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Comparing Countertop Options for Your Home Remodel

November 13th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Elysiah Rainey

granite countertop for kitchen remodel island idea with lighting custom built michigan

Are you considering a home remodel? If so, you're likely facing the exciting yet challenging task of selecting the perfect countertop. Whether it's for your kitchen, bathroom, or another space, the countertop you choose will significantly impact both the aesthetics and functionality of the room.

But with many countertop materials available, each offering unique attributes, how do you navigate this decision effectively?

With 15+ years of successful projects and countless satisfied clients, we understand that your remodel deserves high-end excellence regarding your countertops. We promise to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make the best countertop choice for your unique home renovation - from kitchen islands to classy bathrooms.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into four popular countertop materials: granite, marble, quartz (both natural and engineered), and laminate. We'll explore their unique qualities, benefits, and potential drawbacks, giving you the insight you need to make an informed choice.

Granite: Timeless Elegance Meets Durability

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Granite is renowned for its timeless beauty and remarkable durability. It's a natural stone countertop favored for its unique veining patterns and rich color options. Granite is a top choice to add a touch of luxury to your kitchen or bathroom.

Here are the essential attributes of granite countertops:


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One of granite's most significant advantages is its durability. It can withstand the daily demands of a bustling kitchen or bathroom, making it perfect for high-traffic areas. It's resistant to scratches, impacts, and heat, but it's always recommended to use trivets to protect its lustrous surface from hot pots or pans.


While granite countertops are durable, they do require some maintenance. They are porous, which can absorb spills, potentially leading to staining. To protect against this, granite countertops are typically sealed with finishing coats when they are installed. These finishing coats must be reapplied approximately every four years to maintain the countertop's integrity.


Granite countertops are on the higher end of the cost spectrum. While they offer exceptional beauty and durability, they have a significant price tag. However, many homeowners find the investment worthwhile for the stunning and long-lasting results.

Prices for installed granite countertops typically start around $60 sq/ft and top around $120 sq/ft.

Marble: Exquisite Beauty with Delicate Handling

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Marble is another natural stone that's synonymous with luxury. Its classic veining and timeless appeal make it a favorite choice for homeowners who appreciate the finer things in life.

Marble countertops can create a breathtaking focal point in your kitchen or bathroom, but there are some considerations to keep in mind:


Marble countertops, although exquisite, are more delicate compared to granite. They are sensitive to heat, prone to staining, and can be scratched more easily. It's crucial to use trivets and coasters for hot items and acidic substances to prevent damage.

Installing marble countertops, while simple in nature, can be difficult given its softer material - meaning any mistakes during installation can end up causing long-term scratches or nicks.


This visually appealing stone slab requires significant maintenance. Like granite, they are porous and need finishing coats to protect against staining and damage. Regular sealing and cautious use are essential for preserving their beauty.

Additionally, due to its maintenance requirements, marble countertops are typically a better fit for bathroom remodels, where fewer risks for staining occur.


Marble countertops are among the more expensive options. The cost of marble is justified by its aesthetic appeal, but it is a significant investment that some homeowners may find challenging to fit into their budget.

Prices for installed marble countertops typically start around $60 sq/ft and top around $180 sq/ft.

Quartz (Manmade): Durability Meets Versatility

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Quartz countertops are a favorite choice at Custom Built for several reasons. They combine the best of both worlds, offering aesthetic appeal and durability. Quartz is a manmade material, composed of natural quartz crystals and resin.

Here's what you need to know about quartz countertops:


Quartz countertops are more heat-resistant than marble and less likely to stain. They are engineered to be less porous, making them highly resilient against spills and staining. While you should still use trivets for hot items, quartz provides more forgiving protection than natural stones.


One of the significant benefits of quartz is its low maintenance. Unlike natural stones, quartz countertops don't require finishing coats. Cleaning is a breeze, and you can easily maintain their pristine appearance.


Quartz countertops fall into the middle tier when it comes to costs. They are available at various price points, making them a cost-efficient option. Even the highest-priced quartz options are typically more affordable than some of the cheapest marble.

Prices for installed quartz countertops start around $90 sq/ft for more widely available patterns and top out at around $110 sq/ft for more exclusive quartz styles.

Laminate: Budget-Friendly and Convenient

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PC: Lowe’s

Laminate countertops are a budget-friendly option, known for their versatility and convenience. They are constructed from layers of plastic that are bonded to a particleboard or plywood base. Laminate countertops are commonly used in rental properties, apartments, laundry rooms, and places where cost-efficient solutions are required.

Let’s dive into some of the characteristics of laminate:


Laminate countertops are the least durable option among those mentioned. While they can withstand regular wear and tear, they are susceptible to damage from heat and sharp objects. Using trivets and cutting boards is necessary to prolong their life.

Additionally, avoid letting moisture sit for an extended period, as standing water leads to the material’s warping.


Proper maintenance is essential to keep laminate countertops looking their best. Unlike natural stone, laminate countertops don't require sealing.


Laminate countertops are on the lower end of the cost spectrum. They are highly affordable, making them an economical choice for homeowners on a budget. This budget-friendliness has made laminate countertops a preferred choice for cost-efficient projects.

These countertops start at around $34 sq/ft and can top out at $155 sq/ft, depending on the quality of your laminate.

Aesthetic Freedom

Quartz countertops provide unmatched aesthetic freedom. They can mimic the look of granite, marble, and other natural stones. Manufacturers have perfected the art of replicating the veining and patterns found in natural stones.

The vast array of colors and patterns ensures that quartz countertops can seamlessly blend with various aspects of your kitchen design.

Next Steps to Installing Countertops for Your Home Remodel

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In the world of home remodeling, the choice of a countertop is a pivotal decision. With the vast array of materials available, it's not always easy to select the right one that fits your needs and your style

However, this article has delved into four popular countertop materials: granite, marble, natural and engineered quartz, and laminate. By examining their strengths and weaknesses, we've aimed to provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.

With this newfound understanding of countertop materials, you can now approach your remodeling project with confidence. Whether you're striving for the timeless beauty of marble, the durability of granite, the versatility of quartz, or the cost-effectiveness of laminate, you're well-prepared to choose one that suits both your aesthetic preferences and your practical needs.

As we reemphasize the significance of your countertop choice, remember that Custom Built, with over 15 years of home remodeling experience, is your trusted partner on your renovation journey. We promise to guide you through the decision-making process, providing expert advice and professional installation to transform your vision into reality.

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Now that you know what kind of countertop options you can install for your home remodel, let’s explore the top kitchen island designs to infuse into your remodel, and how much your bathroom or culinary oasis will cost:

Elysiah Rainey

Elysiah is a valuable asset to Custom Built, bringing both professional and educational experience to the team. Prior to joining our company, she assisted clients with their furniture and residential layout needs in the Allendale area.