Replacing a scratched, scorched, stained, or just plain unattractive countertop can transform any kitchen. Happily, there are lots of options in a wide range of prices. A new laminate countertop can cost as little as $5 per square foot. Or you could easily spend 10 times that on quartz, granite, or recycled glass.
Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen widely used types of countertops to see how well they resisted stains, heat damage, cuts, abrasion, and impact, and found seven that passed muster. Here are the details.
In our countertop tests, performance varied from one material to the next, but there was little difference among competing brands of each type, so be sure to shop around for the best deal on your countertop material of choice. For the pros and cons of each type, see the numbered entries below.