We recently ran across this article in Better Homes and Gardensrating the top 10 kitchen countertops materials. It's a great evaluation and one that we wanted to share with our friends. Keep reading and discover the pros and cons of each material to help you make the right choice for your kitchen.

Natural-Stone Kitchen Countertops

Stone is a durable material that stands up to the tough wear of an active kitchen. Stone's natural variations in colors and textures make each countertop unique. The most popular stones are granite and marble, but limestone and soapstone are also commonly used.

Pros
    • • Durable and long lasting
    • • Classic Material that does not go out of style
    • • Heat-resistant
Cons
        • • Naturally porous and therefore needs to be sealed when installed
        • • Requires regular maintenance and resealing for food safety and aesthetic upkeep
        • • Softer stones, such as marble or limestone, might be chipped or cracked
        • • Most expensive countertop material

Cultured-Stone Kitchen Countertops

Cultured-stone countertops, also known as quartz-surfacing, are a blend of quartz and pigments that have the look and feel of natural stone. These surfaces come in a variety of colors, textures, and graining, and unlike natural stone, is available in uniform colors and patterns.

Pros
        • • Heat, stain, and scratch-resistant
        • • Easy to clean
        • • Does not require sealing or special care
Cons
            • • Not as natural-looking as real stone
            • • Costs almost as much as real stone

Solid-Surfacing Countertops

Solid-surfacing countertops mimic the look of natural stone but without the cost or required maintenance. Solid-surfacing offers a variety of color possibilities and design options and can also resemble glass or concrete countertops.

Pros
            • • Heat and moisture-resistant
            • • Does not fade or age with time
            • • Easy to clean
Cons
                • • Can be scorched
                • • Not scratchproof; deep cuts or scratches might require special care

Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Laminate is constructed with a thin sheet of plastic resin covering plywood or particleboard. Advancements in printing technology and edge options allow laminate to mimic stone, metal, or wood countertops without the cost of natural materials.

Pros
                • • Heat, stain, and scratch-resistant
                • • Easy to clean
                • • Lower costs than all other countertop materials
Cons
                    • • Sharp knives and hot pans can damage laminate
                    • • Scorching, deep scratches, and cracks cannot be repaired
                    • • Allows only drop-in sinks due to its construction

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Countertops

Bamboo, recycled glass, and paper composites (combination of resin, pigments, and recycled paper) are eco-friendly countertop materials. Eco-friendly countertop materials might be harder to find in some areas.

Pros
                    • • Bamboo: easy to clean
                    • • Recycled glass: durable, heat- and stain-resistant, easy to clean
                    • • Paper composite: durable, easy to clean
Cons
                        • • Bamboo: needs to be sealed and routinely treated, susceptible to scratches and burning
                        • • Recycled glass: can chip, scratch, or break with heavy impacts
                        • • Paper composite: susceptible to scratches and stains

Wood Kitchen Countertops

Wood countertops add instant warmth and charm to your kitchen. Butcher block is the most common type of wood countertop, but crafted wood slabs are also available. Wood is a great prep-area countertop material.

Pros
                        • • Withstands cutting and chopping without dulling knives
                        • • Long-lasting, timeless material that wears with use for a charming patina
Cons
                            • • Vulnerable to moisture, heat, acid, corrosive chemicals, and stains
                            • • Shrinks or expands with extreme dryness or moisture
                            • • Requires food-friendly sealing and routine maintenance

Metal Kitchen Countertops

Stainless steel countertops can be found in any kitchen style, from modern to traditional, because they complement many kitchen appliances. Other metal countertop materials include copper, pewter, and zinc, but those are more style-specific.

Pros
                            • • Antibacterial
                            • • Stain and heat-resistant
                            • • Durable
Cons
                                • • Copper, pewter, and zinc are susceptible to scratches and dents
                                • • If stainless steel is scratched or dented, it's possible it cannot be repaired
                                • • Can be expensive

Concrete Kitchen Countertops

Concrete is an extremely durable and surprisingly versatile material that can be tinted and sculpted for maximum design possibilities. Concrete countertops complement other natural materials such as wood and stone.

Pros
                                • • Heat and stain-resistant
                                • • Durable
Cons
                                    • • Must be sealed and regularly maintained to resist stains and water
                                    • • Susceptible to damage from highly acidic liquids
                                    • • Can be extremely heavy and require extra care

Tile Kitchen Countertops

Tile provides a budget-friendly way to customize countertops. Ceramic tiles are durable and come in a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes so that any style or look can be achieved.

Pros
                                    • • Heat and stain-resistant
                                    • • Durable
Cons
                                        • • Must be sealed and regularly maintained to resist stains and water
                                        • • Susceptible to damage from highly acidic liquids
                                        • • Can be extremely heavy and require extra care

Remodeling your kitchen isn't for the faint of heart! Depending on the extent of of the remodeling, your kitchen can be out of commission for just a few days or a few months. You owe it to yourself to evaluate your options with materials. With exposure to water, heat, sharp knives, and more, countertops carry a heavy burden in the kitchen. Take this fun quiz to help identify the right countertop for your upcoming kitchen remodel.