Kitchen Counter Top Options From A Homeowner's Experience

It's absolutely amazing these days how many options we have in regards to kitchen counter tops.  Counter tops seem to make such a strong first impression that choosing the RIGHT one can be overwhelming and confusing. 

I have lived in 6 homes in my 15 years of marriage and have had the opportunity to build 3 out of the six from scratch.   Two were 100% my choice from top to bottom.

So it means I have had experience and LIVED with these 4 counter tops:

  • Laminate (or Formica)
  • Concrete
  • Tile
  • Honed Granite

Laminate counter tops is just a wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin.  It is VERY widely used in entry level homes because of it's excellent price point.  Laminate comes in tons of different patterns and colors.  Be sure to check out the different edges laminates has to offer. 

My favorite choice for laminate is to choose a dull finish that mimics granite or something with a LOT of texture (it hides a lot of stuff!).  Although, If I was going modern, I would go with a sleek shinier color.  Since it does have such a great price point, I always put laminate in rooms that are not a focal point like the laundry room or the kids bathrooms.

My children's bathroom - I choose a muted textured laminate and paired it with a mosaic tile backsplash.

Concrete counter tops are awesome!  They are literally poured concrete placed in a form on top of your cabinets!  You can add pigment (color) to the natural concrete, or leave it as grey.  I added just a tinge of brown to my concrete counter tops when I had them installed.  They applied a commercial sealer on top the concrete counters and I was good to go.  I loved the look of the concrete counter tops!  You can also choose what kind of an edge you want.

 I enjoyed this article on This Old House showing pictures of each step of making and installing a concrete counter top - look at all these concrete colors choices!

Photo by Kristine Larson This Old House

Tile counter tops are very nice, but I always had a hard time keeping the grout clean.  Personally, I don't think I would choose a tile counter top again.  A tile backsplash is a different story!  I love tile backsplashes.

Granite or Honed Granite counter tops are very widely used in upper end homes.  Granite is literally made from a rock that is sliced!  It is incredibly durable, you can put hot items on top of it without being worried of charring and each piece is completely unique.  

Traditional Kitchen in a standard Polished Granite

*EDIT*  A few have asked me where I got my kitchen sink - yes, I have LOVED the one open sink instead of the divided.  

My kitchen done in a HONED non shiny granite.

The difference between Honed Granite and regular Polished Granite is just that - if it's highly polished or not.  Honed granite, which has a very matte or dull appearance, is very popular in Europe.  It is becoming more popular in the US but the highly polished granite is still more readily supplied.  The price though for honed verses polished are equivalent.

My Latest Kitchen in Honed Granite

Honed granite appeals to those who want an aged, farmhouse or old world look.  Those who lean toward the unpolished/matte honed granite finish usually dislike the formal appearance that polished granite can give.  You can read more about my experience with Honed Granite by clicking the link.

Of course, there are many more options like:

  • Corian
  • Stainless steel
  • Butcher Block (wood)
  • Soapstone 
  • Marble
  • Quartz

I'll leave that for another posting my friends!!! 

 What is your favorite counter top?  

Leave us a comment!

(Description graphs by Sweet Remodel)


  1. Selina, In my work, I see all of the counter tops you mentioned. My favorite is your honed granite conter tops. Thanks for this information. Lynda

  2. I Have polished granite in my kitchen but prefer the look of honed. I wonder if the finish can be changed after installation?

  3. All these are good option as counter tops, I also have green color granite counter top in my kitchen. It has its own natural beauty and finishing. It gives a very royal look to my kitchen. It is very easy to clean it.

  4. You shared beautiful picture of granite counter tops. I love granite it is the most elegant, vibrant and high quality of material. I have also used the black color granite in my kitchen It can be the most easily maintained stone and thus ideal for kitchen counter-tops.


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