How to Check If You Need to Replace Your Kitchen Countertops

How to Check If You Need to Replace Your Kitchen Countertops

Cabinets and Countertops
Kitchen Remodeling
Kitchen
By Alex Mikayelyan March 30, 2022

Kitchen countertops go through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Due to countless scratches from utensils, heavy appliances being dragged across their surface, or all the stains from the food and beverages you prepare, your countertop will need replacing at some point — regardless of how strong it is. Unfortunately, it’s not always apparent when a replacement is needed. Unless your countertop has a huge crack going across its surface (which most likely will never happen), it’s a little hard to tell when your countertop is no longer in shape.

But there are ways you can check whether your countertop needs replacing or not. The techniques used in judging whether or not your counter needs replacing vary depending on the material it’s made of. Before installing kitchen countertops to freshen up the kitchen’s interior, however, consider the following potential defects and see if any of your countertops have similar problems. As with any major kitchen remodel, keep in mind that the average cost to replace countertops can be quite steep, so taking these extra measures could save you money that you would have otherwise spent on a pointless replacement. 

Granite

What to be on the lookout for with granite countertops.

What to be on the lookout for with granite countertops.

Granite is one of the most common countertop materials in the country. It is a natural stone that is carved out into the shape of a countertop, covered with a special protective coating to give it a sleek and shiny surface, and it usually lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If you install a brand new granite countertop in a home you recently purchased, you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a very long time.

But granite, regardless of how strong it is, has certain weaknesses. Scratches are among the biggest threats to granite countertops, especially darker ones where the light can emphasize the scratches and make them more visible. Granite is also susceptible to staining. But in the worst cases, granite countertops may chip and crack after many years of use.

Regular maintenance of granite countertops includes wiping off the surface with a microfiber cloth, giving it a rinse with warm soapy water, using a plastic utensil to get the caked-up food remnants off, and overall taking care not to scratch the surface. Sure, granite is quite durable when it comes to being scratch-resistant, but even the strongest material can fall victim to sharp utensils.

Once you start to notice some stains are not washing off as they have soaked into the deeper pockets of the granite countertop, however, then it’s most likely time to have it replaced. A few scratches are not a cause for alarm, but too many of them and your countertop starts to look like a chalkboard. In this case, installing granite countertops that are brand new would be a better option.

Quartz

Why and when you should replace quartz countertops.

Why and when you should replace quartz countertops.

A fantastic alternative to granite is quartz. While it is an engineered and manufactured material, as opposed to granite or marble, which are cut directly out of the quarry, quartz is the combination of several rocks and minerals held together by a powerful resin. This makes quarts heat, water, and impact-resistant. But even the strongest materials will fall victim to years of impact and scratching.

The advantage of quartz is that it usually has a more porous surface that can camouflage some of the smaller scratches. However, scratches may eventually become far too abundant to hide. That is when you should consider replacing your quartz countertops with new ones.

Another important factor to consider about your old countertops is erosion. Over time, with all the friction that the countertops go through as you slide your kitchenware across the surface, certain areas are going to start eroding. This means the once smooth and sleek surface of your quartz countertops is going to get rough and unwieldy. This is another sign that your countertop needs replacing as you need your quartz kitchen countertops to be as smooth as possible. 

Marble

When the natural beauty of marble countertops begins to fade.

When the natural beauty of marble countertops begins to fade.

Marble countertops are a sight to behold. Each and every piece of marble countertop is going to look different as it is a natural formation that cannot be cut into slabs the exact same way twice. This is why marble continues to be one of the most luxurious materials to work with. Now, it may not be the most durable, nor is it the most heat or moisture resistant, but it looks so aesthetically pleasing that many homeowners overlook these downsides and choose to get marble countertops for the sake of their appearance.

But those who’ve used marble countertops for many years know about the vulnerabilities and are often wary of any and all damage that the counters often go through. For example, among the biggest dangers to marble countertops are spills. Because marble is a natural rock formation, liquids can seep through the surface of marble, indefinitely staining them. There are certain ways that homeowners can fix the more superficial stains of marble countertops; but eventually, and with enough spills, no amount of refacing will help them.

So, if you’ve noticed that there are many deep spots left in your marble countertops and none of them are going away, then it’s time to replace your marble countertops. There may still be a slim chance of salvaging them if there are a few spots here and there, but in cases of extensive staining, it’d be best to simply part ways. 

Butcher’s Block

What kind of damage would require replacing butcher’s block countertops.

What kind of damage would require replacing butcher’s block countertops.

Butcher’s block countertops are unique in that their surface is wooden. These countertops have gained quite a bit of traction in recent years with the popularity of kitchen interiors such as the Scandi, Japandi, and Boho. All three of these styles use wood as a fundamental part of the interior design and utilize its unique colors and organic patterns to bring in much-needed biophilia into the home — even boosting home value.

The butcher’s block gets its name from a literal block of wood that butchers would use to carve up meat in their shops. Their blocks are not always the size of a full kitchen counter set, but the similarities are hard to ignore. Wooden countertops are very durable and offer a warm surface to put all your ingredients and kitchenware on as you cook. The one downside to a butcher’s block in comparison to its stone counterparts is that wood is much easier to scratch than solid rock.

As a result, you will find that most butcher’s blocks have all kinds of scratches and cuts all over their surfaces. These can be fixed to some extent using household remedies, however, in most cases, homeowners simply ignore them as these scratches actually play into the aesthetics of the butcher’s block kitchen countertops. At some point, however, the butcher block countertops are going to be beyond salvaging and repairing. This is usually the result of many years of use and the constant damage that a regular countertop goes through.


When there are far too many scratches to fix or if the wood begins to flake and chip in certain areas, this should be a sign that you need to replace your countertop. Although the wood can still be repaired, the same problems are going to come back again and again, and this time even more frequently as the wood gets weaker over time. In this case, installing countertops that are brand new would be a more suitable option.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan