Counter top Comparison
Granite is an excellent choice for counter tops. Granite is available in polished and matte finishes. It is available in a wide variety of colors and textures.
Pros: Scratch resistant, Durable. Hot plates can be placed directly on the surface. Wide selection of colors.
Cons: Some Seems. Price can vary greatly.
Cambria Quartz/ Silestone (engineered stone)
These products combine quartz and resins to create a non-porous durable surface. It has a natural stone look. Cambria is certified by the GREENGUARD environmental Institute. It also has a lifetime warranty and is made in the USA.
Pros: Scratch and heat resistant. Does not require use of polishes and sealers. More consistent patterns than granite. Wide color choices.
Cons: Almost as expensive as granite. Visible seams.
Corian/ Meganite (solid surface)
Acrylics and or polyester plastics are homogenous throughout the material. Available in thickness of 1/2, these materials come in numerous colors. They can be polished but are often seen with a matte finish.
Pros: Non-porous and stain resistant. Abrasive cleaners can be used on unpolished finishes. Easy to clean and refinish. Many colors available. Seamless. Scratches can be repaired.
Cons: Will scratch. Hot pots will melt the finish. Expensive.
The typical counter top material is known as Formica. It is made of a thin layer of plastic (1/32 or 1/16) that is glued to particle board or wood and can be squared or rolled. Wood, brass and other inserts can also be added.
Pros: Inexpensive and fairly durable. Available in endless patterns and colors. Resists staining. Easy to clean.
Cons: Abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull the finish, sharp knives will produce scratches and hot pots will melt the finish. Warping of the surface can occur with prolonged wetting or flooding. Laminates usually cannot be repaired once damaged. Seems are easy to see.
Wood (Butcher Block)
Wood counter tops have often been used to give a natural warm appearance. Most wood counter tops are made with hardwoods glued together in strips. Butcher Block is constructed this way with rock maple or beech.
Pros: Durable if cared for. Cleans easily. Scratched can be removed by sanding.
Cons: Can warp. Turns black if exposed to large quantities of water. Requires sealing. Expensive.
Tile counter tops are hand crafted on the job site. It can be customized to fit any shape and style.
Pros: Non-staining and will not scratch. Durable. Endless colors, shapes, and designs. Heat resistance.
Cons: Chips easily. Grout can be a problem. More expensive than laminates.