When figuring out your kitchen design, countertops can be a tricky component. There are so many options that vary widely in style and price.

However, most people tend to gravitate towards three popular options: solid surface, quartz, and granite.

How do these three common countertop materials compare and contrast?

Solid surface

These types of countertops are typically made up of a heavy polymer laden material. Solid surface countertops are typically a matte finish and softer to the touch than their quartz and granite counterparts.

They do not have to be sealed. They can be buffed to a glossy finish, but it is often recommended to avoid this technique as it shows scratches more visibly.

These countertops can mimic the appearance of granite; however, they sometimes lack the depth of natural stone.

The cost for a solid surface countertop is by far the cheapest and most competitive. This material will run you about $35-$85 per square foot.

Quartz

This material has been quickly gaining the hearts of many in the world of kitchen remodels. However, the name “quartz” is just a coined term to market the material to those who may be opposed to its actual name: engineered stone.

Natural minerals combine with resin to create these sought-after counters. This material is usually a smooth, glossy finish, but can be mattified if desired. Quartz is a relatively low maintenance product as well.

The cost for quartz countertops ranges from $50 – $90 per square foot. Luxury, high-quality quartz will run you up to $150 per square foot.

Granite

Granite countertops are 100% earth made, with no additional materials added. They have been the leading countertop material for decades but are now closely competing with quartz. Unlike solid surface and quartz, granite countertops will need to be sealed.

Granite comes in several different varieties, and options and will range between $40 – $100 per square foot. Granite is also very easy to maintain.

When compared, these three popular countertop options do not differ too drastically. Personal preference is usually what it boils down to.

It is also important to note that the installation of these countertops makes all the difference. It is recommended to contact a professional when dealing with these materials.

When shopping for your countertop material, pick out three samples from each material category and compare them in person.

Getting a visual and physical feel of the material will help you to ultimately choose your dream countertop.

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