As tempting as it may be to choose your countertops based on looks alone, the material's durability, maintenance, and cost should also be considered.
The cheapest option on this list, laminate can be designed in a wide variety of colors and finishes to resemble quartz & other natural stone. While it may not hold its value overtime like granite or quartz, for the money it does well resisting stains, scratches, and moisture.
Solid surface countertops are man-made and feature a durable and non-porous acrylic surface. In most cases they are more expensive than laminate, while still cheaper than granite, quartz, and marble. They resist stains and moisture well and are considered easy to repair.
One of the most popular countertop materials, granite offers endless colors and patterns. While variations differ from slab to slab, granite has a "busier" pattern compared to quartz and marble. It's high stain, heat, and scratch resistance only help make granite so popular.
Quartz has become more and more popular over the years, and for good reason. A little more expensive than granite, it offers a low-maintenance, non-porous and scratch resistance option with a clean, multi-dimensional look. Thin veins throughout the slab create beautiful designs.
Marble countertops offer extremely elegant veining (more so than Quartz) and a sophisticated appearance. These countertops are usually picked for their elegance and beauty, as they do not perform as well against staining and heat as Granite or Quartz.
Slowly gaining popularity are butcher block countertops. They offer warmth and natural beauty and look great unfinished, oiled, or even stained. Considered easy to clean and maintain, this material is perfect for the rustic or farmhouse themed kitchen.