kitchen workstation sink
kitchen workstation sink

What are some popular materials for kitchen workstation countertops?

3 minutes, 49 seconds Read

Quartz is the top choice of many kitchen remodelers. This engineered stone is composed of ground quartz and resins and pigments that create beautiful surfaces that are durable, stain-resistant, and impervious to heat. Stainless steel countertops are another favorite for their durability and sleek appearance. These highly functional and hygienic counters are a great option for busy households.


Often scoffed by stone lovers, plastic laminate (usually called Formica) is still a very popular countertop material. It comes in a range of colors and patterns and can be installed for a fraction of what quartz or other natural materials cost. It’s also lightweight, which makes it a great option for workstation sinks, and it is very easy to clean.

Laminate counters can be dressed up with edging and mitered corners, and there are a variety of additional accessories that can add function like built-in cutting boards or waste baskets. Modern printing techniques allow you to choose textured laminates that mimic the appearance of wood or stone.

If you want a more elegant look for your kitchen, wood countertops can add warmth and sophistication to any design. They are available in a wide variety of lumber types and can be stained with food-safe green, yellow, or red stains to suit your taste. As with most wood surfaces, they are prone to scratches and water damage, but can be very durable if properly maintained.


A wood countertop adds instant warmth to a kitchen and complements a variety of design styles. It’s also relatively durable and can be carved into more unique shapes for an island or peninsula. However, it does require regular sanding and oiling to keep the surface looking new.

Choose from hard rock maple, hickory, walnut, and cherry for countertops. Look for species that are harvested from sustainable forests. Hard rock maple offers neutral tan colors that coordinate with almost any kitchen decor. Hickory is tough and shock-resistant, with a reddish-brown hue that takes finishing stains well. Walnut is dark and rich, with moderately open grain.

Wood counters are available with face-grain (planks laid flat and glued together), edge-grain, or end-grain (planks cut along their edges and glued together). Flat-grain counters get dinged up easier than edge- or end-grain surfaces but showcase the natural color variations of the wood.


If you love the look of marble but are hesitant to spend the money and maintenance, quartzite is an excellent alternative. This metamorphic rock sourced from sandstone undergoes extreme heat and pressure, resulting in a durable material that is highly resistant to etching. It also comes in a wider array of color options and offers design versatility due to its varying veining.

River Rock

In a busy family kitchen, worktops need to be tough and hardwearing to cope with an onslaught of food preparation. But they should also look contemporary, and stylish and match your kitchen decor.

Natural stone like granite is a classic choice but it’s not the only one. Quartz is another popular option that’s heat and stain-resistant and available in a range of colors. Marble countertops are beautiful, but they require regular resealing and can be prone to cracking over time.

Manufactured river rock is a great alternative to pebbles and can be used in many different ways around the home. It’s made by running smaller river rocks through a tumbling machine, which fine-tunes their appearance but still keeps the speckles and striations that occur naturally in river rock. This makes it easier to line up with flat exterior walls for a decorative effect. It’s also often used in landscape design, such as in walkways or garden paths.

Recycled Glass

Glass can be recycled repeatedly without losing its purity or durability. It is collected by curbsides, public venues, and manufacturing plants and crushed into smaller pieces, called cullets. Glass manufacturers then mix cullets with other materials like limestone, sand and soda ash to create a liquid that is formed into new products, including jars and bottles.

Designers use recycled glass as a backsplash accent or a feature wall. They also use it to make a tabletop pop, frame a mirror or piece of art, and line wet and dry outdoor spaces, like pools or footpaths.

Bamboo, recycled glass, and paper composites (a combination of resins and pigments) are eco-friendly options for countertop surfaces. Recycled glass countertops can be crafted in almost any color and work well with Mid-Century Modern or industrial styles. Quartz, an engineered stone with pigmented colors that resemble granite, is another popular choice. Its nonporous surface makes it less prone to stains and bacteria.

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