Kitchen countertop materials: which to choose and why?


Not just a decorative element, a key feature of today’s kitchens. 
The countertop or work surface is integrated into a variety of residential and retail spaces to create a convivial atmosphere appropriate for countless different experiences. 

The choice of materials plays a key role in this context, for the kitchen countertop must offer a number of important features, including: 

  • resistance
  • beauty
  • practicality
  • hygiene

How to choose among the many different surfaces on offer? 
Here’s a guide to help you choose the right kitchen countertop for you.

Kitchen countertop materials: six kinds

Let us look at the principal kitchen countertop materials available on the market today. 
We may distinguish among the six most common materials: 

Porcelain countertop

Everyone knows that porcelain is a compact material made out of a blend of clays and feldspars. Increasingly green and sustainable in terms of composition, porcelain is a highly dependable surface adaptable to a great variety of uses. 

  • Pros of the porcelain countertop
  • unrivalled resistance to blows, stains and heat
  • durability
  • antibacterial and easy to clean
  • high performance in terms of both practicality and beauty

Cons: An innovative material. Porcelain kitchen countertops are not yet common, though they are becoming more and more popular. 


Laminate kitchen countertop

Made of layers of paper impregnated with thermosetting resins on a particleboard base. An inexpensive but not particularly long-lasting material, especially in the kitchen. 

Pros of the laminate kitchen countertop

  • inexpensive
  • available in a great variety of colours
  • appropriate for short-term use rather than long-term daily use


  • easily worn and scratched
  • absorbs water and deteriorates
  • not heat-resistant

Marble or granite kitchen countertop

Kitchen countertops made of marble, granite or other stones offer outstanding aesthetic features, often associated with an apparently elegant style. These materials come from mountain quarries and therefore follow the forms of nature and the land. 

Pros of the marble or granite kitchen countertop

  • long life
  • resistance


  • absorbs liquids easily
  • scratches easily
  • not always appropriate for contact with food due to colour treatments (granite)
  • expensive

Quartz kitchen countertop

Quartz agglomerates are made out of a mixture of minerals, polymers, pigments and resin. Quartz countertops are available with a variety of aesthetic finishes, though there have not been many new developments in this type of material in recent years. 

Pros of the quartz kitchen countertop

  • non-porous 
  • hygienic
  • stainproof


  • heat-sensitive
  • scratches easily
  • not heat-resistant

Corian® kitchen countertop

Corian® kitchen countertops are made of natural minerals and acrylic resin with the addition of coloured pigments. 

Pros of the Corian® kitchen countertop

  • easy maintenance
  • waterproof and versatile


  • vulnerable
  • easily damaged 

Okite® kitchen countertop

Okite® is a combination of polyester resin, quartz and natural pigments. The presence of quartz gives Okite® hobs qualities of resistance and durability.

Pros of the Okite® kitchen countertop

  • hardness
  • non-porous
  • stain-resistant


  • heat-sensitive
  • not resistant to heat or sharp objects
  • the healthfulness of synthetic quartz countertops such as Okite® may be considered dubious due to the presence of chemical substances.

Kitchen countertop materials: balancing features and requirements

The kitchen countertop materials examined here offer different, sometimes even opposite features in terms of structure and performance. 

The majority of them are easy to clean and require little maintenance. 

Having said this: 

  • Marble and granite kitchen countertops, though hygienic, are not commonly used because they are so delicate;
  • Laminate is a cheap material, but low price comes at the cost of sacrificing performance and, above all, durability. This is a material that needs replacing frequently;
  • The quartz kitchen countertop responds to a variety of aesthetic tastes, but cannot withstand heat, scratching and wear. 

In view of these parameters, porcelain is the material best responding to the requirements of use in the kitchen: its great resistance to temperature differences, scratching and stains and the availability of finishes reproducing the effect of numerous different materials make it the number one material for the kitchen countertops of the future

SapienStone produces and sells porcelain kitchen countertops offering innovative technical and aesthetic properties: design, integrated induction cooker technology and “full-body” composition make SapienStone’s exclusive offering different from the products commonly sold on the market. 

Are you working on a kitchen project, and would you like more information about SapienStone countertops? Tell us what you have in mind


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The Active Surfaces® brand is not available for import, purchase or distribution in the United States of America and territories. Any and all product claims and descriptions contained on this website or in other sales or promotional materials regarding the Active Surfaces® brand, including claims and descriptions of its public health benefits and antimicrobial or antibacterial effects, are not applicable in the US states and territories.