Countertops are important because they are usually the first thing people notice in a kitchen and are one of the most used kitchen elements. In the bathroom, countertops are important because they hold all our important toiletries and must withstand consistent usage throughout the day.

Whether it be for an entire kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel or to simply replace wear and tear when it’s time to change out your countertops there are so many different options. It can get overwhelming when you consider all the different factors that go into choosing the right countertops.

Natural stones are a great material to consider due to their durability and visual appeal although they can get pricey quickly. Popular natural stones like granite and marble may not fit into everyone’s budget but that’s okay because we’ve got you covered.

The following 5 stone materials are affordable and provide the best benefits of natural stones for countertops.

Ceramic Tile

colorful ceramic tiles

Photo by Monstera

  • Average cost per sq ft: $5 – $7
  • Durability: High
  • Maintenance: Low

Ceramic tile is the most affordable (but still excellent quality) material for countertops on the contemporary market. Ceramic tile is an oven-hardened thin slab of clay or other inorganic materials and it is coated with a glaze that gives it its famous shine.

Ceramic tile is known for its durability and resistance to heat, stains, scratches, and microbial growth. You’ll be able to clean up spills and messes easily without worrying about damage. Talk about getting more bang for your buck!

Not only do ceramic tiles have great durability, but they also come in a variety of patterns and colors to go with almost any kitchen style or aesthetic preference. You can even customize your tiles.


  • Average cost per sq ft: $55 – $65
  • Durability: High but can be brittle depending on the cut
  • Maintenance: Low

Slate is a metamorphic rock that is highly durable and has an attractive appearance. Slate is resistant to scratching, chipping, and heat and it’s also nonporous making it simple to maintain and clean. This is why you see slate being used for roofing, tables, flooring, and even gravestones.

Compared to other materials on this list, slate is relatively limited in its color availability but includes colors such as black, gray, brown, and pewter. Also, consider rousing the edges of your countertops if you choose slate to decrease the risk of potential harm from sharp, pointy edges.


Photo by kalhh on Pixabay

  • Average cost per sq ft: $55 – $100
  • Durability: Moderate
  • Maintenance: High

Soapstone is another great metamorphic rock material for countertops with a silky, rich feel. It is also highly resistant to staining but you should still regularly treat it with mineral oil and clean it with soap and water to upkeep its stain resistance and feel. It has reasonable resistance to heat but you should still avoid placing hot objects directly on it.

As for colors, natural soapstone typically ranges from a darker palette of grays, greens, blacks, and blue-ish grays. There are some options of soapstone that have swirls of quartz or that have a nearly white background.


  • Average cost per sq ft: $60 – $120
  • Durability: High but susceptible to scratches
  • Maintenance: Occasional sealing

Unlike Quartz which is engineered, quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic stone with beautiful patterns and colors that is sometimes mistaken for marble. Quartzite occurs when sandstone is subjected to the compression of tectonic plates which creates high heat and pressure environments.

It’s for this reason that quartzite is resistant to heat (of course) and it is highly durable. Though, it is still susceptible to scratches and stains so it does need some regular maintenance and care. To avoid stains, plan to seal and reseal your quartzite countertops 1 to 2 times a year.

Available colors range from white to gray. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to find hues of pink and red.


pineapple on quartz counter

Photo byPineapple Supply Co on Unsplash

  • Average cost per sq ft: $60 – $150
  • Durability: High
  • Maintenance: Low

Perhaps one of the most popular (and growing) materials for countertops is quartz. This semi-synthetic engineered stone is 93% quartz particles mixed with 7% synthetic substances and comes in a wide range of styles and prices.

Not only is quartz affordable but it also is highly durable. It’s resistant to scratches, heat, and stains and doesn’t need constant resealing for maintenance. Not to mention it’s easy to clean.

Affordable, durable, low maintenance, and easy to clean – it is no wonder quartz is riding in popularity day by day.

Choose the Kitchen Remodeling Experts

No matter what stone (or non-stone) countertop you pick, bet on the bathroom remodeling experts at Brunson Construction to help with an easy countertop installation. With over 5 and a half decades of experience, our experts have remodeled many residential kitchens around the Dallas area.

Are you ready to transform your kitchen? Contact us for a free quote on your kitchen remodel or countertop installation