How to Choose the Right Countertop for Your Kitchen

It can feel overwhelming to choose the right countertop for your kitchen. After all, you’ll find a dizzying array of colors, patterns, and countertop materials in showrooms, catalogs, and even online. Which will look best in your kitchen? Which will last the longest? Which one is the best fit for your needs and budget?

At Red Rose Cabinetry, we understand how difficult this decision can be. You’ll be living with your choice for a long time to come. But it doesn’t need to be as difficult as it sounds. To help you narrow your choices and zero in on the perfect countertop for your needs, we’ve put together some helpful tips from the pros.

Don’t Consider Looks First

Though it’s tempting to start looking for a kitchen countertop by browsing colors and pattern samples, this isn’t always the best approach. You may fall in love with a particular color combination or material and then realize it doesn’t fit your budget, or it requires too much maintenance for your busy lifestyle. Rather than flirt with disappointment, we recommend considering more practical factors first.

Decide What Is Most Important

Generally, you’ll choose your countertop based on a number of factors – looks, durability, maintenance requirements, and price. Before you begin your search for the right countertop, consider which factor is the most important.

For example, durability might be the most important factor if you run a busy household, cook almost every night, or frequently entertain. It may also be important if you plan on staying in your home for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand if you don’t use your kitchen often, but want a nice look and feel for special occasions, durability might not be the most important factor in your decision.

We suggest ranking your factors in order of importance to help narrow your choices.

Kitchen Countertop Materials

We’ve broken down the most popular materials for kitchen countertops and highlighted the benefits of each to help you align what’s important to you in choosing the best countertop type for your needs.

Granite

Looks: Granite countertops are made from natural stone, so no two are exactly the same. Available in glossy or matte finishes, these countertops elevate any kitchen space from ordinary to elegant. You’ll find lots of variation along with a wide array of color choices including black, white, green, beige, and coral.

Durability: Granite countertops are very durable and also heat resistant, so they are a good choice for busy kitchens. However, because they are made from natural stone, granite countertops are porous and can harbor bacteria in the tiny fissures and pores of the stone. They can also stain if they are not properly sealed.

Maintenance Requirements: You’ll need to seal granite countertops periodically to prevent staining. You’ll also want to be sure to clean up spills right away.

Price: Granite countertops vary in price based on the origin of the stone, the color, and the finish, but they tend to land on the high side.

Quartz

Looks: Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone countertops, are made from quartz crystals that are held together with a resin binder. Quartz countertops are available in a wider range of colors and patterns than granite, and some even mimic the look and feel of natural stone. Quartz countertops provide a high-end look to any kitchen design.

Durability: Quartz countertops are very durable and heat resistant, perfect for busy kitchens. And unlike natural stone countertops, quartz countertops are not porous, so they resist stains very well and won’t harbor harmful bacteria.

Maintenance Requirements: There are no maintenance requirements for quartz countertops beyond basic cleaning.

Price: Quartz countertops are similar in price to granite countertops.

Cultured Marble

Looks: Cultured marble countertops are manufactured from a mixture of resin and stone that is pressed together inside a mold. The result is a seamless countertop that mimics the look of natural marble, with greater durability.

Cultured marble countertops are most often available in shades of white with varying patterns, creating a refined and sophisticated look.

Durability: Cultured marble is porous, but not as porous as natural stone. It can be chipped and scratched easily, so it might not be the best choice in busy kitchens.

Maintenance Requirements: No maintenance is required. Light scratches can be removed using an automotive paint buffing compound.

Price: Cultured marble costs less than granite or quartz countertops, but more than laminate options.

Recycled Glass

Looks: Eye-catching and eco-friendly, recycled glass countertops have gained in popularity in recent years. Recycled glass countertops are made by encasing crushed glass of varying colors inside clear acrylic or concrete.

Because each countertop is made with different shards of glass, every countertop is unique. These countertops are available in an endless array of colors and patterns. They can also be outfitted with backlighting to enhance their beauty.

Durability: Recycled glass countertops are very durable and won’t chip easily. They are also heat resistant and don’t scratch. Those made with acrylic are non-porous and resist stains well.

Maintenance Requirements: Recycled glass countertops that are made using concrete should be sealed for stain resistance. Those made with acrylic have no maintenance requirements.

Price: Recycled glass countertops generally cost less than natural stone and quartz options, and can come in as low as $50 to $100 per square foot. However, pricing varies based on the materials used.

Laminate

Looks: Laminate countertops remain one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops due to the wide array of patterns and colors available. Many of the latest laminate patterns are made to mimic the look of natural stone or wood grain.

Durability: Laminate countertops are fairly durable, but they are not very heat resistant. They are also prone to scratches. However, they are non-porous so they are easy to clean and maintain and don’t harbor harmful bacteria.

Maintenance Requirements: No maintenance is required.

Price: Laminate countertops remain the most affordable option for kitchen countertops.

Now that you know a bit more about the options available, it’s time to start looking for the best patterns and color combinations for your kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for granite, laminate, recycled glass, quartz, or cultured marble, Red Rose Cabinetry has one of the best selections of kitchen countertops in the Lancaster, PA area. Visit our showroom, conveniently located in Lititz, PA, and get the help you need to find the right kitchen countertops for your lifestyle and budget.