What's the best countertop material for a kitchen that gets a lot of use and abuse?
There are lots of material options, but we find that only a few will work in a hard-working kitchen, and those are stone countertops.
There's still many types of stone, so to help narrow it down, my first question is always, "how much maintenance do you want to do?"
If you're ok with sealing the stone yearly, then natural stone products, such as granite or quartzite countertops may be for you. They are both incredibly durable, but they do need to be sealed every year if you don't want to run into any problems.
Marble is another option, but they will need to be sealed every 6 months, and even then they will stain if you don't clean them properly. A beautiful product, but definitely high maintenance.
If you don't want yearly maintenance, then quartz countertops may be for you. Don't confuse this with solid surface, the cheaper knock-off version of quartz. They use different fillers and binding agents that will easily scratch and stain. Now back to quartz.
Quartz is a man-made material versus a natural stone, so it doesn't need to be sealed. It won't chip, crack, or stain, but I will add the caveat that you get what you pay for. Because of quartz's popularity, there are now cheaper versions being made. The lower quality resins mean it's more likely to scratch and stain, and if you selected a white option, it will yellow over time. So I definitely recommend looking at some of the more expensive, but reputable brands.
Overall, the best option is a stone material; it's just narrowing it down to the exact type, which usually focuses around the maintenance.
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