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Great cooking requires the right equipment and accessories. Your kitchen must be properly outfitted too, and the right countertops are essential. If you’re a serious cook, what types of countertops should you consider?  This guide will help you select kitchen counters that will prove to be an asset in the years ahead.

What are the Requirements for the Cook’s Countertop?

Countertops that are ruggedly used need to be able to withstand the daily wear and tear of regular cooking and be easy to clean. These are some of the features of the countertops for serious cooking.

  • Heat resistance – the right countertops will withstand the heat around the stove or cooktop. They will be able to take a hot pot or pan being placed on them occasionally for a short duration. This rules out wood, laminates and most solid surface countertops and quartz. Porcelain, and stainless steel will be the best choices, since you can place hot pans on them. From the natural stones granite and soapstone are your best choice. Although soapstone can scratch, it is easily maintained.
  • It should be minimally porous, so it does not stain easily. You’ll be working with oils, pigmented liquids, such as tomato sauce, wine etc. All these can stain porous countertops. Therefore, marble and limestone countertops should be excluded from consideration. Sandstone counters aren’t much better. Granite, some quartzite and soapstone have low absorption rate and will be appropriate choice with good sealing, quartz can work too. However, porcelain and stainless steel will be the best choice for the serious cook.
  • Household acids, such as lemon, vinegar, coffee etc. are frequently used in the kitchen. It is crucial that the material selected will not acid etch. That rules out marble and limestone. Good natural stone options will be granites, soapstone and some quartzite. Porcelain, quartz and stainless steel do not acid etch and are good options too.
  • Stainless steel pots, pans and utensils are frequently handled in the kitchen and they tend to scratch the countertop surface. It is important to select a material with high abrasion resistance, such as porcelain, quartz and granite and quartzite. Soapstone is soft and will scratch, but it is easily repaired. Stainless steel may patina over time but is easily maintained too.
  • Finally, the right countertop for the cooking enthusiast will be easy to clean. Raw vegetables, meat and fish may have bacteria on their surface that can be left behind on countertops. Wood and the porous materials can harbor the bacteria and mold too. There are better choices for those who do a lot of cooking, such as stainless steel and porcelain.


Many materials will make a good kitchen countertop choice for the enthusiastic cook.

  • Our first choice will be stainless steel and porcelain
  • Second choice will be heat resistant glass and granite
  • Third choice will be some quartzite, quartz and soapstone

Marble, limestone, butcherblock, laminate are not the best choice for the kitchen of a serious cook.


Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted standards and tips regarding natural stone considerations, applications and care. We have compiled this information to help you in your stone selection and care. MGSI is not involved in geological testing and has no formal proof of the information presented in the article and relies on industry wide information and standards. MGSI will not be responsible for any direct or indirect claims and damages, resulting from the improper application and/or interpretation of this information. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your project

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