Pros: holds up to heat; comes in a range of almost 3000 colors; looks permanent and substantial; will last a lifetime; new sealers are almost maintenance-free; 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds; has a high value to home buyers.
Cons: expensive, but becoming more affordable; requires some maintenance; some stones absorbs stains if not sealed; knives can become dull if you cut on it; can crack if stressed or improperly installed.
Pros: Resistant to stain and acid; easy care.
Pros: comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns; seamless; stain resistant.
Cons vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface; can be moderately expensive.
4. Ceramic Tile
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean; wide range of price, color, texture and design.
Cons: counter surface is uneven; tiles can easily chip or crack; grout lines become stained; custom-designed tiles are very expensive.
Pros: you can buy laminates in lots of colors; easy to maintain; durable; inexpensive.
Cons: scratches and chips are almost impossible to repair; seans show; end finishing and front edge choices can be pricey.
Pros: easy to clean; smooth; can be sanded and resealed as needed.
Cons: can be damaged by water and stains over time; scratches must be oiled or sealed according to manufacturer's instructions.
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean.
Cons: Expensive; noisy; may dent; fabrication is expensive; you can't cut on it.
Pros: rich, deep color; smooth feel; somewhat stain resistant.
Cons: requires regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil; may crack and darken over time.
Pros: waterproof; heatproof; beautiful.
Cons: expensive; porous; stains easily unless professionally sealed; can scratch; may need resealing periodically as per manufacturer.
Pros: heat and scratch resistant; can be color-tinted; looks exotic and unusual; new treatments eliminate cracking; additives reduce porosity; new finishes are more decorative.
Cons: mid to high range on cost due to custom work; cracking is possible; can look somewhat industrial; porous but can be sealed.