Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Forever Young: Choosing a Countertop Surface That Lasts

by John Tuthill
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Searching for that perfect countertop that will accent your wood kitchen cabinets and last for years to come? For the most important surface in your home, it is also important to consider the durability, stain resistance, and ease of cleaning of your countertops. Consider the following countertop materials for an elegant and functional addition to your kitchen cabinets.


Granite is a natural stone material that is smooth, durable, and extremely resistant to heat. Its uniform color will resist staining or altering with age if periodically sealed. Due to these fine qualities, granite is more expensive than other countertop materials and requires some extra maintenance, but will surely provide a lasting addition to your investment in quality kitchen cabinets.

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is just like the name says - a composite of quartz crystals that comes in a wide range of colors and styles that can be designed to accurately match your wood kitchen cabinets. Some homeowners prefer this surface over granite because it does not require an annual sealing, but due to this feature the price is still in the range of the highest quality countertop materials.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is an extremely durable and heat-resistant composite that offers a large number of options for design and color. Ceramic tile adds a quaint look to your kitchen cabinet display without the great cost of stone, but can be uneven and difficult to clean between the grout lines that connect the tiles.

Choosing a countertop surface can be as challenging as selecting the kitchen cabinets themselves. For countertops that provide function and enhance the appearance of your wood kitchen cabinets, you might even consider combining several countertops to utilize each material's unique character and function.

About the Author
John Tuthill is a cabinet maker and a regular FaceYourKitchen columnist. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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