A busy kitchen requires countertops that are easy to clean and durable. We tested several popular countertop materials to determine how well they resist stains, heat damage, and cuts.

Granite is one of the most durable options, and its natural surface gives a beautiful look to any kitchen design. Quartz is an engineered stone with a high-end look while offering scratch- and stain-resistant surfaces.


Granite ranks seventh on the Mohs scale of hardness and can withstand heat damage, scratches, and stains. These gorgeous natural stone countertops would go well with many kitchen designs. It’s available in various colors and patterns that can be etched, speckled, or veined. Granite countertops are a cost-effective option that can last for decades with minimal maintenance.

Other long-lasting countertop choices include quartz and Silestone. These artificial materials require less maintenance than natural stones and offer various color options to fit your kitchen design aesthetic.

Concrete counters are another durable option that may work well in a contemporary kitchen but require regular sealing and other care to prevent staining. Different durable counters are reclaimed wood and solid surface composites that provide a modern look with a robust and sturdy work surface. However, these counters may not add a high resale value to your home.


Quartz counters are made from ground quartz bonded with polyester resins and pigments, so they’re not only heat- and scratch-resistant but also nonporous and stain-proof. That makes them a top choice for a busy family kitchen.

This stylish countertop material is available in various colors and patterns. You can find quartz counters to complement any kitchen design style. If you’re looking for a high-end look without the hefty price tag, consider honed counters, which offer a matte finish with less sheen.

Even though quartz is more resilient than granite, cutting boards and hot pads are still necessary to prevent damage to your counters. You’ll also want to avoid exposing them to sustained sunlight, as it can cause the surface to dull and discolor over time.


Natural stone is a classy, lovely option that can resist the rigors of a busy kitchen. It is also a time-tested material that will always stay in style.

Because of its softness can etch or scratch when it comes into touch with acidic materials like vinegar, wine, or lemon juice. If you put marble countertops in your kitchen, ensure they are properly sealed after installation and cover them with surface cladding, coasters, and other safeguards.

You can select from various marble finishes, including honed and polished. A honed finish is more matte and less shiny, which can minimize the appearance of scratches and dull spots of etching. However, even this material is susceptible to stains and will require periodic resealing. It can also chip in the corners and edges, requiring professional repairs. You can also find a variety of colors and designs for marble countertops to fit any kitchen style and design.

Stainless Steel

Countertops get a lot of use, from whipping up tacos on Tuesdays and family pasta dinners to entertaining with a charcuterie board or throwing birthday parties for the kids. They must be tough enough to resist damage from heat, scratches, nicks, and stains.

Stainless steel countertops have excellent durability. They score well in CR’s ratings of countertop materials for resistance to heat damage, cuts, and abrasion and are very resistant to stains. They also have the added benefit of being easy to keep clean and hygienic.

Quartz counters are another durable option. They offer various colors and styles that can complement any kitchen design. They require little maintenance beyond periodic resealing and are extremely hard, scoring seven on the Mohs scale. Soapstone is less common than other natural stone countertop choices but offers a sleek, organic look and is resistant to heat damage, scratches, nicks, and stains. A butcher block counter may be prone to nicks and cuts but can be repaired with varnishing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here