Finding The Most Durable Countertop Materials

Beautiful kitchen with floor to ceiling custom built cabinets and quartz countertops

When it comes to revamping, building, or revitalizing a kitchen, bathroom, work, or even outdoor space – countertops often become a primary consideration. With the right countertop, a space can be transformed. With a durable, aesthetically pleasing, and functional countertop, you can often enhance usability, appearance, and still, there’s a lot to consider.

In addition to the appearance of your countertop, one of the crucial factors you might consider is durability and longevity. This can vary between different countertop configurations and materials.

But – what is the most durable countertop? In short, there’s no one answer; there are several materials known for their durability in different key areas. For example, some materials offer better heat resistance, while others might offer better stain resistance, and some materials can offer better scratch resistance than others. In other words, durability may hinge on the intended purpose of a countertop. To better understand, let’s explore some of the factors that can impact a countertop’s durability.

Most Durable Countertop Materials Available

One of the most notable factors to consider when looking for a durable countertop is the material from which it is made. There are a number of countertop materials that offer varying degrees of resistance to different stresses.

For example, while marble countertops often offer excellent heat resistance, they tend to perform much more poorly in terms of staining and scratching. Conversely, while solid surface acrylic countertops offer excellent resistance to staining, they can be much less tolerant of high heat, necessitating the use of trivets or oven mitts when placing hot items on them.

Common Durable Countertop Materials

Let’s explore some materials that offer high durability and explore where their strengths might lie:

  • Granite: offers excellent scratch and heat resistance, but must be sealed properly to resist staining well.
  • Quartz: offers excellent scratch resistance, and very high stain resistance, but may offer only moderate heat tolerance.
  • Porcelain: offers high levels of resistance to staining, heat, and scratching. However, it may also be a more costly option and may be more prone to chipping.
  • Solid Surface: offers a high degree of resistance to staining, and despite being somewhat prone to scratches, enables them to be buffed out easily.
  • Soapstone: offers low scratch resistance, but scratches can be buffed out and offers a high degree of heat resistance and resistance to staining. Low resistance to heat.

Intended Use

Another important factor in the durability of a countertop may be its intended use. For example, if you’re creating a workspace where countertops will rarely be used for cooking, but will face a constant threat of scratching, granite may be a highly durable option.

Similarly, if you’re creating a space that will be used for a lot of cooking, and the countertop will face the threat of staining regularly, soapstone might make an ideal durable countertop surface, offering a high degree of resistance to both heat and staining.

It can be important to consider how the materials of a countertop can interplay with its intended use. For mixed-use spaces, such as, for example, a kitchen where you also work out of home, certain materials might offer a better mix of capabilities. Porcelain, for example, while it may be costly, can offer the best of both worlds in terms of resistance to both staining and scratching, as well as heat.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation can be another important factor in the durability of a countertop. Properly installed countertops may be more effective as improper installation can result in issues such as inadequate structural support or uneven surfaces.

Similarly, maintenance can play an important role in countertop durability. Materials that require sealing in order to resist staining may need to be periodically resealed depending on the material, manufacturer, and frequency of use. Materials that are buffable but prone to scratching may need to be periodically refinished.

The Bottom Line

There’s a lot to consider when looking for the most durable countertop for your needs. Importantly, the material and its intended use can be major factors — as can the quality of installation and maintenance. For spaces where you might require countertops that don’t stain or scratch, for example, it can be important to consider how various materials stand up.

The most durable countertop for kitchens might be different from the most durable bathroom countertops, for example, as bathroom countertops may not need to have as much heat resistance to endure the test of time.

Remember, if you’re looking for expert installation and highly durable materials —- we’re here to help. At KG Stevens, we carry a wide selection of highly durable countertop materials, including granite, porcelain, soapstone, and more. To learn more or get started, reach out for a free consultation today.

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