Countertops are the first thing people notice when walking into a kitchen. The color, style, and materials used for countertops set the tone not only for the kitchen but for the home as well.

Today, there are a wide variety of countertop choices. Durability and maintenance varies widely depending on the material. Let's take a look at the average life expectancy of some of the most popular countertop types, as well as a few tricks to making your granite, marble, quartz, or wood counters live long, healthy lives./p>

Granite Countertops Life Expectancy

As one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops, granite offers a number of tones and finishes. The granite on countertops is already hundreds of thousands of years old. Short of taking a hammer to your granite countertop, you should expect your countertop to last for thousands of years. Of course, the look of your countertop will depend on the love, care, and maintenance you put into it.

Tips For Making Granite Countertops Last:

  • Make sure the granite is sealed (either by manufacturer or DIY)
  • Clean daily with warm water and a few drops of dish washing detergent
  • Clean spills immediately
  • Dry with soft cloth
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures

Follow these tips, and your granite countertops will not only out-live you but they'll look good doing it.

Marble Countertops Life Expectancy

Marble brings a luxurious style to kitchen countertops. The classic beauty of this pure stone is striking. Like granite, marble is quite an old stone. However, as a softer stone, marble is more susceptible to stains and scratches. Stains are considered permanent.

Tips For Making Marble Countertops Last:

  • Faithful sealing at least once a year
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Avoid placing acidic foods on your marble countertop

Research shows that marble countertops could last up to 20 years—if they are properly cared for!

Quartz Countertops Life Expectancy

This engineered countertop material is considered highly durable and provides a variety of color choices. The material resists staining and corrosion. Quartz countertops should last as long as you have your kitchen.

Tips For Making Quartz Countertops Last:

  • Faithful sealing at least once a year
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Avoid adding placing acidic foods on your marble countertop

As an added live-extending bonus, many manufacturers provide warranties on quartz countertops ranging from 10 to 15 years.

Laminate Countertops Life Expectancy

Not only are laminate countertops typically inexpensive, but they are also easy to maintain and stain- and heat-resistant. However, they do scratch easily, so watch out when using knives on your counter. Research shows that quality laminate countertops can last 20 to 30 years with care.

Tips For Making Laminate Countertops Last:

  • Clean with soft cloth with water and a mild soap or detergent solution
  • Completely rinse off any soap residue – dry residue can leave permanent marks
  • Dry countertops completely to prevent water from pooling
  • Avoid prolong exposure to bleach or strong chemical cleaners
  • Always use a cutting board when using a knife
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to heat greater than 275 degrees

And by care, we mean taking those tips to heart and taking action!

Wood Countertops Life Expectancy

Wood countertops are a very popular choice because of their natural beauty. Hardwood countertops can last a very long time—100 years with proper care and maintenance. However, wood is susceptible to scratches and dents, requiring refinishing over time.

Tips For Making Wood Countertops Last:

  • Remove scratches, stains and burns by light sanding and rubbing in mineral oil
  • Avoid spilling vinegar on wood countertops – the acid will dissolve glues holding countertop pieces together
  • Avoid using bleach-based or other harsh chemical cleaning products
  • Avoid exposure to excessive heat
  • Do not chop food directly on countertops

Putting these tips into practice will allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of your hardwood counters for years to come.

"How Long Do Kitchen Counters Last Without Proper Care?"

As you might have noticed, the most popular countertops don't require labor-intensive or expensive care whatsoever. It should be a no-brainer to follow the basic maintenance recommendations outlined in this article to maximize the life expectancy of your countertop material. However, even with the worst caretakers, typical countertops should hold their own for several years.

But again, why challenge them?