Hard & Shiny Surfaces: Granite, Marble, Quartz, & Tile
These type of surfaces are in this category simply because they have a natural stone surface and because of that, these surfaces tend to be very glossy/reflective which is an important factor to consider. These surfaces (except for Quartz) require them to be sealed and require a bit more work when it comes to cleaning them thus they're considered high maintenance. Other factors about these surfaces is that they're cold to the touch, they project sound since they're heavier materials, aren't seamless, and they all have a unique look since they're natural materials. If you decide to choose this type of surface, keep in mind that these countertops are very damage resistant but if they are damaged it can be very difficult to repair. Also under- and overmount sinks are the only options with this kind of surface.
Seamless/Integrated Surfaces: Solid Surface, Concrete, & Soapstone
These surfaces are easier to install compared to the hard & shiny surfaces and they don't require to be sealed. These surfaces have a more matte/smooth finish and thus aren't reflective. With this surface, 2 pieces can be built into 1 and overall appear as 1 piece. And because of this, the color of the surface is consistent all around. These countertops can come with integrated sinks as well as the under- and over-mount options. This type is seriously hygienic because these are non porous materials and thus bacteria can't penetrate through and it's also damage resistant. The big difference between this type and the other one is that this type of surface can be personalized to your liking and if there is any damage to the countertop they can be easily replaced.
Other types of countertop options that don't fully pertain to those categories are; Limestone, Glass, Stainless Steel, Exotic Wood, and Recycled Materials.
As far as "what countertop is best for what space", this is a rather hard question to answer since it depends on your preferences. Some of these surfaces can be perfect for specific applications but not for a customer's home. Other's could be more economical but not exactly suit the customer's lifestyle. All in all it just depends as to what a customer wants/needs and the more educated you are, the better your decision will be when it comes to choosing your future countertop.
So what's your take? What countertop do you think is the best for you and your future kitchen? Let us know!
Til Next Time,