What’s so special about your home kitchen? Is it the tile floors, custom-made cabinetry or beautiful colors of the walls? Having a kitchen that stands out is a necessity for homeowners looking to impress visitors and guests. This is why so many of them opt to have their kitchen counters upgraded. Selecting the material for your new kitchen counters is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It takes due diligence to narrow down your search.

There are an assortment of countertop materials to choose from, including wood, granite and quartz. Again, the one you decide to use for your kitchen should resonate with the look and vibe you’re looking to achieve.

Your options should be based on a variety of factors, such as the pricing, durability and maintenance required. The following countertop materials were found to be the most popularly used in kitchens.

Soapstone Countertops

In the past, we mainly saw soapstone counters inside of labs, since they are designed to be resistant to stains, chemicals and bacteria. Just imagine how well it would fair inside of the kitchen of an avid cooker. Whether you’re baking cakes for a party or chopping vegetables for a Sunday meal, Soapstone counters can handle the workload. The prices of these counters vary, but can range between $80 and $100 per sq ft installed. It’s an investment that’s well worth the price you pay.

Granite Kitchen Counters

Of course granite makes it to the list of top materials for kitchen use. It is and likely always will be a top choice for kitchen countertops. It’s a natural stone that’s easy on the eyes. In fact, a lot of homeowners consider this to be a luxury addition to their cooking space. Granite can be purchased in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to get the perfect match for your kitchen design. The cost for granite varies and can sometimes be as low as $50 per sq ft installed. This durable piece of stone slab is definitely a plus and can turn an ordinary space into a deluxe kitchen.

Copper Counters for the Kitchen

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, then copper counters should definitely be a consideration. You don’t find copper countertops in homes that often, making it an ideal way to make a great first impression. Copper counters are easy maintenance, since they’re easy to clean and maintain. However, it’s not suitable for someone who is a perfectionist because it is known to react to substances, which causes it to turn colors – reds, greens and browns. But if the look is enough to spur you to buy this slab, then be prepared to dish out at least $100 per sq ft installed.

Engineered Quartz Countertops

This is the perfect addition to a home that is customized. Engineered quartz is manufactured with 93 percent quartz and resin, however it looks like natural stone. It’s actually easier to maintain, since it’s not porous and is quite tough. It comes in a variety of pigments, and is considered an eco-friendly solution. The cost for engineered quartz is estimated to be around $95 to $105 per sq ft installed.

Tile Kitchen Countertops

This is actually one of the more affordable options for kitchen countertops, starting at around $30 per sq ft installed. You can have your counter designed with ceramic or stone tile, which are both known for durability. Just note that it will require more maintenance because of the grout. To counter this problem, you can use darker colored grout to mak cleaning easier.

Eco-Friendly Counters

More people are looking to design green homes with eco-friendly materials. There are various countertop materials to choose from that are made with green materials, like salvaged wood, bamboo and Bio-Glass. The prices vary greatly for these items, so make sure to shop around and do your due diligence before making a selection.

The recycled paper-based kitchen counters is another option, which doesn’t sound like much until you actually see it. It’s surprisingly durable, since it’s blended with pigments and resins. It sort of has a similar look to soapstone. The cost of this material is between $40 and $80 per sq ft installed.

If you’re into the recycled materials craze, recycled glass and cement counters are additional options. However, note that the price for these counters are pretty steep, ranging between $100 and $160 per sq ft installed. The unique combination of cement and glass gives your kitchen unique appeal, plus its durable and customizable.

Zinc Counts for Kitchens

You won’t find zinc counters inside most modern kitchens, but adding it to yours can provide warmth to your décor. This is a metal material that darkens in tone over time, but it does have antimicrobial properties that make it a great choice for cooking areas. The cost for zinc counters can run you $100 and upwards per sq ft installed.

Marble Counters

Next to granite, there’s marble. Marble is a stone that will always be a popular choice for kitchen counters and floors. It has an unrivaled class look that suits contemporary, modern and traditional kitchens alike. It is durable, but most notable for the patina it develops. Marble is softer than granite, so it can scratch and stain easier. The cost is a bit lower, ranging between $70 and $100 per sq ft installed.

Concrete Countertops

This material isn’t only suitable for industrial and commercial settings. Concrete counters can be purchased in a variety of colors. It provides your kitchen with a bit of texture and class. It can also be sealed to give it better appeal. The cost for concrete slabs range between $100 and$150 per sq ft installed.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters

Another material that’s commonly found in industrial and commercial settings, but looks just as great in a residential kitchen. It’s non-staining, resistant to heat and is simple to maintain. It does get fingerprints and scratches, so keep that in mind. The cost for stainless steel counters can run between $80 and 90 per sq ft installed.