Beyond Granite: Countertop Choices for Today’s Kitchens and Bathrooms

When it comes to choosing material for your countertops, granite has been the standard for quite a while now. Fortunately, it isn’t the only option that offers both durability and style for your kitchen and bathrooms. With a little bit of research, you can select the material that gives your home a fresh, updated look that works with your lifestyle–and offers a unique look you can be proud to show off while entertaining.


Quartz is an option that is gaining in popularity, largely because of its simple, classic appearance, as well as its durability and ease of care. Quartz is an engineered product that is one of the toughest countertop materials available today (next in hardness to diamond).

Price range: $47-$100/square foot

Pros of quartz:

  • can be produced in a wide range of colors
  • same durability as granite and concrete
  • won’t chip or crack easily
  • does not need to be sealed
  • non-porous, resists staining and won’t harbor bacteria or viruses

Cons of quartz:

  • is not as resistant to heat as granite
  • direct sunlight over an extended period of time can cause fading


Classic and elegant, marble countertops remain a top choice for homeowners who desire a luxurious look and feel. There are many variations of marble based on the minerals which give it color and veining.

Price range: $52-$200/square foot

Pros of marble:

  • every marble countertop is one-of-a-kind
  • premium finishes that give you the look and feel you want 
  • excellent resistance to heat
  • outstanding durability when cared for properly

Cons of marble:

  • marble is porous and will stain unless properly sealed and cleaned 
  • must be resealed as often as once per year 
  • can be chipped or cracked by heavy items
  • more expensive than most countertops


Concrete is a trendy choice that offers a contemporary, clean, and understated look. Light, yet durable, concrete is often framed and poured right in the kitchen or bathroom.

Price range: $70-$140/square foot

Pros of concrete:

  • durable and hard, not easily chipped
  • can be fit to oddly-shaped spaces
  • can be texturized to give a one-of-a-kind look

Cons of concrete:

  • need to be sealed regularly in order to make the surface easy to clean
  • can be stained by coffee or juice
  • can crack under heavy weight


Butcherblock creates a warm, inviting space and pairs well with other countertop materials. Crafted from wood pieces of differing colors, they offer a natural and custom look.

Price range: $35-$200/square foot

Pros of butcherblock:

  • ideal for food preparation
  • hides cuts and scratches well
  • can be sanded and resealed to give a like new appearance
  • use offers character and appeal

Cons of butcherblock:

  • need to be sealed when installed and periodically
  • unsealed wood can cause warping and harbor germs
  • may need frequent oiling to protect from water

Whatever material you consider for the countertops in your home, be sure to evaluate which options best fit your style, budget, lifestyle, and desired level of care. With so many choices, you are sure to create a beautiful look that will serve you well for years to come!

Note: The website Countertop Guides was an excellent resource when researching countertop material for this blog.

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