with roughly 10% of your budget being allocated to counter tops, it’s important that you know what you’re getting. There are many different materials available to you, knowing what they are will help in your decision. How much are you willing to spend, and how much maintenance are you willing to do? The longer you’re planning on staying in a home, the more you might want to consider spending. The durability is important, and the cost per year will be worth it as the years go by.

Quartz vs. Granite
Quartz counter tops are arguably the most durable option for kitchens. They come in an array of colors like cherry red or ocean blue, unlike granite, which usually has more earthy colors. Quartz runs about the same price as granite (around $60 to $90 per square foot, installed) however, it never needs to be sealed, and since it’s quartz bound with resin, it’s non-porous; thus antimicrobial.  It’s not heat resistant like granite though. Most warranties on the counters will only guarantee up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Granite is quarried in solid stone slabs. Since it’s natural, every slab is unique. Dark and solid-colored granite shows dings and spills more readily.

Solid Surface (Corian) vs. Laminate
Corian is usually solid slabs of acrylic or polyester (or both) with various fillers to add color and textured looks. It’s usually half an inch thick, with the edges creating a thicker appearance. They’re non-porous,  ideal for food preparation. They’re difficult to stain. Laminate has great selection and price. HD laminates are available and with care, can last. Neither material is heat or scratch resistant.