If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, or if you’re designing an entirely new home, you’re probably in the market for new countertops. While choosing the perfect countertop for your home, there’s a lot to consider. Color scheme, pricing, and maintenance are all important, but durability is usually the characteristic homeowners desire most.
And we get it! Countertops are an investment, and you want to maintain that naturally beautiful stone for years to come.
So which types can withstand the most heat, scratches, and stains? Here’s a ranked list of the top three most durable stone countertops, along with some information on their maintenance levels and value.
Quartz countertops are man-made from 90% ground quartz and 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This combination of materials makes for an exceptionally hard and durable surface that ranks #1 on our list. Also, depending on how finely the quartz is ground, the countertop’s appearance can range from smooth to speckled.
Fun fact: quartz is the second most abundant material in Earth’s crust, making quartz countertops one of the more sustainable stone countertop options!
Quartz countertops are highly durable, making them perfect for homeowners who spend a lot of time cooking and entertaining in their kitchens. They’re naturally scratch and stain resistant, so even the sharpest knife blades won’t make a mark.
However, although quartz countertops can withstand some heat, they aren’t the most heat resistant stone countertop option. We recommend using pot holders for any hot pots, pans, and dishes.
Quartz countertops require the least maintenance of any stone countertop. The engineered combination of natural stone and resin doesn’t require any annual sealing. The most you’ll have to do is wipe off spills and crumbs with a wet cloth.
Quartz countertops are in the middle of the stone countertop price range, usually costing somewhere between $50-150 per square foot. But with them being as durable as they are, even the higher end of that price range is definitely well worth it.
Granite is the most popular stone countertop material. It’s made of igneous rock that contains at least 20% quartz, along with some feldspar and mica. Granite countertops are available in a variety of finishes, and, with proper maintenance, they are beautiful and long-lasting in just about every home.
Fun fact: granite is believed to have formed as many as 300 million years ago, making it the oldest igneous rock in the world.
One of the reasons so many homeowners choose granite countertops is because they’re so durable. They’re scratch-resistant and heat resistant. However, they do fall short in the fact that they’re not naturally stain-resistant.
Since quartz countertops aren’t naturally stain-resistant, they should be sealed annually. You should also plan to wipe up any spills immediately after they happen, using a soft sponge or cloth.
The price of granite countertops can vary immensely, depending on the stone’s thickness, rarity, and manufacturing and installation labor. However, most prices seem to fall around $50-100 per square foot, making it a relatively affordable stone countertop option.
Marble countertops are known to add luxurious style to any home. They’re usually white, with dull streaks of gray, pink, yellow, or black. And among the other types of stone countertops, marble wins when it comes to beautiful shine and glossiness.
Fun fact: marble’s luxurious, glossy appearance made it the perfect material for ancient palaces and statues dedicated to kings and gods.
While marble can’t be beat appearance-wise, it isn’t the most durable stone countertop option. In terms of durability, it has the opposite features as quartz. It’s heat resistant, but it’s not naturally stain or scratch resistant. While staining can be prevented with proper maintenance, scratching may affect how well your marble countertop holds up.
Similar to granite countertops, marble countertops require annual sealing in order to prevent stains. Other than that, it’s best to keep them clean with a soft sponge or cloth and to avoid any scratching with knives or other kitchen tools.
From $40-200, the price of marble countertops varies tremendously. If you’re looking at one of the more common types of marble, like Carerra, then you might find prices to be even less expensive than granite. However, if you’re looking at a rarer type of marble, you may be looking at some of the highest stone countertop prices possible.
Interested in natural stone countertops, but not sure what countertop maintenance entails? We’re happy to talk to you about all of the pros and cons of the different types of stone countertops and help you decide what stone countertops might be right for your home and your lifestyle. Give us a call or contact us online today.