How To Choose The Right Surfaces For Your Kitchen


When designing a kitchen, there are so many choices to be made. From cabinetry, to flooring, to appliances, to surfaces, trying to make the perfect decision for your home can feel overwhelming. During this process, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what type of kitchen work surface to choose. Do you prefer a luxurious material that is striking to the eye, yet not as durable as other alternatives? Or on the flip side, will you prioritize a material that is highly functional with less visual impact? When choosing kitchen countertops, knowing the differences between the most common materials is essential to making an informed decision, from appearance, to cost, to durability. With all of this said, read on to learn about all the different types of materials available for kitchen surfaces, their pros and cons, and more!


Porcelain countertops are made from a dense, hardened ceramic material created by combining several natural clays heated at high temperatures. They mostly consist of kaolinite clay, however they also contain other natural materials like silica, feldspar, and oxide minerals. There are many upsides to porcelain, making it an ideal option for kitchen countertops, flooring, and backsplashes. It is stain, scratch, UV, and heat resistant, making it highly durable for high traffic areas like kitchens. Another highlight of porcelain is that it is virtually impervious to moisture, unlike natural stone like granite and marble which must be sealed for moisture resistance. In addition, with a wide range of colors and patterns available, you can achieve that luxurious look you’re after at a lower cost. Moderno Porcelain Works surfaces boast all these benefits, while offering large-format porcelain slabs with options for vein-matching, book-matching, and large continuation of patterns. Moderno porcelain can even replicate any look, whether it’s marble, wood, or metal, by digitizing a photograph and printing it directly on the porcelain.

Another opportunity with porcelain surfaces is the ability to cook directly on your kitchen countertop. With the Moderno InvisaCook Induction Cooktop, there’s no need for a stove. These cooktops feature 100% safe invisible burners that are built into your kitchen counter and use electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans through your porcelain countertop for a chic, clean aesthetic.

Cons of porcelain countertops include the possibility of cracking due to blunt force, limited edging options, and cost if you have a low to modest budget. However, compared to natural stones, porcelain is a less expensive option with many benefits, making it an all-around fabulous choice for kitchen countertops.


Quartz countertops are created by combining natural quartz and minerals with chemical resins and pigments. They have become a popular choice for homeowners seeking a blend of functionality and beauty in their kitchens, with many compelling benefits. Cambria’s quartz surfaces are “maintenance-free, exceptionally durable, and non-porous, offering peace of mind to our customers,” explains Kathy Jalivay of Cambria Surfaces. In addition to being extremely durable, quartz also resists water damage, stains, mold, and bacteria. Cambria surfaces come in an array of colors and patterns to match spaces, styles, and preferences, and are backed by an industry-leading fully transferable lifetime guarantee.

However, there are a few cons to choosing quartz surfaces for your kitchen countertops. The first is cost, as quartz has one of the highest price tags of all countertops. Other cons to consider include the material’s vulnerability to heat damage, and the need for professional installation which incurs an added cost. Quartz is also not recommended for outdoor use, so if you’re thinking about an outdoor kitchen project, it’s best to check out materials like granite, concrete, or tile.


Marble is a tried-and-true material for kitchen countertops. It’s a classic, and for good reason; marble exudes timeless elegance, boasting a luxurious appearance unmatched by most other materials. The natural veining adds glamour and individuality to any kitchen, creating a classic and sophisticated ambiance. Carrara marble is most commonly used in kitchen settings, but Statuary, Calacatta, and Crema Marfil are other popular options. Apart from its visual beauty, marble is suitable for kitchen surfaces due to its ability to stay cool to the touch, making it perfect for avid bakers that deal with temperature-sensitive ingredients daily. However, marble is not heat-resistant, so take care to use potholders and trivets when setting hot pots or pans down. In addition, marble will stand the test of time in your kitchen with regular upkeep, making it unlikely that it will need to be replaced over time. 

