The Ultimate Guide to Countertops

Countertops are vital to the functionality of any kitchen or bathroom. Its the surface we prep our meals on, the place to hold our hygiene essentials or an area where work and play can take place. So, when remodeling a bathroom or kitchen it is of the upmost importance that the countertops are chosen well. But, where does one even start when picking countertops for their remodel project? What types of countertops are there and which is best for your home? Yardley Kitchen Bath is here to help answer all these questions and more with our Guide to Countertops!

How to Choose a Countertop Material?

Your new countertops need to not only fit your home’s style but also keep up with our daily life. Aesthetics and function are both important features for any countertop. Consider these questions when picking the countertops for your kitchen or bathroom…

What materials or colors fit your desired style?

This is the first question most people will think of when picking countertops. No one wants an ugly kitchen or bathroom! So its important to know what style you have or are going for and find the material that suits it the best. A good tip is to pick a countertop that is versatile - that way it'll go with any potential future changes.

How much maintenance are you ok with doing?

Keep in mind that certain materials need regular maintenance to last. Some materials need a simple regular cleaning and nothing more but materials that are porous will need oiling and sealing once a year. So how much maintenance are you going to be willing to keep up with is important to know when choosing a countertop.

How will your Countertops be Used?

Its important to get countertops that can keep up with your day. Ask yourself...Do you cook or host parties a lot? Do children or pets live in the home? How long to you plan on living there? Also conciser mixing countertop materials to accommodate various needs.

How much space do you need?

If your sticking to your current kitchen or bathroom layout then you'll want to find countertops that suit the space of the room. If your plan is to expand then now much counter space do you need to have the perfect kitchen or bathroom set up? How much material you need will greatly effect the cost.

What is your budget?

Different materials have different costs, thus its important to know not only how much you need but if it is in the budget. You don't want the problem of spending too much on one thing or another which can effect what you can do for the rest of your remodel.

Countertop Materials

With so many options it can be overwhelming to find the perfect countertop for your kitchen or bathroom. You might be asking yourself…Which looks best? Which is easy to clean? Are they durable? Can it fit in my budget?

Well, we have done our research and came up with a handy guide that will tell you the pros and cons of each material option! Take a look at natural, Eco friendly, plastic-based and other countertop material options below!

Natural Countertops

Butcherblock | Granite | Lava | Marble

The countertop material for the active home chef! Often is paired with another countertop material for function and style balance.

Pros: Perfect for those who love baking & cooking! It tends to hide cuts, scratches & is easy to clean. One of the few materials that can be freshened-up to look new with some sanding! Lastly, it goes will with a variety of cabinetry, flooring & decor.

Cons: It does require regular sealing to prevent water damage & the harboring of germs. It is recommended to oil the countertop every few months as regular maintenance. This is a big reason why this material is mixed & matched with other materials.

Butcherblock Counters

This material is considered to be one of the most beautiful options for countertops, thus many dream of granite counters in their homes!

Pros: It is an Eco friendly options since its made of natural-stone. Moreover, it is strong & durable when properly cared for, thus making it resistant to scratches & heat! Granite goes with a variety of styles & cabinetry.

Cons: Granite needs to be properly sealed due to being porous. It also has limited color options. Be careful because it is prone to chipping if heavy objects are dropped on them! Prepare your budget because this material is on the more expensive side.

Granite Counters

Made from the stone quarried from places that had ancient volcanic eruptions, these countertops are both beautiful and tough!

Pros: This material is strong, therefore is resistant to chipping, cracking, water, heat, sun & acids. These countertops come in a variety of glazes so it has a lot of color options & finishes.

Cons: Sound to goo to be true? Well this durable yet beautiful countertop has one of the highest prices in the market. Make sure you love what you pick as well because these countertops are not the kind that can be refurbished easily later.

lava rock countertops PA

The epitome of class & elegance in the home, thus its no wounder famous artistic statues have been carved from marble!

