The Best Materials for Your Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is the heart of the busiest room in the house, so the materials chosen for this piece set the look and feel for the entire space. There are a variety of materials available for island countertops, but the best choice for one kitchen may not be the best material for another. Picking out the material is the most enjoyable part. Here’s an inside look at some materials and why they might be best for your kitchen counter.

Timeless Stone


Stone countertops never go out of style. Solid marble, quartz, and granite countertops as well as stone composite countertops are heat, stain, and scratch resistant. Countertops are also available in limestone and soapstone, which are heat and stain resistant, but they scratch more easily because of the softer stone material. Stone countertops are very durable, but they can also be very expensive.

Affordable Formica and Tile

For DIY projects and kitchens on a smaller budget, Formica (or laminate) and tile countertops offer affordable solutions. Formica countertops are sensitive to heat and can be scratched. The damages via heat or wear cannot be repaired on a Formica countertop, but the initial price tag is attractively low. Tile countertops are also quite affordable, and these hold up well to heat and other wear. The grout is susceptible to staining and mildew, and the tiles can break with impact by hard objects, so this type of countertop is not entirely without drawbacks, but tile is easy to clean and offers a pleasing classic aesthetic.

Progressive Metal

Stainless steel countertops are a recent trend that imbues the kitchen with a shiny clean feel and are often offer anti-bacterial properties. These go well with modern appliances and offer a durable heat-, scratch-, and stain-resistant surface. Other types of metal countertops are available as well, including copper, zinc, and pewter. These are not as scratch- and dent-resistant as the stainless steel, but also make attractive counters. The cost to repair or the ability to repair a damaged metal countertop may be a challenge if a dent or scratch occurs.

Wood, Bamboo, and Eco-Friendly Paper Composite

A wood countertop lends a warm and cozy feel to the kitchen. Bamboo is also inviting, giving the area a softer feel. Unfortunately, these countertops are not as durable as stone or tile—bamboo can be burned, scratched, stained, and it requires upkeep, including applying food-safe sealants. The attractive, exotic aesthetic in the kitchen may be worth all the fuss, though. Alternatively,  paper composite countertop is now available, which is made of eco-friendly recycled paper, but it can be scratched or stained.

Concrete or Glass for The Kitchen Island


Concrete or glass countertops are another fun option for modern homes. These materials, while heat resistant, can chip, and concrete can also stain or be damaged by highly acidic materials. The ambience created by these materials may be worth it, though. Recycled glass composite countertops are available for individuals wanting a greener kitchen; these have the same benefits and drawbacks as regular glass, but a much smaller carbon footprint.

Whatever the material you choose for your kitchen island countertops, make sure to take care of it and perform regular maintenance.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!