Looks aren’t everything when it comes to replacing your countertops. Durability plays a leading role when choosing the best surface for your home or business. Busy kitchens and high traffic areas can take a beating, so it’s important to know the most durable countertops that will hold up against heat, stains, cuts, abrasions, and everyday impact.
“Consumer Reports” performed extensive countertop testing and revealed the top performers in this “Best Countertops for Busy Kitchens” article, which highlights the pros and cons of each. This month, we will sort through the list to help you choose the best countertop materials for your kitchen or bathroom. You can also check out our blog – “Choosing the Right Material for Your Kitchen Countertops” to help you decide.
Although natural granite remains one of today’s most popular countertop choices, it may have met its match with the growing popularity of engineered granite. Like natural granite, engineered granite is extremely durable and is heat and scratch-resistant, but its engineered characteristics take it a few steps further. These durable countertops are available in a variety of colors and patterns, and features a more uniformed and consistent look when compared to natural granite (which is limited to its unique colors and veining). Engineered granite from Granite Transformations exceeds expectations as the only granite countertop with ForeverSeal®, a polymer resin baked into the product. With ForeverSeal®, you never need to worry about sealing your countertops. As a result, they will be easier to maintain over natural granite, which will cost you additional money to seal every year. Learn more about Granite Transformations’ engineered granite and ForeverSeal® to see how this may be the best countertop material for your kitchen or bathroom.
Quartz countertops are a top contender when it comes to both durability and beauty. Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz crystals that are bound together by an adhesive agent (polymer resin) and mixed with color, resulting in a nonporous product that is strong and easy to maintain – with no sealing required. The engineered characteristics of quartz countertops make them stain and scratch-resistant, and manufacturers can design them in a spectrum of colors that mimic granite and marble. Some experts recommend installing quartz countertops with rounded edges, since corners and edges have been known to chip. Being one of the most durable countertops on the market, quartz is also a great choice for commercial areas such as restaurants and bars.
3. Recycled Glass
This exciting countertop option offers a sleek and contemporary look that is durable, sparkly, and stunningly beautiful. Recycled glass countertops from Granite Transformations are composed of 78 percent recycled glass (which comes from colorful beer and liquor bottles) and are combined with man-made stones to create a shiny, eco-friendly finish. They are heat, scratch and stain-resistant, making them one of the best materials for remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, and commercial space.
Concrete countertops are a versatile and exciting new choice for today’s homes and businesses. Concrete serves as an extremely durable material for a countertop and it can exude the look and feel of natural stone, metal or wood. Concrete countertops are made from a mix of general-purpose mortar, sand and pigments, and are available in multiple color options. Note that concrete is porous and may stain, so it needs to be sealed upon installation. You will also need to regularly have your concrete countertop sealed. Large concrete countertops may also have visible seams, but these can be minimized with filler.
5. Solid Surface
Popular for its virtually seamless appearance, solid surface countertops are available in a variety of colors and patterns, and are used for counters, sinks and backsplashes. Since they are nonporous, they are resistant to mold and mildew and are easy to clean. Although they are resistant to most stains, solid surface countertops are not heat-resistant and they can scratch and cut easily. (Experts suggest always using a cutting board.) Solid surfaces can also be molded into nearly any shape when exposed to high heat, so this surface has no seams and can be used for other design elements in homes or commercial spaces.