Butcher block often appeals to owners because of its natural look and lower price point. If properly maintained, butcher block can last for many years. Finished, butcher block can withstand some heat and water, but be careful of exposing your butcher block counter to direct heat or letting water sit on it.
Tile countertops have recently come back into style, probably because they are so customizable. Tiles can come in a variety of materials, which means they also come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Tiles are typically scratch-resistant and heat tolerant, although repeated temperature fluctuations and contact with high temperatures can result in cracking. While the tiles themselves are easy to clean, the grout between the tiles can be more difficult to keep clean. The grout can also prove susceptible to water damage.
Marble, granite, and soapstone are commonly used to create beautiful countertops. These natural materials are heat-resistant and provide smooth, seamless surfaces that are perfect for rolling out dough. Though each stone type has its own qualities and considerations, all three require strong support, as they are extremely heavy. While not inexpensive, stone countertops can be an excellent investment well worth budgeting for.
As the most budget-friendly option, laminate sometimes receives the cold shoulder. But don’t be so hasty to rule it out. Modern laminate countertops are remarkably heat- and scratch-resistant and can be even designed to mimic natural stone, metal, or wood in appearance. Although early look-alike laminate couldn’t pass as the real deal to even the untrained eye, technological advancements have made extremely high-quality reproductions.