Choosing new countertops for your kitchen or bath remodel can be overwhelming.  There are so many choices on the market and so many factors that need to go into your decision.  When I was shopping for the countertops for our lake house fixer upper, I made a list of pros and cons to each of the countertop options.  Let’s go through them one by one starting with the countertops using man-made materials.

Don't get overwhelmed with kitchen remodeling ideas. Deciding on your kitchen countertops is a great place to start! The perfect remodeling kitchen ideas!

Laminate Countertops:  

(Also known as Formica)

laminate counter top options

Laminate is one of the most affordable countertop materials on the market.  It is essentially layers of paper pressed together and then coated with a permanent seal.  If the seal gets scratched or damaged, you will eventually damage the material underneath.

Laminate countertops are not the best choice for re-sale value so if putting your home on the market the remodel is in the back of your mind, you may want to upgrade to another option.


  • Stain-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Lots of color options
  • Low-maintenance
  • Inexpensive
  • No seams


  • Can crack and scratch
  • Not heatproof
  • Difficult to repair

Price:  $15-$60/foot 

Solid Surface Countertops:

(Also know as Corian, etc.)

Engineered or solid surface countertop options

Solid surface is a man-made material usually composed of a combination of marble dust, bauxite, acrylic, epoxy or polyester resins and pigments.  It was created to have the look of natural stone but without being porous.


  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Smooth surface
  • Can seamlessly integrate sink and backsplash
  • Easy to sand away stains or scratches
  • Lots of color and pattern options
  • Can imitate other materials like concrete and marble.
  • Nonporous
  • Resists scratches and stains
  • Easy to maintain
  • No sealant required


  • Not heat-proof
  • Can look somewhat artificial
  • Price is close to that of natural stone
  • Can tend to scratch easily

Price: $50-150/foot.

Concrete Countertops:

concrete countertop options
Concrete countertops have been hot for a while and they’re still a very popular option.  They can be pricey and require a decent amount of maintenance but if you are willing to take the risk…they can be stunning.


  • Heat and scratch-resistant
  • Smooth
  • Very strong
  • Lots of texture and color options
  • Pretty durable
  • Can seamlessly integrate sink and backsplash
  • No seams


  • Can get cracked
  • Somewhat porous
  • Must be sealed and waxed
  • Needs to be custom cast (can be pricey to fabricate)

Price:  $80-150/foot

Recycled Glass Countertops:

recycled glass countertop option

Recycled Glass countertops are fairly new on the market but are gaining momentum at a rapid pace.  The glass can be embedded clear acrylic or embedded in concrete.  Regardless of the method, these countertops are a show-stopper.


  • Lots of color, shape and texture options
  • Non-porous
  • Heat-resistant
  • Environmentally-Friendly
  • No seams


  • Can crack
  • Chip or break
  • Can’t be repaired… must be replaced
  • Scratches and fingerprints are visible

Price:  $60-300/foot

Stainless Steel Countertops:

stainless steel countertop option

Typically found in commercial kitchens, Stainless Steel is another good option for its strength, stain resistance and heat resistance.  This material looks great in a sleek, modern design.


  • Durable
  • Stain-proof
  • Spill-proof
  • Temperature-proof
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Help reflect light which makes a space look bigger
  • Inhibits bacteria
  • Eco-Friendly
  • No seams


  • Can nick and scratch
  • Can show fingerprints
  • Noisy

Price $100-300/foot

I’ve shared the pros and cons (as I see it) for countertops using man-made materials.  Now let’s dive into the pros and cons for countertops using natural materials.

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