I am considering redoing my own kitchen countertops and I thought I would share some of my research.
First there are many choices;
Marble and Granite Counters - This was my original first choice. It looks gorgeous, at $6000+ it should! It is also susceptible to stains and needs re-sealing periodically. Granite can handle the heat, Granite and Mable can be brutal on stemware.
Laminate - This type is probably the most common type as it is inexpensive and you get the most variety of colours and patterns. The disadvantage is that it burns with high heat and is prone to chipping.
Engineered Stone - Products such as silestone are expensive but come in many colours and is very resistant to both heat and staining.
Corian - I installed this product in the Hyatt for a coffee bar nearly 20 years ago and it still looks good today. You can sand this product and is great with heat, stains and a seamless install. It is at the top of my list at the moment.
Maple Butcher Block - This requires more maintenance but is good with heat and is easy to refinish. It makes a great top next to a stove or oven install.
Ceramic Tile - My least favorite but very common. Inexpensive to buy but the labour can cost you on install. I dislike cleaning the grout!
Concrete - High prices but indestructible, this top is great for kitchen that have wild curves and unusual shapes.
Stainless Steel - This is the ideal top for a working kitchen. Restaurants have used it for years. It is a bit noisier than most tops but will last forever. Make sure to get high grade stainless. The cheap stuff oxidizes and is hard to clean.
For more renovation ideas check out my web site. Nanaimo Real Estate