Posted on: 18.11.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

While most people consider granite to be the best material for countertops, it can also be very expensive. There are many other countertop materials that you can use in your home that may be even better and cheaper than granite.

Affordable alternatives to granite countertops should have similar or superior durability, heat resistance, porosity, and maintenance requirements. These include sintered stone, soapstone, and quartzite. Granite countertops are more expensive but not necessarily better than other stones, woods, or metals.

If you’re looking for a new countertop, you might be wondering why granite is so expensive. Granite doesn’t have any significant advantages over other countertop materials. There are many other options besides granite that can stand the test of time without breaking the bank, which we will discuss in this article, so keep reading!

What to Consider When Deciding What Material to Use For Your Countertop

When deciding what material to use for your countertops, you should consider what you expect from your countertops. There are several different qualities in a countertop material that may make it better than other materials.


When deciding what material to use, you should consider the hardness of the material. The hardness of a stone is measured on a scale known as the Mohs hardness scale. This scale rates the durability of stone materials on a scale from one to ten, with ten being the hardest and one being the softest.


Porosity is another factor to consider. Porous materials are materials that have pores or small holes. All objects are porous, but some countertops are more porous than others.

If your countertop is highly porous, it will absorb food, liquids, and cleaning solutions, often leaving visible stains. Countertops that are more porous than others also tend to harbor more bacteria and fungi as food and other materials can become trapped in the pores of the countertop.

Heat Tolerance

You may also want to consider the heat resistance of your countertops when purchasing countertops. Depending on your needs, you may want to purchase a countertop that can withstand high temperatures. The benefits of a heat-resistant countertop include being able to place hot pots, pans, and other dishes directly on the countertop without any barrier.


Some countertop materials, especially porous countertops, also require sealing. Depending on the stone, you may need to reseal your countertops once to four times a year with an impregnating stone sealer. Sealing stone can be quite costly and more cumbersome than some people want.


Naturally, price will be a factor in determining which countertop material to use. You’ll find that granite isn’t superior to any other countertop material, except for its reputation and high price. Finding the right countertop material for you is an essential part of making an informed decision before investing in a potentially costly countertop.

Why Granite is Good for Countertops

Although granite is widely considered to be the best material for countertops, it is not necessarily better than cheaper options. Granite countertops are expensive, and they typically cost $80 to $175 per square foot. Granite is expensive because it is considered the most beautiful material for countertops.

Granite contains quartz and feldspar, which give it colors like pink, cream, black, and gray. It has the reputation of being the best material for countertops, which is why stone sellers can demand so much for granite.

Granite is a porous material that needs to be sealed. If you don’t seal a granite countertop, it can easily stain and crack. In general, granite is not more durable or stain-resistant than other alternative countertop materials. When you pay for granite, you’re mainly paying for the aesthetics of granite.

Assuming granite is slightly out of your price range, many countertop materials are just as durable, porous, and heat-resistant as granite, if not more so. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. By educating yourself on the strengths and weaknesses of each countertop material, you can choose the one that best suits your home.

1. Marble

Marble countertops typically cost between $25 and $60 per square foot. The type of marble you get will determine the cost, as some types of marble are rarer and more exotic than others.

Marble is one of the most timeless and beautiful materials for countertops. Marble countertops are aesthetically pleasing and come in many colors with various vein patterns. Marble is particularly popular because of its elegant color and intricate marbling.

Marble is a relatively soft and highly porous stone. On the Mohs scale, marble typically has a hardness of 3/10, which means it is very soft. Marble chips and scratches easily under pressure and heavy wear. The porosity of marble also makes it prone to staining. Additionally, marble absorbs any food, liquids, or cleaning chemicals you apply to it, making it difficult to keep clean.

Most experts recommend sealing marble countertops every 3 to 6 months with an impregnating stone sealer to prevent your marble from absorbing food residue and liquids.

2. Quartz

Quartz countertops usually cost between $15 and $70 per square foot. They are incredibly durable and produce some of the most beautiful countertops. Quartz is non-porous, making it easy to clean and resistant to staining.

