We’re making headway in the laundry room! The tile was laid, the cabinets are in, the wallpaper is up, and the light fixtures have been installed. The next thing to be done, (and the reason we’re at a standstill) is install the countertops. I have been neck deep in countertop materials and so I thought it was only right to do a comparison, highlighting all the countertop materials we’ve used.
I have had a heck of a time committing to a countertop material in the laundry room. Full transparency: This is a Lowe’s sponsored room, which means everything needs to be sourced from Lowe’s. It’s incredibly cool, but also tricky when I’ve been envisioning soapstone countertops and we couldn’t find that at our local Lowe’s.
I even played around with the idea of doing a dark stained butcher block but with the wooden linen press, and the wood vanity across the hall, it started to feel too country. That just isn’t my style!
We actually ventured out to a different, bigger Lowe’s to see if maybe they had more countertop options for us to look at. They did! We came across this new-to-us product called Dekton, which comes in a lot of different looks and is virtually indestructible. We chose the most soapstone-esque finish, Kelya. It’s dark with some subtle veining. I love it!
Now let’s take a look at 10 commonly used countertop materials and compare them all shall we? Note that the cost per square feet includes installation so there’s some variability.
This image is of the exact Kelya Dekton material we’re using in the laundry room! Stunning. Dekton is a man made ultra-compact and durable countertop material, made from mixing raw materials under extreme heat and pressure. It’s scratch resistant, stain resistant, and heat resistant–they’re known for being “indestructible.” Dekton also happens to be non-porous and low maintenance as well. I would say it’s pretty similar to porcelain in terms of manmade stone-like countertop materials.
We were able to get an installer who works with Dekton material, but I did hear through my DM’s that it can be tricky to find local installers. Definitely something to look into depending on which area you live in.
Could NOT be happier with our marble countertops. The classic veining of the Carrara cannot be beat IMO. With marble, a lot of people are concerned about staining, and durability and I get it. I’m just not that type of person. We’re definitely careful with ours but if there’s some natural wear and tear, I don’t really mind. We even had an incident with a porous vase that slowly leaked on the marble overnight. You can definitely see a slight water stain, but it doesn’t bother me.
The experts recommend re-sealing your marble countertops every 6 months to 1 year. So we are definitely due for another sealing!
It’s a pretty penny to spend on a countertop that requires some maintenance. I would say that if you love a white countertop and need it to look perfect, maybe steer more towards Quartz.
Soapstone is a natural countertop material made from a steatite stone that includes chlorite, magnesite and dolomite. Besides being dark and beautiful, it’s also durable and non-porous. While not as hard as granite, it has some pliability to it. When I think of stone, I definitely don’t think of it as pliable, but I guess this just means it’s less brittle and less prone to cracking.
It’s been 9 months with our countertops and both the soapstone and the marble have held up beautifully. Since it is a softer stone, it’s definitely advised to use a cutting board but we would do that anyways. Chris like his cutting boards!
Besides that, it’s stain resistant, bacteria resistant, and “chemically neutral” which means that acidic foods like lemon juice won’t blemish or tarnish it. We get asked often what we do to our soapstone, and we’ve never once oiled it or anything. It feels so low maintenance to us.
$80 to $210/square foot
The difference between Quartzite and Quartz? Quartzite is a natural occurring stone cut to your dimensions. Quartz is a manufactured material containing natural quartz pieces and synthetic materials so that it looks and feels like a natural stone.
We used Quartzite in our Modern Cottage bathroom and absolutely loved the character and movement of the stone. It’s also known as one of the strongest natural stone materials and is highly durable. Of course the harder the stone, the more susceptible to chipping and cracking.
Like marble, it also requires sealing 1-2 times a year, but once it’s sealed it’s very resistant to discoloration and staining.
Unlike Quartzite, Quartz is an engineered material but it is MADE with quartz pieces. It’s strong and durable like quartz, but because of the man-made resin, it’s not as heat resistant as most natural stones. Hot pads are your friends if you have quartz countertops.
If you don’t like a natural patina or if you’re worried about imperfections in your countertops, then quartz is for you! There’s no sealing or resealing involved!
Costs: $45 – $65/square foot
We had granite countertops in our Modern Cottage Kitchen in Idaho. I wouldn’t have chosen these specific countertops myself, but we made them work with fresh paint on the cabinets. We actually recently chose a honed black granite for the outdoor kitchen (can’t wait to get it in place!), which reminds me of the granite countertops we did in our cabin.
You cannot beat the price of granite when it comes to natural stone countertops. It’s harder than marble and soapstone which also makes it prone to chipping. But they are stain resistant and heat resistant (place those hot pans right on the surface for all I care).
I would say the spectrum of different granite I’ve seen is broad. There’s all sorts of granites and although lately it gets kind of a bad rap, there’s some good ones to be found for sure.
The downside of granite is that it’s porous and can soak up liquids and bacteria if it’s not sealed. It only needs to be sealed about once a year but be weary of acids like vinegar and lemon that can tarnish the sealant. Upkeep will help your granite stand the test of time!
Back in the day, we DIY’d our own kitchen concrete countertops and to this day I’m obsessed. They had so much natural character to them that we crafted with our own hands! Here’s a full post on how we did them, but the whole project cost less than $1,000.
I would say the downside is that concrete can crack. I guess the upside to that is that cracks can be filled with more concrete! Just like most countertops, they need to be sealed too.
Butcher block as a countertop is up there in the budget friendly category! We renovated this kitchen for my aunt back in 2016 and used butcher block as the countertops for a total of $1300.
The downside is that wood is about as porous as it gets so sealing and upkeep is important. After living with our butcher block island for 2.5 years, we actually refinished ours which is just a part of regular maintenance. Upkeep and care is a must, but to me it’s worth it for the charm and warmth of the wood. Speaking of warmth, you can play around with different stains to get the wood tone you want. Even better!
Say hello to the most budget countertop material there is! We used this in our home office a few homes ago and it worked super well for us. If you don’t know, laminate is a thin sheet that adheres onto particleboard. While it’s the most affordable material, the downside is it can’t withstand heat and scratches.
Costs: $55 to $120 per square foot
Out of all the countertop materials, we have not used porcelain, but it is a really commonly used material! And for good reason because it’s a really beautiful, “solid” countertop option. It’s another manufactured material and is a close second to natural stone in terms of strength and durability. Besides being easy to clean, it’s stain resistant and non-porous, which means no sealing required! It’s also heat resistant, chemical resistant, and comes in a variety of shapes and colors.
I guess the downside is that the designs of porcelain are printed on top (which is similar to Dekton) and so the design is only skin deep. You have to do a beveled edge or a rounded edge to see the pattern on the side.
Each countertop material comes with their own personality traits and I would say there’s no bad options. Every home and family is different and one family’s countertop needs might be different than our needs.
What countertops do you have in your house and what do you like and dislike about them??
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home