Low-Maintenance Countertops for Busy Kitchens

Interior of modern kitchen in luxury mansion, 3d rendering

Options that look great without a lot of effort

A hardworking kitchen needs to stand up to everything from pizza nights on Fridays and messy family breakfasts to from-scratch meals and dinners on the go. And that means you need kitchen countertops you can count on to stand up to wear and tear—without a lot of upkeep. 

Here are three top picks that deliver on durability, looks and—best of all are easy to clean with soap and water. 

 

Quartz. Quartz is engineered stone, made of ground quartz, resins and pigment (for color). Because it’s non-porous, it never needs to be sealed, unlike granite. It’s stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant (though using a trivet is still a good practice). 

Quartz is available in lots of colors and designs, including veined patterns similar to the look of granite or marble. 

Take note: Edges and corners can chip, so opt for rounded edges.

 

Quartz countertop Quartz

Soapstone. This natural beauty is composed primarily of talc, and is available in a palette of grays and charcoals. Like quartz, it’s non-porous, so you avoid the hassle of regular sealing. Soapstone has outstanding heat resistance; if you have a tendency to put a hot pot directly on a countertop, soapstone could be your saving grace. 

Because it’s soft, soapstone does nick and scratch easily, so make sure to use a cutting board. (You can repair small scratches by sanding them and applying mineral oil.) 

Take note: Soapstone darkens over time, developing a distinct patina—something to keep in mind, depending on the aesthetic you want.

Soapstone countertop Soapstone

Laminate. Today’s laminate is a far cry from the laminate that adorned many a 1960’s kitchen countertops. You can find this inexpensive and easy-to-install option in hundreds of colors and patterns—even designs that look like granite or marble. 

Made from layers of plastic that are bonded to particleboard or kraft paper, laminate countertops are strong surfaces that can withstand stains and some heat (to be on the safe side, use a trivet). 

Take note: Laminate is prone to cuts, and cut or scratched laminate isn’t repairable, so make sure to use a cutting board.

Laminate countertop Laminate