When it comes to countertop materials, don’t get hung up on which one is the “best”.   Figure out which countertop material is best for you—your lifestyle, your overall design vision, and your budget.  

Here are the pros and cons for some of the most popular natural stone countertop options. 

Quartz Countertops:

quartz countertop option

Quartz is an engineered material that is created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately 95 percent ground natural quartz with 5 percent polymer resins.  An Quartz surface can often be mistaken for Granite, yet requires much less maintenance.  


  • Scratch-Resistant
  • Chip and crack- resistant
  • Scorch-resistant up to a certain temperature
  • Highly stain-proof
  • Doesn’t need to be sealed
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Wide Color Palette
  • Unlimited Edging Options
  • High resale value
  • Quartz colors are uniform which means what you see in the showroom is what you will get


  • Not as heat resistant as granite
  • Not recommended for exterior use or with fireplaces
  • Denser and heavier than real stone
  • Tough to hide seams

Price:  $40-$100 per sq/ft

Wood/Butcher Block Countertops:

butcher block countertops

Butcher Block countertops are made from strips of wood glued together into thick slabs that provide a particularly sturdy and stable work surface in a kitchen, whether as a cutting board, tabletop, or counter.  Common woods used are hardwoods like walnut, oak, maple, cherry, and bamboo.


  • Good for chopping/prep surface
  • Gentle on delicate glassware/china
  • Warm alternative to cool stone
  • No seams


  • Easily damaged by burns
  • Dents
  • Spills and scratches
  • Requires food-safe protective sealer
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Will discolor if installed around the sink

Price:  $40-150/foot

Soapstone Countertops:

soapstone countertop options

Soapstone countertops is a natural quarried stone, like granite.  The presence of talc produces a material that is softer to the touch than most natural stone countertop materials. This doesn’t mean it won’t stand up to the demands of the kitchen.


  • Fabulous natural grey color
  • Smooth matte feel
  • Resistant to etching from acids
  • Somewhat resistant to stains
  • Scratches can be easily sanded or oiled away
  • Not as harmful to the environment as other quarried stones
  • Each slab is unique


  • Needs regular maintenance
  • May crack, chip and scratch
  • Color may darken
  • Tough to hide seams

Price:  $75-150/foot

Marble Countertops:

marble countertop option


Marble countertops are considered the Cadillac of countertops.  Nothing compares to its classic beauty.  If you can handle the maintenance, you will love the look. 


  • Natural Coolness
  • Comes in a variety of colors and patterns
  • Smooth surface
  • Won’t chip or dent
  • Heat-resistant


  • Expensive
  • Can stain easily
  • Can be scratched or etched by acids (citrus, coffee, alcohol, some cleaning products) even if you seal it
  • Tough to hide seams

Price:  $100-400/foot.

Granite Countertops:

granite countertop option

Granite has a rich beauty that few other countertop materials can match. It is a natural product that will work well in both the kitchen and bathroom.


  • More durable than marble
  • Won’t scratch
  • Resistant to stains, heat and water if sealed
  • Low-maintenance
  • High resale value
  • Lots of color options


  • Expensive
  • Requires resealing about once a year
  • Each slab is different so you pick in the showroom may not be what you get
  • Tough to hide seams

Price:  $100-400/foot.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the vast array of countertop options on the market.  We’ve discussed materials ranging from natural to synthetic, from inexpensive to very pricey, and from practical to less practical.  

Can’t decide on just one material? Then mix and match surfaces.   Why not use a different material on the island than the rest of the countertops to differentiate the space.  Another option is to inset another material into a countertop for specific tasks. Butcher block is common for chopping as is marble for baking.
Most natural stone suppliers will have a showroom with slabs on display.  Before making your final decision, go see the options you are considering in person.   Don't get overwhelmed with kitchen remodeling ideas. Deciding on your kitchen countertops is a great place to start! The perfect remodeling kitchen ideas!Each and every one of you inspire me and I LOVE to see the work that you’ve created. Feel free to share with me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. And as always, be sure to follow Diva Of DIY on Pinterest and sign up for our FREE Newsletter to receive the latest projects delivered straight to your inbox!