Updating your kitchen can be one of the best ways to improve the value of your home if you're looking to sell. But even if you're just remodeling, countertops can be one of the biggest expenses. Consumer Reports tested 14 types. Here are the winners and losers.
Beautiful new countertops can be the focal point of your kitchen, but it's important to know how the different materials will hold up in the busiest room of the house.
There are so many choices: quartz, granite, solid surface, recycled glass, along with a new ultra-compact material called Dekton, sold at Home Depot and kitchen design stores. Consumer Reports' Chris Regan tested the different materials for durability.
"Will it stain? Will it scratch? Will the edges hold up over time? We want to make sure that countertop performs as you would intend it," he says.
The company tests for staining by applying 20 common foods and household products, such as tomato sauce, mustard, chocolate, and food coloring. They're left overnight to see if they leave a spot.
Countertops are also tested to see if they'll scratch from a knife or burn from a hot pot.
Additionally, Consumer Reports drops weights from a series of set heights to see what could happen if something heavy falls onto your countertops.
The Dekton countertops cracked all the way across. Drop tests along the edge also chipped Dekton.
A Dekton spokesperson responded, “We are unable to validate the results as testing conditions didn't comply with our own installation guidelines."
Consumer Reports tests all countertops the same way, and none cracked edge-to-edge the way Dekton did.
"Our tests show that quartz and granite are consistently the most durable products on the market," said Regan.
Both quartz and granite come in a variety of colors and styles, and they're ideal for a high-traffic kitchen.