Granite Countertops Vs. Solid Surface

A kitchen renovation or update can be a major undertaking with seemingly countless decisions.

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are one of several choices for your kitchen.Granite countertops are one of several choices for your kitchen.
One of these decisions is the material you choose for your countertop. There are several options on the market today, with two of the most frequently used materials being granite and solid surface counters. Each offers its own benefits, with personal taste and maintenance playing a role.

Granite countertops are formed out of large slabs of stone. A number of different types of stone are classified as granite by counter manufacturers, most containing feldspar, quartz and mica. These natural stone counters are cut, polished and edged to fit your kitchen after you select the exact piece you want for the space. Options include an undermounted kitchen sink and several edge profiles.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops were first introduced by DuPont under the name of Corian. Acrylic resins and polymers are bound together with colorants. When heated, the resins become liquid and the counter can be formed in a mold in any shape desired. Sinks and seams are melted and fused to the counter on site creating one, integral countertop. Options also include integral 4-inch backsplashes and multiple edge profiles.

Granite Counter Benefits and Drawbacks

Granite countertops have a natural beauty and variation. No two slabs are ever exactly the same, lending a truly unique look to your kitchen design. Granite counters are scratch, heat and burn resistant and if cared for properly will look great for years.

Granite is also a porous material, which means that it requires sealing on a regular basis to impede staining. Daily care includes washing it with a neutral pH cleanser or stone cleaner and wiping up spills as soon as they are noticed.

Solid Surface Benefits and Drawbacks

Solid surface counters are completely uniform in their color and pattern. For homeowners who dislike variation or who prefer a solid color, solid surface counters can provide a simple look. With integral sinks, seams and backsplashes, the clean, simple look is complete.

Solid surface counters can scratch, melt or burn, but can be repaired by the homeowner with a green scouring pad. Since the surface is nonporous, it requires no sealing and can be washed with any cleanser.

Cost of Both Materials

Granite and solid surface counters are fairly comparable in price. Granite has a larger price range, with some stones starting at $25 a square foot and some going up to $400 a square foot. Most granites and solid surface counters will range from approximately $75 to $100 a square foot.

About the Author

Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.