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Choosing A Countertop Material - Kitchen Remodeling

John Boos CountertopWhen you update or remodel your kitchen the countertop will likely be one of the last items you install. It will however be one of the first items you need to choose. After you rip out your old cabinets you will want to paint the walls before you install the new cabinets. What color you choose will naturally depend on the color of your floor and countertop. When choosing the countertop material you need to consider cost, appearance and use.

John Boos hard rock maple countertop is pictured on the right. John Boos butcher block countertops can be ordered online if you want to do it yourself.


Dark cabinets with a light color countertop or light cabinets with a dark countertop provide contrast for a more dramatic effect.
Light Colored Granite
Black Granite
Light Cabinet Color with Light Countertop Color
Dark Cabinets with Light Colored Granite
Maple Cabinets with
Black Granite

Laminate is low cost countertop material and comes in a wide array of colors and designs. You can pick up color chips at your local big box store or request them direct from the manufacturers web site. Laminate can scratch and you should not use knives directly on the surface. Laminates are easy to clean and are very popular due to their low cost. The same laminate you use for your countertop can be used as backsplash material. Installed prices range from $15.00 to $25.00 per sq ft.

Wood Butcher Block can be bought finished or unfinished. It will stain easily but can be sanded down and refinished.

Tile can make a good do it yourself project. Tile is easy to clean, durable and won't burn. Make sure you seal the grout lines as these can discolor. Stone, glass & ceramic tile are all good options for a DIY countertop and backsplash. The main drawbacks are keeping the grout lines clean and future replacement can be difficult.

Corian® is a solid surface countertop made of natural minerals and an acrylic polymer. It is stain and scratch resistant. The color goes all the way through so stains and scratches can often be removed by sanding. Prices start at about $40.00 per sq ft. installed.

Natural Quartz like Silestone® is scratch & stain resistant and requires no sealing as it is nonporous. It has 4 times the flexural strength of natural granite and comes in a wide array of colors. Silestone is a low maintenance and durable countertop.

Granite is a natural porous stone and needs to be sealed to prevent stains. You may want to go to a stone yard and pick out your granite countertop, each piece is unique. Because granite is sold in large slabs and the color can not be matched you will be able to see vi sable seams between pieces. Granite prices start at about $50.00 to $100.00 per square ft. Different thicknesses are available so prices will vary.

Concrete countertops are becoming quite popular these days. Concrete makes a long lasting and durable countertop that must be sealed to prevent stains. Molds can be made before the concrete is poured so it is easy to add curves and angles. You can add your own design, texture or even mementos to the surface. This will be a heavy weight countertop so be sure your cabinets can hold the load. There is also the possibility of it cracking.

Stainless Steel offers a clean modern appearance and is easy to clean. The main drawback here is it can be noisy when setting other objects on the surface. Stainless steel is expensive and it will scratch.

HGTV has some great tips to help you choose colors for your kitchen.


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