News, updates and the latest kitchen and bath information from Thompson Price Kitchens, Baths and Home

Best Kitchen Countertop Material St. Louis

There have never been so many options for kitchen countertops as there are today. Each surface has pros and cons, and Thompson Price is here to help you determine which is best for your family and for your budget.

Granite 

Today, granite is still the most popular material used in kitchens and bathrooms. There are many different colors and patterns available, and the cost has come down significantly due to availability and competition in the marketplace.

Granite is still more expensive compared to some other tops due to the amount of labor required during the fabrication process. Price is also determined by the region of origin of the material, how difficult the particular slabs are to cut and work with, edge treatment options, slab thickness and number of cut-outs and finished edges. 

Granite Cons:

  • Porous material (requires sealing)
  • Difficult to work, compared to other materials
  • Unique patterns/natural beauty
  • Cold to the touch
  • Cost may be higher than other materials
  • Slab size requires seams for most kitchens

Granite Pros:

  • Very durable material
  • Scratch resistant
  • Heat tolerant
  • Unique patterns/natural beauty
  • Under-mount bowl configurations    

 

Quartz

Quartz has been around as surface material for a few decades now and is literally comprised of the most abundant mineral in granite… quartz. When we use the term “quartz” to refer to countertop surface material, we’re actually talking about a few particular products that are manufactured from raw quartz mixed with colors and polymers to bind it together. Popular brands of such countertops are Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone and Zodiaq. 

While these brands are all different, their process in manufacturing quartz countertops are very similar and utilize the same equipment. Compared to granite, quartz has most of the same characteristics with one added benefit — it’s non-porous. This is because it is a man-made product, whereas granite is a natural product. However, this does not mean that it’s impossible to stain a quartz countertop! 

Quartz Cons:

  • Higher cost than granite
  • Difficult to work, compared to other materials
  • Slab size requires seams for most kitchens
  • Cold to the touch

Quartz Pros:

  • Very durable material
  • Non-porous material (resists staining)
  • Heat Tolerant    
  • More solid color options than granite
  • Under-mount bowl configurations  

Porcelain/Ultra-Compact Surfaces

Developed and recently introduced by the makers of Silestone, Dekton is the latest major innovation in kitchen countertop material since quartz. Dekton is a sophisticated blend of the raw materials used to produce the very latest in glass and porcelain, as well as the highest quality quartz work surfaces.

Dekton employs an exclusive Sinterized Particle Technology, a high tech process that represents an accelerated version of the metamorphic change natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years. 

Essentially, using extreme heat and pressure, Dekton is manufactured to be UV resistant, abrasion resistant, stain resistant, fire and heat resistant, mechanically resistant, color stable, fireproof and dimensionally stable. Expect cost to be higher than granite and quartz due to higher production costs and fabrication costs. More info about Dekton can be found here. 

Dekton Cons:

  • One of the more expensive countertop materials

Dekton Pros:

  • Virtually indestructible

 

Solid Surface

Popular Brands — Corian, Meganite, LG Hi-Macs

Solid surface was extremely popular and considered the upgrade countertop material in the 70s and 80s. Available in many colors and edge treatments, solid surface is still popular today due to the lower cost compared to granite and quartz surfaces.

Primarily comprised of acrylic and polymers, solid surface is unique in that seams could be hidden after installation, sinks and backsplashes could be formed without seams as well, and if the surface ever was scratched, most scratches could be buffed out and removed on site. 

Solid Surface Cons:

  • More expensive than laminate tops
  • Can scratch and scuff

 

Solid Surface Pros:

  • Wide variety of colors
  • Easy to work with and repairable
  • Ability to hide seams

Wood Tops

Wood countertops are currently our fastest growing countertop product segment and for good reason. Wood has a natural beauty and a softer feel than some of the stone products like granite and quartz. Wood options are endless and there are several options for edge treatments.

Within the last several years, product innovations have been introduced, and it’s now possible to have sinks in wood tops and top coats are available that protect the wood from stains and damage from harsh food products. Pricing varies depending on which wood species, edge treatments and top coat you choose.

Whether you choose wood for your entire kitchen or just as an accent on the island, wood is a great choice for kitchen countertops. 

Wood Cons:

  • Wood is still softer than granite/quartz
  • Does not resist burns or scratches

Wood Pros:

  • Large variety of wood species
  • Easy to work with and repairable
  • Top coats available to protect stains/damage
  • Easy to care for

Laminate Tops

Popular Brands — Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite

Perhaps the most well-known countertop material, laminate countertops are still extremely popular because of their low cost, ease of installation and variety of colors, styles, and edge treatments.

Great for starter homes and rehabs, but also great full kitchen remodels using some of the newer Hi-Definition colors that can resemble granite to the untrained eye. The only drawback to laminate is that it’s not repairable if scratched or burned.

Laminate Pros:

  • Lowest cost countertop surface
  • Many styles available
  • Many edge treatments available

Laminate Cons:

  • Non-repairable if damaged

 

 

Glass & Recycled Glass Tops

Still fairly new to the kitchen countertop scene, glass and recycled glass tops have not seemed to gain much traction. Clear glass tops thick enough to handle most everyday tasks required of kitchen countertops are quite expensive and most people complain about keeping fingerprints off stainless steel appliances. Can you imagine keeping fingerprints off of glass counter tops?

Recycled glass countertops look extremely cool but tend to be aimed toward a more modern design pallette. They also tend to be accompanied by very high price tags compared to granite and quartz countertop surfaces. For these reasons, we recommend keeping glass on your backsplash instead of putting it your cabinets as a kitchen countertop.

Glass Pros:

  • Cool and unique look/style

Glass Cons:

  • Higher Cost 
  • More maintenance needed

Stainless Steel Tops

Stainless steel has been around forever and is the standard in commercial kitchen and restaurants. So why hasn’t it caught on in residential kitchens? We feel it’s due to its commercial and sterile feel.

Stainless steel looks great on appliances and sinks, but tends to be lifeless and cold when used as a kitchen countertop. For this reason alone, aesthetics, stainless steel just hasn’t been able to establish itself as popular kitchen countertop surface.  We love it and think it has a place especially in today’s modern kitchen styles.

Stainless Steel Cons:

  • Commercial look

Stainless Steel Pros:

  • Commercial look
  • Many configurations available 

So there you have it: the most popular kitchen countertop materials along with pros and cons. For more information or for questions, you can comment on this post or contact us at (314) 966-8234. Click here, if you would like a quote to replace your existing countertops. Thanks for reading! 

— TJ Price