Common Materials for Kitchen Countertops

If you're in the market for a kitchen countertop that is unique and will stand out for all of the right reasons, you could do a lot worse than picking from some of what we're featuring today. Suitable for a wide range of looks and designs, you may wonder why you'd not thought of incorporating these materials into your home and kitchen remodel beforehand. 

1 - Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin has seen a resurgence over recent years. With the vast array of styles, designs and colors, this is one of the easiest materials to custom-create a kitchen countertop and can be used in conjunction with wood, metal, glass, concrete, laminate, and countless other materials for a completely bespoke look. 

Epoxy resin isn’t heat resistant and it’s also a very messy DIY job. Starting with a liquid, it hardens quickly, but it also needs a lot of curing time. It is durable, however, and you’ll end up with a stunning, unique and high-gloss kitchen countertop, if done properly. 

Price per square foot: $ Varies massively depending on type, style, other materials uses, size of countertops, etc. 

2 - Modular Granite

If you want the look of granite but without the cost of granite slabs, modular granite might provide you with the perfect compromise. Slightly larger than tiles but smaller and thinner than a slab, they are easier to work with, and cheaper. Style and design options are known to be quite limited, unfortunately. 

Being thinner than a slab, modular granite countertops will not be as strong or hard-wearing as their slab counterparts. They will still offer the same resistance to heat, however. 

Price per square foot: $20-$80

3 - Paper Composite 

Paper composite countertops are also known as recycled paper-based countertops, and also PaperStone. With a mix of petroleum-free resin and completely recycled paper, it’s a great way to consider the environment when piecing together your perfect kitchen. Unfortunately, because of the resin that is mixed in with the paper to create the slabs or similar, you cannot recycle a paper composite or PaperStone countertop once you are done with it. 

Price per square foot: $40-$80

4 - Granite Tile

Cheaper than both granite slabs and modular granite pieces, granite tiles offer a way to get the beautiful finish in your home without forking out a small fortune. Smaller pieces make them easier to install yourself, but you must remember that grout is notoriously difficult to keep clean and stain-free. Re-grouting will also need to be done every now and then. 

Price per square foot: $50-$80

5 - Tivertine

Tivertine countertops for kitchens are very similar to limestone, but the rock is not created in the same way. Tivertine rock occurs in the areas surrounding hot springs and are formed when aragonite, calcium, and other minerals are precipitated. 

Soft rock countertops do require special care. Acidic and abrasive cleaning products and foods can damage the material, and it also requires sealing before installation as well as at regular intervals. In some cases, this can be at least one time per year. 

Price per square foot: $50-$150

6 - Solid Surface 

If you want the look and feel of rock or stone countertops but without the price, and aren’t impressed by the finish offered by laminate countertops, solid surface countertops might just be the material you’re looking for. As well as being relatively low-maintenance compared to others, the material is easy to repair should dents and scratches occur, using an orbital sander. 

Price per square foot: $60-$80

7 - Soapstone 

Soapstone can make an excellent alternative to granite, especially if you’re looking for that slate-gray/dark-gray color. This material for kitchen countertops is known to turn darker over time, and it easily dents and scratches. Fortunately, some homeowners see this as adding an almost antique look to the material. Imperfections can be sanded away with ease. 

Price per square foot: $70-$130

8 - Limestone

This rocky material is created when mud layers are allowed to harden for many thousands of years and will include bits of fossils of marine organisms compacted down, so when you have this in your kitchen, you actually have a piece of the earth’s history in your kitchen. 

Hard-wearing and easily cut to size, it is pretty durable for a soft stone. It can also give your kitchen a natural, earthy, environmentally-friendly look. 

Price per square foot: $70-$200

9 - Stainless Steel

Stainless steel kitchen countertops are great if you’re looking for a simplistic, minimalistic, or modern material. It is often the material of choice for professional chefs, too. With a wide range of finishes, including brushed, polished and satin finish, this stain-impervious material is recyclable, durable, and isn’t overly complicated to install. Scratches and dents are easily left, however, and it can be noisy in a busy kitchen. 

Price per square foot: $80-$150

10 - Granite Slab

Granite is one of the most sought-after types of kitchen countertop, offering a timeless appeal that seems to always be in fashion. Difficult to scratch and resistant to everyday bumps and bashes, granite is very resistant to heat also — but this only applies when the material has even properly sealed. If not, it will absorb materials on top of it, including cleaning products, foods, drinks, etc. It will also then harbor germs and bacteria as it becomes more porous.

Price per square foot: $100-$250

11 - Marble

Marble was once considered the pinnacle of kitchen opulence, but it is actually cheaper than both granite and quartz in many cases. This stone countertop doesn’t conduct heat, but is known to stain and get easily scratched. It is also more porous than other stone types, which can give bacteria and other bugs a chance to breed. 

Price per square foot: $120-$200 

12 - Zinc 

Zinc is not the kitchen countertop material for you if you are looking for something high-gloss and shiny. Zinc reacts with everything around it, including the human touch, and it ages over time with these little marks. They often start out as little blemishes or spots, which can drive the perfectionist a little wild. 

This soft mineral is easily scratched, doesn’t look very high temperatures (it will warp), and is an expensive material when compared to others that offer a similar finish. 

Price per square foot: $150-$220