Quartz countertops are made of engineered stone. Quartz slabs are made from crushed quartz and a polyresin and are available in many different colors and textures.

Since quartz is a man-made stone, it can be modified to have a glossy or matte finish. Quartz engineers can also add additional colors to quartz countertops. Since quartz contains resin, you don’t need to seal quartz countertops.

Quartz countertops have only a few downsides. Quartz countertops are easily damaged by heat. Placing hot pans or pots on a quartz countertop will melt the heat and scorch the quartz, leaving a discolored indentation in the countertop. Similarly, quartz countertops are not suitable for outdoor use as the heat from the sun can bleach and crack the stone.

3. Quartzite

Quartzite countertops can cost between $60 and $120 per square foot. If you want a countertop that looks like marble but is more durable and heat-resistant, you should consider a quartzite countertop. Quartzite is a natural stone that closely resembles marble.

Quartzite forms when sandstone intrudes deeper into the earth’s mantle, increasing the temperature of the sandstone and forcing it to crystallize. On the Mohs scale, quartzite has a hardness of 7/10, making it a very durable stone.

However, unlike marble, quartzite is highly durable and less prone to scratching. Quartzite is also heat-resistant, unlike quartz countertops. Additionally, quartzite is a very dense stone, making it resistant to staining.

There are only two major downsides of quartzite countertops. Quartzite countertops may look like marble, but they are not available in as many color variations as marble. Additionally, quartzite countertops need to be resealed twice a year.

4. Slate

Slate is exceptionally affordable and usually costs $20 to $60 per square foot. It is an absolutely stunning material for countertops. Slate comes in many colors, ranging from gray, brown, and black tones to blue, green, and red tones. Each slate slab is subtly unique, making it an excellent material if you want your countertops to look clean and uniform.

Slate is extremely durable and does not scratch or chip easily in everyday use. Although slate typically has a hardness rating of 4/10, making it softer than quartzite but denser, it does not wear down easily. Slate’s softness is only affected by impact force, and it can chip if you drop something as hard as a cast-iron pan on it.

Additionally, slate is non-porous, making it very clean and resistant to stains. Slate is heat-resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on it without damaging your countertops. The only possible downside of slate is that it can sometimes have sharp edges. Otherwise, slate is an excellent material for countertops.

5. Limestone

Limestone is relatively affordable and costs about $15 to $35 per square foot. It has an elegant neutral color tone and is usually white but can also be light brown, beige, pink, yellow, or gray.

Limestone is a porous stone mainly made of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate dissolves under acidic conditions, so leaving acidic solutions like vinegar or citrus juice on limestone countertops can cause them to dissolve and become brittle.

Similarly, you should never use acidic cleaners or abrasive sponges on limestone countertops. A protective sealer should be applied to limestone countertops once a year to prevent erosion, chipping, and damage.

Since limestone is porous, it also tends to stain. When cleaning limestone, you should only use neutral pH cleaners. If the cleaning solution is too acidic, it will dissolve your countertops. Limestone is also not heat-resistant. If you heat limestone too much, it will discolor. Caring for limestone may be bothersome, but it is a beautiful stone that can be used in any part of your home, from the bathroom and kitchen to a fire pit.

6. Soapstone

Soapstone countertops typically cost $45 to $85 per square foot.

Soapstone, also known as steatite, is relatively soft but very dense, making it easy to clean. Being so dense, soapstone resists bacterial growth and staining. You can place hot pots and pans on soapstone without worrying about stains or cracks. Soapstone is highly heat-resistant and is even a popular stone for making fireplaces.

Most soapstones have a gray color, although some soapstones can be green or blue. Over time, soapstone develops a patina through an oxidation process, which darkens it. Some people appreciate patinated soapstone, while others do not, so you should consider this when choosing your countertop materials.

Soapstone does not need sealing, but you can treat it with mineral oil once or twice a year. The mineral oil prevents the soapstone from becoming too dry and evens out the color of the patina.