Though marble is visually stunning, it does have a few downsides that are worth pointing out.  Marble is inherently a porous stone, requiring regular sealing to prevent substantial staining. It can also be prone to etching, meaning that the surface will scratch or etch where the polish or sealant fades. Cost may also be a concern for those considering marble, on average costing $60 per square foot. Ultimately, while some homeowners choose the visual intrigue of marble despite its drawbacks, others opt for a man-made material to skip out on this high-maintenance stone. 


Granite is another natural stone option that is very popular for kitchen surfaces. It’s a classic choice, chosen by homeowners seeking a blend of durability, beauty, and practicality. Removed from quarries around the world as large blocks, granite is then sliced into sheets and custom cut to fit different specifications. These natural stone slabs come in a wide array of colors, from deep blacks and grays to vibrant greens, with unique veining patterns that add drama to any kitchen.

Incredibly durable, granite countertops resist scratches, chips, and heat, making them ideal for busy households. Plus, they require minimal maintenance – a simple wipe-down with mild soap and water keeps them looking their best. Granite is also naturally cool to the touch, ideal for those who love preparing baked goods. However, like marble, granite can easily be stained or scratched by acidic liquids like wine or vinegar, so it is of the utmost importance to seal it regularly to prevent any unnecessary damage. It is also very heavy, so the cabinets underneath must have enough strength to support it and care must be taken during installation.

Dekton by Cosentino

Dekton by Cosentino is an ultracompact surface made from over 20 different minerals extracted from nature, resulting in a durable, yet beautiful material for countertops, backsplashes, and more. Resistant to UV damage, scratches, stains, heat, abrasion, and freezing/thawing, Dekton countertops are an enduring look in more ways than one. They are also nonporous, and a cinch to clean with soap and water. Available in a variety of colors and thicknesses to suit any kitchen design, there is no shortage of options; Dekton offers over 40 different colors to choose from in grey, black, white, brown, and cream hues, as well as 5 different thicknesses: 4, 8, 12, 20, and 30 millimeters. Of the patterning available, popular styles include natural veining, natural grainy, metallic, industrial, and natural irregular. And, whether you prefer an ultra-glossy, matte, or velvet finish, there’s a Dekton collection for you.

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It’s ideal for indoor settings as well as outdoor kitchens, just like in Whitney Bond’s San Diego outdoor kitchen.

M|R Walls

Constructed from Corian® Solid Surface, M|R Walls offer endless opportunities for 3D textured statement walls, water features, backsplashes, and more. Useful in many applications, Corian® is a solid, non-porous material that is resistant to scratches, stains, and impact, making it perfect for high-traffic areas like kitchens. Apart from its durable nature, Corian® surfaces can also be joined together seamlessly, creating a fluid look across any scale.

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Kamila Weiss, VP of Development at M|R Walls, expresses that her “favorite kitchen applications for M|R Walls are backsplashes and backlight bars. Having a 3D textured Corian® surface with a non-repeating design stands out from standard stone and tile,” Kamila says. Whether you choose from their tried-and-true patterns like Palisades, Flame, or Honey, or opt for a masterpiece of your own, M|R Walls are sure to make a statement in your home.

In terms of color customization, “M|R Walls works with all Corian Colors, but our favorite is Glacier White with LED backlighting,” Kamila comments. “When we put lighting behind our 3D walls, a beautiful play on texture and light can bring any space to life, especially a bar area – a place for entertaining and coming together with friends and family.” noted Kamila. With lighting colors available that span the rainbow, you can easily set the mood of any space. From deep red lighting for nighttime, to a cheerful yellow for daytime, you’ll love how smooth the process is to match the ambiance to your mood.

Like most other selections for your home, choosing the perfect surface for your kitchen isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision. From marble, to porcelain, to quartz, there are so many different materials available with different aesthetics and price points to suit your lifestyle. Plus, you’ll need to consider surrounding kitchen elements, like cabinetry, appliances, flooring, and fixtures when making your final selection. Ultimately, your home should reflect your unique style, and the right surfaces will create a foundation for a kitchen that’s both beautiful and functional for years to come.

Are you looking to refresh your kitchen in 2024? We can help! Click here to make an appointment at your nearest PIRCH showroom.

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