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June 2021

Countertops 101: A Material Comparison

By | Blog

Which Countertop Is Best For You?


Designing a kitchen or bathroom has become more complex than ever before. New styles are continuously popping up that are different, unique, and fresh. Kitchen and bathroom countertops have evolved into more than just a surface to place food and other items atop; it has become a part of the decor and a statement to the home.

There are many kitchen countertops to choose from: granite, marble, quartz, quartzite, ultra-compact, recycled surface, and so on. Deciding upon a countertop for your home may be difficult. What is the look you are trying to achieve? Is style or maintenance more important to you? These are just a few things to consider and we know it can be overwhelming. So, we have provided you with a countertop comparison guide that lays out everything you need to know before purchasing the countertop that suits you best.


Granite is one of the most popular stones found in American homes. It is extremely durable and resistant to heat and scratching. However, due to its porous nature, granite has the possibility of obtaining stains from acidic liquids if such products are left on the countertop for too long.

PROSgranite countertops near me in north carolina

  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to chemicals and stains – this is true when granite is properly sealed by a professional


  • Porous material – if not sealed properly, or if sealant wears off, granite can absorb stains that are impossible to remove
  • Cost – depending on the rareness or “level” of the design, cost can be high
  • Chipping/cracking – this is a rare occurrence, but still possible if a heavy object is dropped on a corner or edge



When it comes to marble, style comes easy! It is elegant, shiny, and has a timeless element to it that appears effortlessly beautiful. But be careful – marble is softer and more porous than other stones, making it more susceptible to damages such as chipping, staining and scratching.

PROSmarble countertops near me in north carolina

  • Beauty – classic & timeless
  • Availability – because of its high demand, marble can be found at almost any stone fabricator
  • Smooth surface


  • Prone to scratching/chipping
  • Susceptible to stains
  • Higher maintenance – in order to prevent damages and stains from occurring, it is important to professionally seal the surface every six months and clean spills/messes immediately


Quartzite is arguably the strongest natural stone option for your countertop; in fact, it is sturdier than marble and granite. It has the same beautiful essence that marble portrays but can withstand a little more abuse. It is a great solution for an outdoor kitchen because it is resistant to UV rays, but be careful, as quartzite is more prone to scratching.

Quartzite Kitchen Countertops


  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • UV resistant – no need to worry about fading if placed outdoors


  • Scratching – use a cutting board and not cut directly on the countertop
  • Damage from heat – use trivets for hot pots and pans
  • Sealing – make sure it is installed and sealed professionally on a regular basis to prevent future damages
  • Limited color options – quartzite contains more neutral colors and less variety of color


If you are looking for a low-maintenance work surface that is 100 percent heatproof for your kitchen consider a soapstone countertop. Unlike other types of natural stone countertops like granite or marble, soapstone does not need a sealer because it is nonporous, which makes it stain resistant—not to mention naturally antimicrobial

PROSsoapstone countertops near me in north carolina

  • Doesn’t require a sealant
  • Heatproof
  • Impenetrable surface reduces the risk of bacterial growth


  • Darkens over time
  • Can scratch or chip under heavy wear





Different from quartzite, quartz is a non-porous stone that is durable, resistant to many damages, and is very easy to maintain. Because it is a manufactured product, quartz offers a wide range of hues, several finish options, and its final appearance is rich and luxurious.

PROS quartz countertops near me in north carolina

  • Very durable
  • Non-porous – there is no need for a sealant
  • Wide range of designs and colors
  • Scratch, chip & crack resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Does not harbor bacteria


  • Price
  • Receptive to heat
  • Should not be used outside


Ultra Compact

Ultra compact surfaces are made from raw materials found in glass, porcelain, and quartz, which are then put under extreme heat and pressure to create an almost indestructible material. These countertops are one of the most durable options on the market today!

ultra compact surface countertops in north carolina


  • Durable
  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch, chip, and crack resistant
  • UV resistant – perfect for outdoor use


  • Limited fabricators and installers – because proper install requires certification, it may be more difficult to find a reliable pro who can do a beautiful job


Recycled surface countertops are comprised of large shards and finely ground recycled glass that is bound together with cement or resin. This makes it extremely durable and easy to maintain! 


  • Distinctive look
  • Non-porous 
  • Easy maintenance 
  • Eco-friendliness 


  • Limited options – Glass countertops for your kitchen come in a variety of contemporary designs. You are, however, limited in terms of the look you can achieve.


All of these countertops are great options for both your kitchen and bathroom. We recommend you list your priorities, such as style and durability, in order to properly choose the best countertop for your home. If you need assistance to further understand which will work best in your house, please contact us or visit one of our countertop showrooms located in Swansboro, New Bern and Morehead City. You can also utilize our free online kitchen or bathroom visualizers.

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