The only downside of soapstone is its softness. Soapstone typically ranks between 3.5/10 on the Mohs scale, making it slightly harder than a marble countertop but much softer than quartzite. Hard impacts, such as dropping heavy objects on it and using knives directly on the countertop, will scratch and chip the surface.

7. Sintered Stone

Sintered stone costs an average of $30 to $80 per square foot. It is a man-made stone made from ceramic and quartz particles.

In a laboratory, the particles that make up sintered stone are treated with high pressure and high heat to form a crystallized stone. Sintered stone can be made from many different materials, giving it many different color variations and patterns. It is essentially engineered quartzite, although it is much less porous than quartzite. It is also not as heavy as natural stone.

Sintered stone is highly durable, with a hardness rating of 7/10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Although sintered stone is about as hard as quartzite, it is even less porous.

Sintered stone is so dense that it is waterproof. This makes sintered stone easy to clean and eliminates the need for sealing. It is also heat-resistant, so you can place as many hot pots on it as you want without causing any cracks or damage.

Sintered stone is a relatively new invention and has not received enough recognition as a superior material for countertops. As it is made in a laboratory, it is less environmentally friendly than natural stone materials. Nonetheless, it is one of the most durable countertop materials on the market.

8. Concrete

Concrete countertops typically cost between $50 and $100 per square foot, depending on how elaborate your design is.

Concrete is perfect for custom work. When making a concrete countertop, you can give them a custom color, texture, and shape without having to cut and stain them painstakingly. You can even embed cutting boards, bowls, tiles, and patterns into your concrete countertops.

The only downside of this customizability is that you may have to pay additional installation costs if you are not making concrete countertops yourself.

Most concrete countertops are made from fiberglass, making them much more substantial than stone. Concrete is virtually impervious to heat and scratches, allowing you to forget the cutting board even on these countertops. However, it does stain, and to preserve them from staining, you need to seal concrete countertops at least once a year.

9. Wood

Wooden countertops usually cost between $10 and $38 per square foot, depending on the type of wood you use. Wooden countertops can be made from construction woods like bamboo, oak, cherry, maple, and walnut.

Wood is a soft material with a lot of forgiveness. If you drop a glass on a wooden countertop, it won’t shatter like it would on a granite countertop. This softness can, however, lead to cracking, cut marks, and splinters. Nonetheless, wood is a good material for countertops as it can be easily sanded to rework the surface of damaged or stained countertops.

Wood is regarded as the most environmentally friendly material for countertops as it is biodegradable and doesn’t require much processing. Wooden countertops can even be sourced from home. The next time a tree falls in your yard, consider turning it into a countertop.

Wood requires monthly treatment with mineral oil to prevent it from cracking. Additionally, sealing your wooden countertops helps keep them clean and stain-free as wood is a very porous material. Moisture and humidity can also damage wooden countertops, so it’s important to keep them dry. However, if you take good care of your wooden countertops, they will last more than a lifetime.

10. Tile

Tile is one of the cheapest materials for countertops, averaging $1 to $15 per square foot.

Tiles come in all colors and patterns under the sun, and you can even make a mosaic masterpiece on your countertop with tiles. They are heat resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on them without causing any visible damage. They are also quite scratch-resistant, allowing them to last a long time.

Repairing damaged tile countertops is much easier than repairing natural stone countertops. Compared to natural stones, tiles are more prone to chipping and cracking under heavy wear. However, unlike stone slabs, tiles can be easily replaced and repaired. So if you damage a tile, you can reseal it or replace it with a new one.

Tile grout is porous, so the rough gaps between the tiles are difficult to clean. Some tiles have been designed with this in mind and provide an almost seamless working surface.

However, these unique countertop tiles are more expensive than other tiles. If you use standard tiles, you’ll need to seal the grout between the tiles with an epoxy grout sealer to ensure bacteria doesn’t grow between your tiles.

Tile is a very inexpensive

Leave a Comment