The Wall Street Journal – What’s the Best Kitchen Countertop Material?

The Wall Street Journal – February 3, 2021

What’s the Best Kitchen Countertop Material
By: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Marble? Corian? Quartzite? We consulted interior designers to match countertop substances with personality types. Find yourself, and your next kitchen here.


MARBLE-OUS Designer Phoebe Howard, based in Jacksonville, Fla., chose Bianco Cristallo quartzite, a marble look-alike that does not mar as easily, for this waterfall-edge island.

WE ASK A LOT of our kitchen countertops. We gather around them, work at them, prep food on them, eat on them—and these days we also seem to think our counters should say something about us. So, given the kaleidoscopic array of options on the market, how do you know which material suits you? In kitchen design as in all relationships it comes down to compatibility. Pride yourself on hard-nosed practicality? You’ll likely love clean, indestructible quartzite. Millennial fashionista? Terrazzo beckons. We asked a few of our favorite design experts to play matchmaker with a varied lineup of countertop materials, personalities and budgets. Here’s what shook out.

If You’re Cost-Conscious

Want to avoid the hefty install costs that come with materials like marble? Tile countertops (from $10 a square foot) can be a smart workaround, said Beth Dotolo of Seattle-based Pulp Design Studios. But beware: Grout gets grimy fast. For a refined, durable look, opt for large-format tile that’s been rectified to avoid large grout lines. Houston designer Marie Flanigan, who just completed an island using 12-inch-by-24-inch reclaimed limestone tiles, concurred. “People think of those clunky 4-inch squares we grew up with,” she said, “but if you choose wisely, tile can get you the beauty of natural stone without the price tag of a slab.”