The Great Kitchen Island Debate: Which Surface is the Best?

  • 3 min read

When it comes to kitchen islands, it seems that just about everybody has one nowadays. The question is one of surfaces. In other words, which type of island top is the best? Is it granite? Corian? Marble? Quartz? Or perhaps it’s a live edge wood slab island top? Okay, so we’re a bit biased in that we prefer wood slab countertops and kitchen island tops. What’s not to love? They’re warm, artistic, forgiving and absolutely stunning to look at.

Our bias aside, we decided to take a look at some of the pros and cons of some of the above kitchen island surfaces. Rochester, NY, we want to know, which is your favorite surface type?


Granite is indeed the quintessential, tried-and-true kitchen island top material. Among the pros of granite are:

  • It’s durability. Granite makes for an extremely hard and difficult to damage island surface.
  • It’s a natural material. Natural materials represent not only the bounty that the outdoor world has to offer but they can be truly amazing to look at.
  • It’s fairly easy to find; not all granite types are easy to locate, but thanks to its popularity, it is becoming easier and easier to find your ideal kitchen island granite.

Among the downsides of using granite for your Rochester, New York kitchen:

  • It is expensive. Versus some other island materials, granite can be pricier.
  • Some granites can be more porous, meaning they absorb spills and can thus stain.
  • They usually have seams. Depending on size, the countertop may have some noticeable seams.


Another highly popular choice here in Rochester, NY, quartz counters have some benefits that you simply can’t get with granite, to include:
  • Quartz tends to be more forgiving than granite, so in terms of a kitchen island where a lot of prep work gets done, this can be a very good thing.
  • There are a lot of choices with quartz. As it is generally a manufactured product, the array of available colors is impressive.
  • It resists staining. Most quartz surfaces are non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about spillage and staining.

Quartz does have its negatives too. Some of the key downsides to going with quartz are:

  • It tends to have a high price tag. Some quartz tops can actually rival granite or marble as far as pricing. To keep the price down, you may have to stick with more basic colors and edging.
  • Quartz is not as heat resistant as some other materials. So you do have to be careful about putting hot pans on the kitchen island top.

Live Edge Wood Slabs

Finally, we get to our favorite kind of kitchen island top—that which we have put in many homes throughout Rochester: live edge wood slab island tops. What are the benefits of this type of surface:

  • It’s very forgiving. Again, your kitchen island sees a great deal of action in terms of cutting, cooking and prepping. If you scratch or nick the top, it really just adds to the overall effect; or you can also just sand it out.
  • It has no duplicate. Every single wood slab island top is unique—the edging, the grain, the color. No one in the world will have an island top like yours!
  • It can be cost effective. Versus some other types of materials, wood slab kitchen islands can be less expensive than you might think.

Among the cons of a wood slab live edge counter or island top…none that we can see. As we said, we’re a bit biased. But that doesn’t mean you won’t fall head over heels in love with your new live edge island. Call today and let’s see how creative we can truly get!