Cambria Countertops Profile

The Pros & Cons of Different Countertop Surfaces

Your kitchen counter fills a lot of roles including cutting board, food prep area, eating surface, desk top and, on occasion, seat. This means it has to be durable in addition to beautiful and the most popular surfaces aren’t exactly equal in these areas. With that in mind, here’s a little food for thought on the three most popular choices for countertop surfaces.

Engineered Stone

Pros: Engineered stone provides a natural look that holds up well to cuts and scratches and is also non-porous so requires little maintenance. As an engineered product, there’s also a wider variety of colors and patterns than with natural stone.

Cons: The patterns, while constantly improving, usually look a bit more uniform than granite so don’t always look as natural.

Debbie Elliott

Debbie Elliott
Kitchen & Bath Specialist


Pros: For a completely natural look, granite is like nothing else. It’s also very hard and holds up well to nicks, cuts, temperature variations and general wear and tear. Color and pattern variations are only limited to what nature can provide.

Cons: Granite is very heavy and is porous so it does need to be sealed periodically to help protect against stains.

Solid Surface

Pros: As a synthetic product (polyester and acrylic), solid surface countertops are non-porous and generally maintenance free. Your color and pattern choices are virtually unlimited and joints are seamless.

Cons: Solid surface countertops are a bit softer than the other two and susceptible to nicks, cuts and even burns. The appearance is also much more artificial than the other two and with a similar price tag.

Best of Both Worlds

Since countertops generally account for 10-15% of any kitchen project, it’s a decision you don’t want to take lightly. We generally recommend engineered stone, or quartz, as the best option for the same reason that it’s now the most popular surface. Quartz gives you the natural beauty and durability of granite with the extremely low maintenance of solid surface. With the variety of colors and patterns to choose from, you’re almost certain to find the one that’s perfect for your kitchen.