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Installing new countertops is a great way to visually improve your home. However, choosing the right countertops can also involve choosing a material that is durable – particularly for kitchen countertops. Over time, your countertops will deal with a lot of wear and tear, which makes finding a durable countertop material very important. Considering the expense of countertops, you will want to install something that is both stylish and long lasting. This guide will inform you of the most durable countertops that you can have in your home.
Quartz is an engineered stone that is made by combining around 90 percent ground quartz mineral with roughly 10 percent polymer resin. These numbers can vary slightly depending on the specific brand but will always be in the same region.
Although it is not natural stone, quartz is one of the most attractive surfaces you can have in the home. In addition, because it is manufactured, quartz is highly customizable. There are many colors and patterns that you can choose from, including several that look like natural stone.
As for durability, the fact that quartz countertops are engineered once again has a positive impact. Because of this, the material is not porous, stain resistant, bacteria resistant and scratch resistant. It also does not require the sealing that many natural countertops do. All of these factors make quartz incredibly durable and an ideal choice for a countertop, especially in the kitchen.
If you are looking for downsides to quartz, the material is not heat resistant. Do not place hot pots or pans directly from the stove onto the surface. Doing so will result in the resin melting and a permanent burn mark being left on the counter. It is also not cheap, as you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $50 to $120 per square foot.
Not only is granite one of the most popular natural stone countertop options on the market, it is also one of the most durable. The stone is resistant to scratching, cracking heat and stains if it is properly sealed. If you are looking for a countertop that can withstand those hot pots and pans from the kitchen or hot hair styling tools from the bathroom, granite is an excellent choice.
Other than the material’s durability, granite is also one of the most attractive countertop surfaces you can have. The natural stone comes in many different colors and patterns. You are sure to find something that suits your personal taste. It is also as low maintenance as you will find for natural stone countertops.
On the downside, granite countertops are not cheap. The material typically costs around $35 to $75 per square foot. This actually places granite at the lower end of the cost range when it comes to natural stone options. Note that no natural stone countertops are necessarily cheap, but you are paying for a surface that is higher quality.
If you are looking to take a modern approach to selecting your new countertops, consider recycled glass countertops. The surfaces are eco-friendly, as they are made from a combination of either acrylic and recycled glass or cement and recycled pieces of glass. These pieces of glass create a surface that is beautiful in its own way. The countertops typically feature various shades of brown, green and blue that can be found in recycled glass bottles.
Recycled glass countertops are resistant to heat, stains and scratches. The surfaces are a great way to add a unique pop of color and modern touch to any kitchen or bathroom, while offering durability that many other surfaces cannot match.
There are a few negative aspects about recycled glass countertops. If you drop a heavy item on the surface, it may crack. In addition, you can expect to pay a significant cost for these countertops, which typically have a low-end cost of $60 per square foot, with many types costing more.
While the overall quality of laminate does not match that of natural stone, the countertops are still a desirable option for some homeowners. The surfaces are made from a combination of paper and plastic materials and can be manufactured to have the look of natural stone.
The greatest benefits you will receive from laminate countertops are stain resistance and low cost. Laminate countertops are prone to cracking, scratching and scorching, so while it may be relatively durable, the material is not the greatest option. But it is an option that many homeowners choose if they are looking to cut costs.
Solid surface countertops are a common alternative to natural stone options. This is not to say, however, that the material is equal in quality. Granted, it does come in many patterns and colors and is non-porous. However, it is prone to scratching and burning.
Overall, solid surface countertops are durable. But there are some things you will need to watch out for if you want to keep the countertop in top shape. Also keep in mind that solid surface countertops are not cheap; you can expect to pay between $35 to $100 per square foot.
How Much Does Each Option Cost?
The table below summarizes the cost of all five options in this guide.
|Laminate||$10 to $40 per square foot|
|Granite||$35 to $75 per square foot|
|Solid Surface||$35 to $100 per square foot|
|Quartz||$50 to $120 per square foot|
|Recycled Glass||$60 to $120 per square foot|
While high quality looks capture the attention of guests, durability can really set apart countertop options for homeowners. This guide can help you keep in mind which countertop surfaces are the most durable.