Pros: Every marble counter is one of a kind & very beautiful! It comes in a variety of finishes for the perfect look & feel, thus it fits well in a variety of styles from classic to modern. When cared for, marble is very heat resistant & durable.

Cons:  Over time light can give an antiqued look, this can be a pro or con depending on your own tastes. This is a porous material so must regularly sealed & cleaned. Marble can be prone to scratches & acidic materials can be a problem. It beauty comes with a price so make sure you can fit it into the budget if you really want marble.

Marble Counters

Eco Friendly Countertops

Bamboo | Reclaimed Wood | Recycled Glass | PaperStone

Similar to butcherblock, this is a material made from bamboo which replenishes quickly and thus is very affordable!

Pros: As mentioned above, bamboo countertops are a very affordable countertop option as well as eco friendly. It is non-porous thus won’t harbor bacteria and is easy to clean. This is a study countertop especially compared to other woods. 

Cons: Unfortunately, Bamboo is not stain, heat, or water-resistant. There is little variety in colors and styles so you’ll have to really enjoy the natural look if you want this countertop. Much like butcherblock, it will require some maintenance to keep the wood looking good and staying strong. Also, the seams are highly visible for bamboo counters.

Bamboo Counters

The wood for these countertops come from, usually, old building material. So not only is this choice very eco-friendly but also adds character to your kitchen or bathroom counters.

Pros: Get the beauty of natural wood with the durability of retired building material for a warm, organic look in your home with reclaimed wood countertops. 

Cons: While its great to be eco-friendly, reclaimed wood countertops run on the more expensive side due to the limited supply and labor to make. These counters must be properly sealed or it can harbor bacteria and will need re-sealing over the years. Lastly, reclaimed wood is not very heat resistant and you’ll have to be careful.

Reclaimed Wood Counters


If your a fan of recycling and want a counter or backsplash that is truly one of a kind then recycled glass is the choice for you!

Pros: Each countertop is beautifully unique yet remains highly functional! This material is not prone to chipping, staining & other damages which is always a plus! It is also very easy to maintain & clean.

Cons: Nothing is perfect, the recycled glass may crack if stress-points are created during installation. So this is not ideal for the DIY remodel. Moreover, it may show water spots or fingerprints & acids may mar the surface.

Recycled Glass Counters

Can you believe that there is a countertop made from recycled paper? The paper is layered then covered in a natural resin to make an eco-friendly countertop for your home!

Pros: A balance between wood and stone countertops, paperstone is stronger and more forgiving while staying affordable. Its water-proof qualities makes it easy to clean and it won’t harbor bacteria making it perfect for kitchens, bathroom, and outdoor use.

Cons: Unlike stone, paperstone is not heat resistant and may be prone to scratches that would have to be sanded out. Colors are limited and it doesn’t contain the same texture or patterns of other countertops. Age and wear can effect its sheen and overall look so some maintenance will be needed to prevent this.

Paperstone Counters

Plastic-Based Countertops

Laminate | Resin | Solid Surface | Quartz

If your looking for an affordable material with a lot of style variety then laminate might be the best option for your remodel project!

Pros: Laminate is considered highly affordable compared to other types. It has incredible style variety from colors to textures which is always a plus! It is very easy to clean & has easily hidden seams.

Cons: This material comes with some pitfalls, such as being difficult to repair! Laminate  is not very resistant to heat, scratches & other damages. Moreover, it doesn’t have the same aesthetic quality of other materials such as natural stone or wood.

Laminate Counters

A type of solid-surface countertop, are perfect for those who want a custom or unique design for their counters. It’s the material for the truly creative types who also want high-quality!

Pros: Excelling in appearance and durability, these non-porous counters are also easy to clean! They are resistant to impact or scratches, stains, UV rays and heat. As mentioned before, resin allows for great customization and thus give many options for color and style. This material is very affordable as well, making it a great option for many homes.

