What's behind our countertop Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 28 models in countertops to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Summarizes performance in all tests.
  • Stains
    Shows resistance to common bathroom items and cleaning products.
  • Abrasion
    Is resistance to damage from a weighted sanding block.
  • Heat
    Gauges resistance to damage from a hot curling iron in contact with the surface.
  • Impact
    Reflects ability to withstand blunt and pointed weights dropped from up to 3 1/2 feet.



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We sliced and diced on 14 countertop materials from leading brands, stained them with 20 common foods and products, and set hot pots of oil on them, among other tests. Our tests revealed each material's strengths and weaknesses but few brand differences. That's why we rate counters by material and not by brand. If you're looking for information about countertops, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ countertop reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our countertop buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and countertop reviews to help you choose the best countertop for your needs.

Countertop buying guide

Replacing a kitchen or bathroom countertop can be a relatively inexpensive part of a total remodeling job, costing as little as $560 for 56 square feet of laminate counter. Then again, you can spend 10 times that on costlier materials.

Traditionally the more interesting countertop materials have been used in the kitchen. But more and more materials such as concrete, granite, limestone, marble--and yes, even stainless steel--are migrating to the bathroom. Though bathroom counters typically see less wear and tear than kitchen counters, you might want to limit materials that are more likely to stain or chip to powder rooms or lightly used guest bathrooms.

Each material offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. We tested more than a dozen popular types to see how well they resisted stains, heat damage, cuts, abrasion, and impact.

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