It will be some time yet before we select a kitchen countertop material and colors for our new home. However, I wanted to know what the true difference was with some of the most popular kitchen countertops.
My brother in Chicago has white Italian marble kitchen countertops - although gorgeous, with the amount of red wine we drink, I fear that if we made this selection for our new house, we would have a gorgeous countertop with red wine speckles forever embedded on it.
As we are getting our current home ready to put on the market, we just had our silestone kitchen island top and corion countertops replaced with granite. It does give it a richer feel and as we know, granite is the #1 requested material for countertops - not only in the kitchen but also throughout the house (bathrooms, bartops).
In our 1940's rental home, we took out the tile kitchen countertops and replaced them with a cool looking laminate countertop. They are making some really nice patterns and colors with laminate these days. Still the most economical of countertops but at least now they are making some cool, funky, styles that you can choose from.
I often see magazine photos of butcher block countertops. This idea really appealed to me because I use A cutting board everyday of my adult life (practically). How handy it would be to just chop away right on your countertops. In the article that I have attached here, it states that you can even chop meat on this countertop - evidently it's sealed and not as pourous as a wood cutting board. For those of you that have worked in a restaurant at one time or another, you likely know that they no longer use wood cutting boards as they are very inclined to hold bacteria. I remember as a teenager working in the kitchen of a German/Austrian restaurant and every night, sometimes twice a night, I would have to 'bleach' the wood cutting boards that were used to cut meat. I don't think butcher block countertops are for me as I would likely be way to concerned about bacteria because of my 'old school' wood cutting board experiences. I am a germophobe, especially when it comes to my kitchen.
I've attached a link to a HGTV article about different countertops, as well as a video that shows how they mine the granite. Pretty cool.