The Different Materials Available For Kitchen Counters

by | Aug 17, 2018 | Home Design, Kitchen Design

Choosing kitchen counter materials is one of the most fun aspects of the design process. There are so many amazing options to choose from that it can be a challenge to find one with the right style, functionality, and durability for you.

Today, we’ll go over the pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, namely:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Laminate
  • Quartz

We’ll also look at a few other options you might not have considered yet.


Marble countertops are classic and elegant. Marble is a completely natural stone (not human-made), so the natural veins and colors are unique to each slab that’s lifted out of the ground. More common types of marble (like Carrara) are some of the least expensive natural countertop options you’re likely to find.

Marble countertop designs Portland OR

One of the few downsides to marble is that it’s softer and more porous than other options, like granite, so it may scratch or stain more easily. On the other hand, marble is naturally heat resistant, so it can handle hot pots and pans well.


Just like marble, granite is 100% natural stone, which gives it the same quality of uniqueness. Color options for granite are nearly endless, and it’s more durable and chip resistant than marble. Typically, that means it comes with a higher price tag, but depending on your lifestyle and kitchen usage, it may still be the more economical option when maintenance costs are considered.


Laminate kitchen counter top design Portland OR

Unlike marble and granite, laminate is a decidedly non-natural material. Laminate counters are extremely affordable and not porous, which means you won’t need to maintain or re-seal them.

Laminate has earned a bad reputation over the years for its lackluster appearance, but laminate style options have dramatically improved recently. You might be surprised at how great it can work with your kitchen style!


Quartz is another extremely durable, non-porous, and scratch-resistant option that you don’t have to worry about sealing.

Quartz Kitchen Counter Design Portland OR

Unlike granite and marble, which are lifted out of the ground in whole slabs, quartz countertops are usually a mixture of about 90% ground quartz and about 10% other materials (like resins, polymers, and pigments). The result is a hard, smooth surface that appears similar to granite.

More Options For Kitchen Counters

In your search for the right kitchen counter material (or materials), it’s worth considering the slightly less widely known options too.

Retro remodel in Portland kitchen

Here are 3 options that offer some pretty unique benefits:

  • Concrete: Believe it or not, concrete countertops look amazing! Color and texture options are endless, and although concrete can stain, it’s easy to clean. Plus, concrete is extremely affordable.
  • Wood: Wood counters add a certain warmth that no other material can, and each variety of wood creates a slightly different feel. Wood stains easily, so you’ll likely want to get your counters sealed. Fortunately, most stains and scratches can be easily sanded out and resealed.
  • Tile: Tiles come in all shapes, styles, and colors. They can be very durable depending on your material of choice. They also add a depth and dimension you can’t achieve with a purely smooth surface.

L. Evans Design Group can help you choose the perfect kitchen counters

As design-build contractors, we know how to help homeowners select the right materials for their individual needs, while also considering factors like personal style, aesthetic preferences, and the flow of the whole home.

If you’re considering a full remodel, a simple countertop replacement, or anything in between, we’d love to help. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation.

Get in Touch!

Let us help you with your next full home, kitchen, bathroom, custom addition, or aging-in-place redesign project today! 

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