In planning the design for a kitchen and bathroom remodeling project, there are a variety of surface materials to choose from for your countertop source materials. You’ll want to consider the amount of traffic each room undergoes on a daily basis as well as your budget limitations, whether you care more about aesthetics or indestructibility, and color or style possibilities.

We’ll help you consider each type of material in light of various application possibilities, examining the pros and cons of each possible setting — kitchen or bathroom — and determining which use would be best for that material, and why.


Pros: Marble is actually a hard, crystalline form of limestone, making it a relatively natural option. This stone automatically upgrades the look of a room, increasing its feeling of elegance simply because of its historical associations with opulent castles of royalty. However, there are now variations on the original that make marble more affordable than it used to be. It also retains a low temperature, which is ideal for handling dough when baking. 

Cons: Although marble is a type of natural stone, it is softer than other stone types, making it more susceptible to stains and scratches. It is usually white with streaks of grey (although there are more colors with the newer manufactured varieties), so the color palette is rather limited. 

Kitchen vs. Bathroom: In the event of spilled wine or a missed cutting board, marble may be less practical than other materials. Therefore, we recommend marble countertops for bathrooms over kitchens, since bathroom countertops go through less daily wear and tear than kitchen countertops do.


Pros: Tile is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, from porcelain to ceramic to natural stones like granite, quartz, and marble (a more affordable alternative than large slabs). Tile is great for DIY upgrades since it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Cons: The grout lines between tiles can be challenging to keep clean and new-looking.

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’re going to recommend bathrooms for tile, since kitchens tend to be more in need of daily cleaning and periodic deep cleaning, but the grout lines between tiles would likely make that more difficult than if tile is used as a countertop or accent material in the bathroom.

Stainless Steel

Pros: Stainless steel seems historically associated with larger commercial kitchens, so this material lends your kitchen an instantly modern, contemporary, and sophisticated look. Also, if you clean it properly, it’s easy to maintain. And it’s fairly waterproof, so you won’t need to worry about surfaces getting too damp.

Cons: If you leave a spill or splash for a long period of time, it may become more difficult to clean. Also, stainless steel can be susceptible to dents and scratches. 

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’re going to go with recommending kitchens for stainless steel rather than bathrooms, if only because of the aesthetic appeal of a stainless steel kitchen. Although some disagree, stainless steel countertops in the bathroom seem too industrial.


Pros: Quartz has an attractive appearance and finish, and it comes in a wide variety of colors so it can match any existing decor. It provides an instant upgrade to any room, simply because of its polished appearance and similarity to marble countertops, and it adds resale value to your home. Furthermore, it’s non-porous, so it’s resistant to bacteria and viruses.

Cons: Quartz is actually sensitive to heat, so you’ll want to be careful to avoid setting hot pots or pans down on its surface. It’s also quite expensive, so you’ll want to be sure about your decision before ordering an entire slab for your kitchen or bathroom.

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’d opt for the bathroom, when it comes to quartz, simply due to the high cost ($115-200 per square foot) and its sensitivity to heat. 


Pros: Granite is a natural stone material, so its environmental impact is minimal. It can also be tinted to any color and when sealed, it becomes very resistant to damage or moisture. Moreover, it simply looks elegant and also adds resale value to your home.

Cons: Granite can be quite expensive, so it’s not as budget-friendly as other material options for countertops. It’s also extremely heavy, so it must be installed by professionals and isn’t DIY-friendly unless it’s in tile form. 

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: This is a tough decision, since granite would be an excellent choice for either the kitchen or the bathroom. However, we’re going to opt for the kitchen countertops, simply because of the aesthetic appeal, resale value, and practicality of installation -- it’s easier to handle a slab of granite near the front entrance than to carry it up or down the stairs or hallway to a bathroom, due to the heaviness.


Pros: Laminate is incredibly affordable, so it’s good for budget-conscious remodelers interested in keeping their costs low. It’s also very easy to clean and doesn’t need resealing, so it’s quite resilient for families with young children or households with lots of foot traffic. Laminate also comes in a variety of patterns and colors, so it’s quite versatile.

Cons: This material likely will not add resale value to your home, so if you’re looking to sell your home in a few years, you might consider going with a more upscale material for your countertops. Laminate is also sensitive to heat, so you’ll need to be careful with curling irons or hot pots and pans.

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’ll go with the bathroom as being most ideal for this countertop material choice. Although some newer laminates can resemble wood or stone, we still think it’s wise to go with a more impressive looking countertop material for your kitchen, simply due to the importance of kitchens to resale value. 

Butcher Block

Pros: Butcher block countertops are relatively cost-effective, more so than laminate, but less than quartz or granite. Butcher block is also relatively easy to install, so if you want a DIY option, consider butcher blocks for your countertops. Cleaning can also be simple as long as the wood is well-sealed. 

Cons: Since wood is a softer material, it can ding and scratch easily, so you’ll want to use a cutting board for food preparation purposes. And it is sensitive to dampness, so it can expand and contract in response to high humidity.

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’re going to go with the kitchen one this one since wooden countertops in the bathroom seem like they’d be especially susceptible to warping with all the steam from the bath or shower, on a daily basis.


Pros: Concrete can be a real conversation piece since it’s relatively new to the decorating world. However, you might be surprised how versatile it can be as a material, in terms of colors and finish. And it’s virtually indestructible, so you won’t need to worry about dings or heat (and it is scratch-resistant, though not completely scratch-proof). Because it’s so trendy, concrete can improve your home’s resale value.

Cons: Contrary to what you might think, concrete countertops can be quite pricey due largely to the labor involved in installing them. They also require annual resealing in order to remain non-porous and immune to bacteria. And repairs require professional attention.

Kitchen Vs. Bathroom: We’re going to recommend concrete countertops for the kitchen, over the bathroom, in this instance, simply because of the resale value for kitchens and the striking appearance of concrete countertops to add appeal and uniqueness to your kitchen aesthetic.

There are other material options for countertops, but we’ve touched on some of the most popular options. Give us a call if you’d like a consultation for your own kitchen or bathroom. We’d be happy to assist you with deciding between various options, and our professionals are well-trained in weighing the different pros and cons with clients. Contact us today!