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Countertops 101: A Breakdown of What’s What in Surfacing

What is the right countertop material for your kitchen?

When designing your dream kitchen, or remodeling your current one, there is no shortage of tough decisions to make and with one decision impacting another, it can all seem quite overwhelming. Many find it easiest to first focus on countertops. Unfortunately, that raises even more questions! Specifically, what material and design do you want? What’s the right countertop material for your lifestyle?  Do you need an easy to maintain, stain resistant surface?  Or is style most important to you? For most people, the primary question comes down to which material is going to strike the best balance between beauty, style, and maintenance

Luckily, there’s a vast range of options available that address durability and maintenance, and all importantly, the style factor.  However, with so many materials ranging from natural stone, quartz composites, stained concrete and even natural wood available, in practically any color, pattern or texture you could want, making the right choice can be tricky. And you might want to incorporate two materials into that space. Here’s the basic 101 on deciphering what’s what in surfaces. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the top countertop materials available today to help you choose the right options for your kitchen.


While it now has more competition than in the past, granite still remains a top countertop surface choice among homeowners.  Granite countertops offer both a high-end look and durability.  With granite being a natural stone material, it has variation in color and pattern which adds to its appeal due to the uniqueness of every slab. Granite is also porous and requires more care and a regular sealing routine.


Marble has a timeless appeal, providing an elegant and sophisticated feel. Available in a polished or honed finish, it is many people’s choice for a high-end look. Marble is highly porous so staining can be a problem without regular sealing and care.  Marble countertops are timeless, flexible, and have a premium texture that is hard to turn away from! Each marble slab is quite unique. This is another reason why it is such a popular countertop for homeowners. You can choose from a broad range of veining and colors to best fit your home design.


Quartz countertops are an engineered product and require little to no maintenance. They are also more durable than natural stones like granite and marble. It has a pre-sealed, non-porous surface, making it stain, scratch, heat, and impact resistant. Quartz surfaces also available in a wide range of colors and patterns that mimic natural stone designs! Quartz gives you the ability to have the look of marble without the maintenance.


Soapstone is a non-porous natural stone that doesn’t require regular sealing, making it highly stain and bacteria resistant. Soapstone is more specific in its color variations, available in a range of gray tones from light to dark with subtle veining. It is a soft, natural material and is more prone to a variation of light and dark spots, as well as scratching. That said, it’s often a farmhouse favorite.


Recycled surface countertops are customizable and environmentally friendly. They consist of large shards and finely ground recycled glass that is bound together with cement or resin. This makes it extremely durable and easy to maintain, plus it’s eco-friendly, so what isn’t there to like?!

At BC Stone we are proud to provide countertop fabrication and installation services to Bedford County, Everett, Manns Choice, Akersville, Pittsburgh and more.

For more information on how to choose the countertop material that’s right for you, contact us or schedule and appointment to visit one our countertop showroom in Everett, PA!

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