There aren’t just a few types of countertops, widely available that is, available anymore. There are a large number of materials available at this point, and you can get them at a very reasonable price.
Granite countertops are the gold standard of countertops for many. They are some of the most expensive available, but have amazing strength and resiliency. They go great with RTA kitchen cabinets, and are completely natural stone, quarried in one piece. The surface is also very smooth and luxurious, and can be refinished (i.e. ground smooth again) after a few decades, if necessary.
Laminate countertops are one of the most ubiquitous countertops around, as they are very cost effective and have a huge range of styles and colors. Plastic laminate layered over particle board is what makes up this countertop, and they are fairly tough and durable, though far below the level of stone countertops. Some can mimic the look, though not the feel, of stone countertops very well.
A new entry into the countertop world, concrete countertops are thinner and lighter than expected and can be made in a number of different colors. They are extremely durable, and they are very chip resistant. They can be custom formed to strange shaped areas, and you can even embed items into the countertop. They can be polished to a glass sheen, or textured how you would like, even to the point of one partially textured area and another one smooth based upon your needs. Unfortunately, while not the most expensive countertops, they hit the range of high-end, so the price may not be within everyone’s range.
Quartz countertops are engineered stone rather than a quarried one. They are 93 percent quartz and 7 percent binders and coloring. You can duplicate the matte finish of limestone, or get either the textured or highly glossy finish of other stones. They are also not porous, so very bacteria and odor resistant, and they are flexible, so they don’t chip. Unfortunately, they are not as resistant to heat as stone or concrete, they are very expensive, and direct sunlight can cause fading and cracking.
Marble countertops are just that, made from marble and are very elegant and stylish. They have basically the same properties as granite, though marble is much more easily scratched. They are also cracked more easily, and can be etched by acidic liquids such as lemon or tomato juice.
Other Types of Countertops
There are a number of other different types of countertops available, if not as widely known as the previous ones listed. Solid surface countertops are acrylic and are very durable and solid, and offer the advantages of laminate countertops without many of the cons. The main cons are that they are not as resistant to heat as stone, and they can scratch.
Tile countertops are endless in their variety, based upon the tiles used, but have the con of having spaces between the tiles and a non-smooth surface. Resin countertops are poured solid surface countertops, which are resistant to just about anything. You can get a semi-translucent effect with them, which is very attractive, especially when used with a backlight that makes them glow slightly. The biggest con is that they are not all equal in quality, and serious research is required before purchasing one. They can go very well with modern styled RTA kitchen cabinets to create a very unique kitchen.
The best kitchen for you is the one you create. Use RTACabinetStore.com’s free online kitchen design tool to help you figure out where to put each cabinet, what the countertop will look like on top of them and see what it will look like in the end.