New countertops not only improve your kitchen workflow, but they can also really accentuate the room! Picking out new countertops is a great way to personalize your kitchen. There are many types of countertops, with each offering its own sets of pros and cons. Here are the 9 most popular countertops in St. Louis homes!

Quartz

Quartz countertops are the most popular option for St. Louis homeowners. These gorgeous countertops are made by binding about 93% of quartz crystals with resins to engineer a solid slab. These heavy slabs are sealed tightly to prevent mold or damage and are incredibly durable. Many St. Louis residents prefer quartz countertops because they come in a wide variety of colors and veins. While beautiful, they are uniform. So, your countertop won’t be considered a rarity. 

Some quartz countertops may only require DIY installation. However, you must have the correct measurements. Cutting quartz will be troublesome. You might want to depend on a licensed professional to install correctly. 

Pros:

  • Beautiful, could be a real stand-out in the room
  • Uniform slabs for a consistently smooth surface
  • Cut and heat resistant, very durable
  • Very easy to clean, almost impossible to stain
  • Custom fabrication and colors available
  • Doesn’t require any sealing

Cons:

  • Can be pretty expensive 
  • Very heavy, could be challenging for a one-person job
  • Might discolor with time from UV light or harsh chemicals

 

Granite

While it’s been recently replaced by quartz in the top spot, there is still a high demand for granite countertops in St. Louis. These slabs are cut straight from the earth. Therefore, each home will have a unique countertop. In contrast, quartz can be mass-produced more efficiently and made uniformly. This material can withstand high heat but can degrade at extreme temperatures. Granite countertops are slightly more porous than quartz. You don’t want to let liquids pool. 

In rare instances, you might have to reseal your granite countertop. You also might need to polish or get a matte finish to maintain its vibrancy. 

Pros:

  • Very durable with a high heat tolerance
  • Over 3,000 varieties are available for choosing
  • Easy to clean
  • Unique piece that can stand out in your home
  • Increases value of home

Cons:

  • Expensive material and not suitable for DIY installation
  • Can dull or lose sealing with time
  • Extreme heat might cause some damage 
  • Slightly porous, which may require extra cleaning
  • Cracks with improper installation
  • Can be cut from stone with imperfections
  • Surface dulls knives when used for cutting

 

Marble

Marble has become less popular but most expensive countertops. However, their beauty alone is worth it. Never mind the fact they can increase the value of your St. Louis home! Like granite, marble is a natural stone. So, each piece is unique to your home. You and your guests will love the lavish veining in marble countertops! Marble is heat-resistant and waterproof. It’s the perfect countertop to throw a hot casserole from the oven onto for cooling! This material is more porous than the other two. It can stain from spills and get scratched by knives. 

That’s why many homeowners use this stone for entertaining rather than cooking. Marble is a great option for homeowners who want to make their islands pop but don’t want to redo all of their counters with stone. 

Pros:

  • One-of-a-kind with exquisite veining
  • Heat-resistant and waterproof
  • Significantly increases value of home
  • Easier to cut than other stones

Cons:

  • Most expensive option
  • Can’t install on your own
  • Not scratch-proof and hard to repair
  • Porous and stains easily unless it’s sealed
  • Acids can erode polish

 

Quartzite

Quartzites have a simplicity and a rarity to them all in one. They come in limited color varieties because they are completely natural. Some quartzite slabs can have up to 99% quartzite crystallines in them. Quartzite is very durable. It’s almost knife-resistant. However, knicking the same spot over time or making a big chop with a large knife can do some damage. While quartzite is similar in looks to quartz, it comes in fewer varieties. Its tone is typically lighter, earth-toned colors. 

Pros:

  • More durable material than some other stones, almost knife-resistant
  • Rare pieces with varying veins that make for unique countertops
  • Highly resistant to UV rays, color won’t degrade with time
  • Not very porous but may require yearly sealing
  •  Very pretty, especially for those who like earth tones

Cons:

  • Can be expensive because it’s rarer
  • Fewer options for colors than other stone materials
  • Challenging to install, should seek a professional 

 

Wood

Wood countertops are a growing trend in St. Louis kitchens. They have a rustic look that also presents as a functional cooking space. These natural countertops are pretty resistant to heat. You can also cut directly on the counter. While using the space this way inevitably makes marks, it’s part of the charm, and it’s expected!

