Kicking off a kitchen remodel? You have a lot of work—and decisions—ahead of you. You’ll need to pick out new cabinets, floors, appliances, and more. Yet, the most impactful decision, by far, will be your choice of new countertops. There are so many options, styles, and colors to choose from. For many homeowners, finding the right countertops for their kitchen remodel is one of the most challenging parts of the project.
In this article, we’ll guide you through your many Countertop & Vanity options and help you decide which material—granite, quartz, marble, stainless steel, or butcher block—is right for your kitchen. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of each, and make the case for how each might figure into your kitchen remodel.
When most people hear “stone countertops,” they instinctively think of granite. It’s the definitive material for most kitchen remodels (although, as we’ll discuss, quartz is a close second and preferred by many people!). Cut from natural stone and then sealed, Granite countertops are incredibly durable and beautiful. They’re difficult to damage and, unsurprisingly, retain their value for many years because of this quality.
Granite countertops come in two types: slab and prefabricated. Both are natural stone. “Prefabricated” just means the stone has already been cut to a default size prior to arriving at the distributor. Because of this one-size-fits-all approach, it’s generally cheaper than granite slab, which has not yet been cut or fabricated to size. If you’re working on a highly custom kitchen remodel, you may need to buy granite slab so that your contractor can customize not only the size, but also the edging and other details.
If you love the look of natural stone, it’s hard to go wrong with Chinese Granite. For the reasons we’ll discuss below, it’s a better natural stone alternative to marble for kitchen remodeling projects.
Durable: Granite is a tough material that can stand up to accidental slashes, cuts, and impact.
Heat-Resistant: Granite is highly heat-resistant, which means you can put hot pans or trays on its surface without causing permanent damage.
Unique: No two pieces of granite are exactly the same, which means your kitchen’s granite slab will truly be one-of-a-kind.
When stone countertops first came into vogue, granite was the obvious choice for many homeowners. However, in recent years, an alternative—Quartz Countertops—have really taken off. Unlike granite, which is cut from natural stone and then sealed, quartz is real stone that has been processed and sealed into a protective resin. As a result, quartz countertops can look like just about anything: they can take on patterns, colors, and looks just not found in natural stone.
Generally speaking, Quartz and granite countertops are about even in terms of cost. If you’re comparing the cost of quartz and granite countertops, you’ll really need to look at the specific countertops in question: both occupy the same average price range.
Another place the two materials are just about even is their overall durability. Quartz trades the heat-resistance of granite for better moisture and leak resistance. They’re both very solid and stand up well to everyday use.
The final verdict? The choice between quartz and granite is less about specifics and more about your personal taste and what your kitchen remodel needs. If you’re looking for the strength and beauty of natural stone, granite is probably right for your kitchen. If you want a more modern design, quartz probably has something you’re looking for.
Variety: Quartz countertops are available in far more colors and design variations than granite or marble, which means they work with more kitchen styles.
Maintenance-Free: Unlike granite, quartz countertops come sealed in a permanent resin and do not need to be regularly resealed.
Durable: While not invulnerable, quartz stands up to everyday wear-and-tear and is stain-resistant.
If you want to add class, elegance, and luxury to your home, Marble countertops are the right material. After all, there’s a reason marble was the medium of choice for Renaissance sculptors. It has a timeless beauty and radiance to it. By adding marble to your kitchen, you’re not just choosing a countertop. You’re making a statement.
However, there are some drawbacks that should make you reconsider your decision to put the marble in your kitchen. Besides its high cost (discussed below), marble is also the least durable of the three stone countertop options discussed in this article. It just doesn’t stand up to everyday cooking and cleaning in a kitchen. For homeowners with their hearts set on adding marble to their home, we recommend using it for bathroom vanities and remodels, where there’s not as much pressure on homeowners to protect the stone.
If you’re comparing the cost of marble versus granite or the cost of marble versus quartz, you’ll find that, generally speaking, lower-end marble costs more per square foot than high-end granite or quartz. According to data from HGTV, the average cost of granite, per square foot, is $75. Meanwhile, the average cost of marble countertops starts at $100 / square foot and can actually be as much as $200 / square foot! In general, it’s more expensive to install and—the larger your kitchen—the more your costs will ballon if you opt for marble.
Luxury: Marble Slabs are considered the material of choice for luxury condos and home builds. It’s beautiful, and the right marble countertop is a true showstopper in any kitchen.