Cons: Shop carefully because not all resin countertops are made to the same quality. Be sure to ask questions such as if its durable, and what is the cost to make sure you are getting the best!

Soapstone Resin Counters


Similar to laminate but with less of the pitfalls of its sister material. This has become a popular choice for many homes!

Pros: This material is very hard, durable & non-porous! It is available in hundreds of colors & patterns, including some looking like granite or quartz. Overall, this is an easy to clean & low-maintenance countertop.

Cons: This material is  not as heat resistant has stone material & tends to be prone to scratches. Now, scratches can be sanded out if needed. This material falls into the mid-to-high price range.

Solid Surface Countertops PA

An elegant man-made material that combines aesthetics with toughness which makes it a great option for any kitchen or bathroom.

Pros: Quartz has a variety of options for color, texture, finish & more! Unlike natural stone, it doesn’t need to be sealed & is easy to clean. Moreover, it is resistant to bacteria, chipping, scratches & staining. Better yet, seams are less visible than other options.

Cons: This material is less heat resistant & doesn’t tolerate direct & extended sunlight exposure. Despite that this is still one of the more expensive options. It doesn’t have a natural stone look, so this isn’t a replacement for that look at all.

Quartz Counters

Other Material Countertops

Concrete | Porcelain | Stainless Steel | Tile

A newer material trend that is highly customizable for a unique style and can fit even in weirdly shaped areas of any kitchen or bathroom.

Pros: Concrete is very durable, hard to chip & resistant to damage!
Better yet, it can be custom formed on site to fit any room & is uniquely customizable with pigments, texture & by embedding objects such as shells, tiles, glass, etc…

Cons: This countertop is fairly expensive, like granite or quartz. It will need to be regularly sealed to prevent damaged. Despite that it is still susceptible to staining & cracking. It is a current trend that may fade in time.

concrete countertop PA

Most known for its use in bathroom fixtures, it can be easy to forget that they can be countertops too! In fact, they can be installed over existing countertops rather than ripping out the old for the new!

Pros: Gives a variety in color, patterns and finishes so there is an option for any style. Porcelain is strong, stronger than granite by 30% in fact! These countertops are light weight, durable, easy to clean, requires no sealing and can be recycled.

Cons: It is considered fairly pricey and while stronger than granite it is still susceptible to chipping or cracking.

Porcelain Countertops PA

This material gives a sleek, modern appearance to any kitchen or bathroom. This is a practical choice for any home!

Pros: A durable material that can last 15-25 years of service easily. Can work with retro or modern looks and with other materials such as wood cabinetry or stone flooring. You couldn’t ask for a more sanitary countertop option on the market, making it the prime choice for professional kitchens around the world.

Cons: This material is an investment and will need a good budget to afford. Stainless steel also can come off as cold, so if you wanted a warmth in your design then this material may not be for you.

Stainless Steel Countertops PA

Can be porcelain, glass or ceramic – tile countertops are perhaps the most versatile material out of all your options. Its no wounder tile has been used for thousands of years!

Pros: Nearly endless with its options in styles, colors, shapes and textures. It can be uniquely custom to your dream look for your kitchen or bathroom. Tiles can last up to 50 years or more! Easy to clean, and cost-effective – tile is perfect for the creative homeowner.

Cons: Does come with grout which is harder to clean or prevent staining.  It will need to be resealed over time or it will harbor bacteria. While the material is relatively cheap, the labor is extensive and can be costly.

Tile Counters

Does your kitchen or bath need new countertops?

Countertops are important to how a home’s bathroom or kitchen will look and function. You want to make sure that not only you select the best option for your remodel but that your remodel is also done perfectly! Yardley Kitchen Bath is here to help! From planning, selecting materials to installing and staying in budget – our team of experts will help you build your dream kitchen or bathroom! Need more information on kitchen or bathroom remodeling? Click the buttons below to learn more about our services!

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