Also known as engineered stone, quartz is a blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments and is ideal for areas that get plenty of use and abuse. It comes in an array of vibrant colors and styles that mimic stone.
Pros: Quartz survived a gauntlet of spills, hot pots, knives, and more with top scores, and it doesn’t have to be sealed for stain protection. It’s waterproof so it can be paired with an under-mounted sink.
Cons: Some patterns can appear unnaturally uniform, although manufacturers are trying for a more random look closer to natural stone. Edges and corners can chip and only a pro can repair them. Rounded edges help.
Each slab of this natural material is unique. It remains popular and is a good choice for heavily used areas and can be used with an under-mounted sink.
Pros: Like quartz, granite survived our spills, hot pots, knives, and more with top scores.
Cons: Edges and corners can chip and you’ll need a pro to repair them, and granite needs periodic sealing for stain protection.
Take shards of recycled glass, turn them into a countertop and the result is an infusion of color and style.
Pros: Best for a contemporary look when it’s made with large shards, or it can resemble solid surfacing when the glass is finely ground. Resistant to heat, cuts, and scratches.
Cons: But chips and stains can be a problem. Unlike other recycled glass counters we tested, Cosentino’s Eco line developed a thin crack during our heat tests.
Beautiful and classic, marble has been used in European kitchens for ages. To some, marble takes on a patina, but others will see it as marred.
Pros: Small nicks and scratches can be polished out.
Cons: Marble chips and scratches easily. Must be sealed periodically to protect from staining. Most stains that marred unsealed marble wiped away with water on sealed samples, but hard-water deposit removers left a permanent mark, even on sealed stone.