Marble Kitchen Counters. Marble has an unrivaled, classic look that always seems to be in style. For lovers of white kitchens in particular, a marble counter offers more variety than almost any other material. Marble is known more for the patina it develops with use than for its durability. It’s a softer stone than granite, and can scratch and stain easily;; the cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot installed.
A dark, richly veined stone can actually feel less dramatic when paired with dark cabinets. Whether you use espresso wood or a modern painted gray, as shown in the previous photo, coordinating a base tone in the stone with one of a similar darkness or lightness in the cabinets will help the two connect.
Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters. Although it’s sometimes scoffed at by stone lovers, plastic laminate still has a serious fan base. The wide range of customizable edges and finishes means it can work in any design. At $8 to $20 per square foot installed, its affordable price makes it a winner for many. However, it’s not the most durable of countertops, so it may not be best for heavy‐duty cooks.