Confused about kitchen countertops? You should be. The three most popular types of kitchen counter materials—solid surface, quartz, and slab granite—look alike, at least at first glance. This is intentional. Amazingly stone-like looks are engineered into solid surface and quartz and are nature-made in slab granite.
Only when you get close to the material and feel it do you begin to discern differences. Note that in the charts below, "homogeneous" is used to indicate a material in which elements are mixed to form a consistent, even look.
What Is It?
Solid-surface is the term for a type of heavy polymer-laden countertop material. Due to brand competition, it is a lower priced and popular material.
Quartz" is the catchy marketing term for what is more widely known as engineered stone, itself a term for a slurry of natural minerals combined with resins to create a hard, rock-like surface for countertops. Think of it as less fake than solid surface but more fake than slab granite.
granite quarried directly from the earth and sliced into slabs. Nothing is added, nothing taken out.