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Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop Types


Its benefits are that it is seamless, up to 300 degrees heat resistant, it is non-porous so it will not stain, and it can be fixed if damaged. Corian is made from an acrylic base. It comes in sheets of 30"x144". The drawbacks being that it is easily scratched, and not as heat resistant as stone products.


It is more sensitive to heat so you need to be more careful with it. It is also seamless, and comes in a variety of very striking colors. Stay away from the high polishes for counter surfaces. High polishes will scratch easily. An option is to use the opaque finish for the counter and the polished finish for a backsplash. Avonite is made from polyester, which creates a deeper color than the acrylic based Corian. It comes in sheets of 36" x 120"


Surfaces are the strongest structurally of the counter options available. Its heat resistance is at 400-425 degrees. It is a blend of stone and synthetic (95%-5%) and therefore looks more like a natural stone than many of the other surfaces available. It is also non-porous and is sold in slabs of 120"x52" so you will see a seam if the counter is longer than that configuration. If it is somehow damaged, they will have to cut it out and reseam it in the repair.

Surell, Hi-Macs, Meganite

All are knock-offs of Corian. They have all the benefits of Corian, but tend to run 3-5% lower in price.


Granite is one of the most popular surfaces used in kitchens. It has the natural beauty associated with stone and comes in a variety of different colors. Granite is relatively resistant to discoloration, but is still porous enough to soak up oils and some stains. Granite requires periodic resealing to keep it looking its best. It comes in an option of slab or tile. With many variations in color and pattern.


A great alternative to concrete countertops. It consists of a concrete product mixed with 20% recycled material. More flexible than traditional concrete countertops, it will not crack as easily due to its laminated layers. It's produced in sheets of 98" x45". Any surfaces larger will show a seam. The pores are tighter than concrete so it will not crack as easily. Like concrete it is heat resistant to 250 degrees continuous heat temperature. The color will also deepen with time and can pick up scratches. Easy to resurface in place if needed.


Concrete is a very popular choice in today's kitchens. It is strong, and very versatile in its uses. Concrete ages over time acquiring a beautiful depth of color. It's highly heat and scratch resistant & can be tinted. Its drawbacks are that it tends to crack and chip. It can be quite porous so sealing waxing, and resealing is very important. Can be high-maintenance.


Laminate is the most economical of counter choices. Its benefits are its relative durability, ease of cleaning, and the variety of patterns and colors available today. Be careful with scorches if you choose to go with laminate. Chips and scratches can be hard to repair.

Ceramic Tile

Another popular kitchen choice. It's heat resistant, it's easy to clean, and available in many sizes, colors and textures. It can also be quite economical, depending on the labor costs. Very popular with do-it-yourselfers. Its drawbacks are the possibility of chipping or cracking (buy extra tiles) and many people don't like the grouting in between, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. The grouting is also susceptible to staining, so choose a darker grout.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel countertops are heat resistant and offer a contemporary look to your kitchen. They are also easy to clean. The drawbacks are the noise, possible denting, and expensive fabrication. Avoid cutting on it.


Often seen in historic homes, but has recently made a big comeback in modern kitchens both as a counter surface and sink material. Soapstone is very smooth and usually dark gray-black in color, with green or blue spots or veins. It is somewhat stain resistant. Its drawbacks are the possibility of cracking over time. Its maintenance requires regular applications of mineral oil.


Swanstone tends to warp over time along the seams. Made with heat and wrapped around particleboard. Not recommended for countertop high volume areas. An alternative though in the shower.

Marble and Limestone

Neither are not recommended for kitchen counters due to their porous nature. When using this product it is important to seal it and reseal it quite often to keep it looking good. They are used more often in the bathroom on vanities and backsplashes. People can use this product in their shower, although there is the possibility of water staining.

Ice Stone

Ice Stone is made from 75% recycled glass and 25% concrete. This is a very durable choice in counters. The beauty is like no other, and also comes with a higher sticker price. It only comes in 3cm, and is great for both kitchens and baths.