A Guide to Countertops

Choosing the perfect countertop for your home can be overwhelming. 

Like most building materials, there are many colors, materials, styles, and price points for countertops, and it’s easy to start overthinking and get lost in the decision-making process!  

At Graber Supply, we understand the importance of choosing the right countertop for your home. That’s why we put together this article to guide you through the ins and outs of countertops. 

We’ll look at common countertop materials and styles, then review the questions to ask when choosing. 

Read on to find out how to choose the perfect countertop for your home!

Table of Contents

  • Why Is Your Countertop Important
    1. Why Is Your Countertop Important?
  • 7 Popular Countertop Materials
    2. Seven Popular Countertop Materials
  • Countertop Edge Style
    3. Countertop Edge Styles
  • Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Countertop
    4. Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Countertop

Why Is Your Countertop Important?

Take a moment to think about everything you use your countertop for on a daily basis.

You chop, cut, mince, scrape, knead, pound, spill, wipe, and set heavy objects on your countertop. Besides that, you work with various materials like oils, acids, red wine, bacteria-ridden meats, and hot pans and kettles.

And that’s not all – your countertop takes a beating in other ways: your kids sit or stand on it, you use it for crafting projects with paint, hot glue, or paper mache, and it serves as a catchall for items of all kinds.

Whatever material you choose for your countertop must be up to all that and more! Ideally, it is hard, heat and stain resistant, easy to clean, not made of materials that harbor bacteria and germs, and, the cherry on top – economical. It should also be attractive since it significantly impacts your kitchen’s overall aesthetic.

So what materials could fit this bill?

We’ll find out in the next section!

7 Popular Countertop Materials

You will be working on your countertop a LOT, so picking a material you’ll love is essential. 

Let’s look at 7 of the most popular countertop materials. 

1 - Laminate

We’ll start with good old economical laminate. 

Made from synthetic materials, laminate countertops can mimic the look of stone, wood, or other styles. It is one of the most affordable options you’ll find and comes in plenty of color and style options. 

Laminate countertops are easy to use and maintain, but they aren’t as durable or heat resistant as some of the other options and can be prone to cracking, chipping, and melting.

However, laminate isn't just a "poor person's countertop." Since all countertops are susceptible to wear and stains, some people prefer laminate because it's cheap enough to replace every five-to-ten years without breaking the bank.

Laminate may be the best option if you're struggling with crippling indecision because, from a financial perspective, it's the easiest to replace if you change your mind later.

laminate can look like stone, wood, and more

2 - Quartz

Created from a combination of crushed quartz particles and resin, quartz countertops mimic the aesthetic of natural stone or marble but come with a slightly lower price tag. 

Quartz countertops are known for being stain-resistant, durable, and low maintenance. However, they are susceptible to heat damage and may fade in direct sunlight or when exposed to certain chemicals. 

3 - Granite

If you want a super durable and heat-resistant countertop, a granite countertop is your best choice. This durable stone is quarried from the earth and can last for years with no signs of wear, and you can set hot pans right on it without damaging it. 

Plus, each granite slab is different and has its own unique beauty. However, granite is an expensive option, and because it is a porous stone, it requires regular coats of sealant to prevent bacteria growth. 

4 - Natural or engineered marble

Natural marble is, like granite, natural quarried stone, whereas engineered marble is similar to quartz, a mixture of crushed marble, other minerals, and resin. Both are excellent countertop materials, but engineered marble requires less maintenance as it is not as porous and does not require sealant. 

Marble is durable and stunningly beautiful but comes with a hefty price tag. Also, like granite, natural marble requires regular sealing. 

5 - Butcher block 

Butcher block countertops are made of wood, and they are handy because they are essentially a large cutting board, and you can use knives safely on these countertops. 

However, being made of wood, these countertops are not heat or stain resistant. They can also form bacteria buildup. You must regularly oil and seal butcher blocks to prevent bacteria growth and food stains. 

butcher block countertops need sealed

6 - Solid surface 

Solid surface countertops are made from blends of acrylic particles and resins and are designed specifically to mimic natural stone surfaces without the high price. They can capture the aesthetic of granite, marble, and other popular stones. 

This material is stain resistant and durable, but it is not heat-resistant and is vulnerable to scratches from abrasive damage. Hence, you have to be careful how you use solid surface countertops. 

7 - Concrete 

For a unique choice, some homeowners choose to go for concrete countertops. Concrete can be color tinted and textured to fit different aesthetics. Plus, concrete is durable, heat-resistant, and scratch resistant. 

However, because concrete is porous, it is vulnerable to staining and bacteria growth and therefore requires regular sealing. It also has the potential to crack over time if it experiences stress. 

Note: when choosing a countertop, make sure it looks nice with your cabinets! If you'd like to know more about cabinet selection, read our blog on 6 Steps To Choosing The Perfect Kitchen Cabinet.

Countertop Edge Styles

Choosing a countertop material is the biggest overall countertop decision, but you'll have to make other decisions, too, like the edging!

Countertop edging is important because it impacts the overall look of your countertops. Here are a few options for countertop edging: 

  • Straight edge - Perfectly square edge with straight, clean lines. 
  • Eased edge - Square edge that is slightly rounded for a bit of softness. 
  • Bullnose - Completely rounded edge, perfect for homes with small kids who may bang into the counter! 
  • Half bullnose - Rounded top edge and straight bottom edge. 
  • Beveled - Sliced off at an angle to form an angled edge, creating a modern look. 
  • Ogee - Similar to an S shape, it creates a classic look. 
  • Natural - Rough-hewn, natural look for materials like granite or marble.
countertop edge styles

Those are a few of the most common countertop edging categories, but each style has a lot of variety. Which one is best for you depends on several factors:

  • The aesthetic you are going for
  • The standard depth of the material you want
  • Safety concerns (a straight edge is much more painful for a bit of head to bump into than a curved edge!) 
  • Ease of maintenance (some edges are more prone to collecting a buildup of grime and dust) 
  • Budget (intricate edges get pricier) 

Often the materials are so exciting that homeowners forget all about edge styles. But the edges are important, so don’t overlook this detail!

Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Countertop

We get it – with all these options, deciding on the perfect countertop can look impossible. But your countertop is a pivotal surface in your home, and making a wise decision is crucial. 

Here are some questions you should consider when making your final decision: 

  1. What’s my budget
  2. How much countertop material will I need for my kitchen? (This affects your budget) 
  3. What aesthetic am I going for? 
  4. How much maintenance am I willing to put up with? 
  5. How will I use my countertop? Do I especially need a stain, acid, and heat-resistant material? 
  6. How will this affect my family? Will my kids get hurt on sharp edges? Do I need an expansive counter to prepare meals for my large family? 
  7. How much does easy cleanup matter to me? 

You can also ask your home building supplier for advice when deciding. A knowledgeable business can give you lots of information about its products to help you make decisions. 

Overall, if you want more helpful tips for going through a stressful remodel, read our guide to remodeling your home.


We hope this article helps you make a wise, informed decision about the countertops in your home. 

If you are interested in looking at countertops today, call Graber Supply! As a home building supplier, we offer options for countertops, including laminate, quartz, granite, solid surface, and engineered marble. 

We also offer other supplies, including: 

And more! Give us a call today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!