot of factors to consider. But the answer to the big question — "What's the best kitchen countertop material?" — really comes down to whichever one makes the most sense for your household, kitchen-use and design-style preferences. Granite countertop shown in Steel Grey
Comparing Kitchen Countertop Options
Quartz, granite and Corian® solid surfaces can be transformed into a range of countertop shapes and sizes to accommodate almost any kitchen space. In terms of functionality and style, each one offers slightly different benefits including appearance, durability, maintenance and overall value.
Kitchen Countertop Appearance
Cambria Quartz countertops shown in Swanbridge and Parys
- Seamless look. Corian solid surface, made from an advanced mixture of natural minerals and pure acrylic polymer, wins the award for seamless countertop design because it can be installed with no visible seams.
- Natural beauty. Granite is the top contender for style in terms of organic color and pattern. As a naturally occurring stone, minerals settle into each beautifully unique slab of granite, so every countertop is an original work of art.
- Rich color options. All three countertop material options offer a variety in color. If you prefer more playful colors (i.e. yellows, oranges, purples, greens, etc.), corian solid surface and quartz are great options since they are both manufactured using man-made pigments and recycled materials.
Kitchen Countertop Durability and Maintenance
Granite countertops shown in Crema Typhoon
How durable will your countertop need to be to keep up with your lifestyle? How much time do you have to for maintenance of your countertop? These are important questions that will certain influence your selection. Quartz is a clear front-runner, because it is virtually indestructible and requires no sealing or special cleaning. Both quartz and Corian solid surfaces are non-porous, stain-resistant and extremely sanitary. Granite is also durable, but can still be prone to cracking, fissures and staining. And granite requires simple, but regular, sealing to maintain.
Sustainable Kitchen Countertop Design
Cambria quartz island and with Corian Solid Surface Countertops shown in Tumbleweed
If eco-friendly materials and design in your home is important to you, here's how each countertop material stacks up:
- Quartz countertops are ultra-durable and made in the USA. Quartz countertop slabs contain one of earth's most prolific minerals, as well as pre- and post-consumer recycled content. They last pretty much forever, which is why they come with a lifetime warranty!
- Corian is not only durable, but repairable too. Because they are man-made, solid surfaces are don't require the level of mining to produce, They also are easier to maintain than a lot of other materials too.
- Granite is a natural product, and must be carefully mined and transported to avoid damage, which makes granite the lowest-tier option in terms of sustainability.
Budget-friendly Kitchen Countertops
Corian quartz countertops shown in Corriander and solid surface backsplash shown in Cottage Lane
While sites like HomeAdvisor provide national average cost figures, we encourage homeowners to be leery of broad estimates. The cost of a kitchen countertop will vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of your kitchen, whether you have or want an island and the materials, finish and thickness you select. Whether or not you choose to install a backsplash, can factor in too. For a true estimation of cost, we always recommend getting a personalized quote for your specific project.
According to Bill Bernard, inside regional sales manager for Kitchen Magic, pricing for these top selling countertop surfaces has changed over the years. In terms of overall price in today's market, here is how these materials compare:
- Quartz is usually the more expensive option, per square foot.
- Corian can run the gamut, but generally speaking, the Private Collection styles that beautifully mimic stone surfaces can be as expensive, or even more expensive, than granite.
- Granite tends to be the least expensive material of the three, with the exception of standard, solid-color Corian.
Ultimately, only you can decide which countertop material is best for your kitchen. Luckily, the variety of options available means that the perfect countertop for your lifestyle - and your budget - is out there! Schedule a free in-home design consultation with a Kitchen Magic expert so we can help you get the most out of your investment.