There are many options for wood, with the most popular being:

  • Cherry
  • Hickory
  • Mahogany
  • Maple
  • Sapele
  • Teak 

Before using a wood countertop, oil the area with coconut oil. This treatment will smooth out rough edges that can cause splinters. Plus, it will give the wood a nice shine!

Pros:

  •  Low maintenance, as long as you’re okay with making marks on it
  • Some woods are naturally antimicrobial
  • Really pretty, great rustic vibe
  • Excellent use of kitchen space
  • Many options to choose from
  • Can install yourself 

Cons:

  • Highly porous, may need to be replaced more often
  • Gets easily marked up by knives
  • Can cause cuts or slivers without treatment

Soapstone

Soapstone used to be a more popular choice for countertops. It is very popular in historic homes, especially around sinks. While many have turned to granite over soapstone, this natural countertop is making a comeback in the St. Louis area. This slate-looking stone tends to have a dark gray color. It’s dark texture hides stains and scratches very well. 

However, you can also find some creamy white sandstone options. Don’t worry about the lighter hue. Soapstone is pretty resistant to damage, especially stains. It also doesn’t degrade from long-term exposure to acids. 

Pros:

  • Very durable and resistant to long-term damage
  • Unique antique look
  • Easy to maintain, damage can be sanded

Cons:

  • Has to be treated with mineral oil
  • DIY installation is not an option
  • Could get dents or scratches

 

Stainless Steel

The pandemic has forced many of us indoors to explore our inner chef. Many people have upgraded their cooking appliances over the last few years, with stainless steel being the top choice. Now, many St. Louis residents are opting for stainless steel countertops to match. When polished, nothing glows like a stainless steel finish! These durable countertops are heat resistant. You can allow your baked goods to cool off. Just be careful when using them as a prep space. They can easily scratch!

Pros:

  • Very sleek look, great for an industrial vibe
  • Can’t be damaged by heat
  • Increases real estate value
  • Very easy to clean; after all, it’s STAINLESS steel
  • Can be seamless

Cons:

  • Steel can become cloudy or scuffed with time
  • Not suitable for cutting items on
  • Very noisy to work on
  • Expensive to customize

 

Solid-Surface Material

One of the most cost-effective countertop materials for your St. Louis home is solid-surface material. This countertop is a blend of acrylic particles and resins. Although it’s much different, solid-surface material looks very similar to quartz. Therefore, many people use this as an affordable seamless countertop in their homes. Many of these countertops can also be made to match your backsplash and sink space. So, you can conveniently order all of the material for a cohesive kitchen renovation. 

Pros:

  • Durable material, resistant to stains and acids
  • Scuffs can be sanded out easily
  • Plenty of colors and varieties to choose from
  • Affordable for many
  • Seams are invisible
  • Easy to match with sink and backsplash

Cons:

  • Not heat-resistant can become damaged from hot pans
  • Needs professional to install, must be fabricated
  • Clearly not quartz, doesn’t raise value of home

 

Laminate

Laminate was a very popular countertop in St. Louis homes back in the 1970s. It’s still an affordable choice that many homes choose to go with, for it’s easy to customize and maintain.

This countertop is engineered by blending laminate sheets with a particleboard (MDF) core to create post-form countertops. From there, a professional will fabricate the material to meet your specifications.

Pros:

  • Cheapest option, even for customization
  • Very easy for DIY installation
  • Awesome for a retro vibe
  • Easy maintenance

Cons:

  • Highly visible seam that might need replacement
  • Dated option that won’t add value to home
  • Might need to get custom edging
  • Cannot be repaired

 

Choosing the right countertop is the first step. Installing is the next. This whole process might be a lot for one person to take on. Reach out to a licensed professional in St. Louis about getting countertops installed in your home!