The basic choices are:

Marble

Pros: Comes in a variety of colors and patterns, smooth surface, won't chip or dent, heat-resistant.
Cons: Expensive, can be scratched or etched by acids (citrus, coffee, alcohol, some cleaning products) even if you seal it. But if you are vigilant about spills and seal your counters a few times a year (you can do this yourself with a simple spray product) marble is a good option.
Consumer Reports does not recommend marble.
$75-150/sq ft installed.

Granite

Pros: More durable than marble, won't scratch, resistant to stains, heat and water if sealed, low-maintenance, high resale value, lots of color options.
Cons: Expensive, requires frequent resealing. Can crack.
Home Depot guarantees theirs for 15 years without resealing.
Consumer Reports score 72.
$60-85/sq ft. installed. High end or rare granite can run upward of $150/sq ft.

Engineered Stones/Quartz (CaesarStone, Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq,)
These are made up of 90-95% ground up quartz, color, and resin. It is meant to mimic stone but is more du­rable and requires less maintenance.

Pros: Nonporous, resists scratches and stains, easy to maintain, no sealant required. Looks like natural stone (it's at least 90% quartz mized with acrylic resin) but can be mixed with pigments for custom color.
Cons: Not heatproof.
Over-exposure to sunlight can cause quartz to discolor.
Consumer Reports score 74
$70-100/sq ft. installed

Solid Surface (Corian, etc.)

Pros: Durable, smooth surface, can seamlessly integrate sink and backsplash, easy to sand away stains or scratches, lots of color and pattern options, can imitate other materials like concrete and marble.
Cons: Can be easily damaged by heat, easy to scratch and dent, can get stains. $45-150/foot.
Brands: DuPont Corian, Samsung Staron, LG Hi-Macs, ECO, etc.

Laminates

Pros: Stain-resistant, waterproof, lots of color options, low-maintenance, inexpensive.
Cons: Can crack and scratch, not heatproof, difficult to repair. $15-60/foot plus installation.
Brands: Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite, etc.

Stainless Steel

Pros: Durable, stainproof, spillproof, temperature-proof, easy to clean and maintain, help reflect light. Cons: Can nick and scratch, can show fingerprints, noisy. $100-300/foot.

Concrete

Pros: Heat- and scratch-resistant, smooth, very strong, lots of texture and color options, pretty durable, can seamlessly integrate sink and backsplash.
Cons: Can get cracked, somewhat porous, must be sealed and waxed, needs to be custom cast (can be pricey to fabricate). Around $80-150/foot.

Others: Ceramic Tile, Wood/Butcher Block, Lava Stone, Soapstone, Glass, Paper-based Composite, Bamboo & Paper Composite,

Source: Ultimate Guide to Choosing Countertops: Pros & Cons | Apartment Therapy


Source: KitchenMagic.com

At Bathroom countertop & Reliability they rate laminates #1 (77 pts). Quartz is 74 and Granite is 72. I couldn't see any reason for the difference. Cosentino's Dekton was 73.


Quartz vs Granite:
At Quartz Vs. Granite Countertops - A Geologist's Perspective | Forbes Trevor Nace says,
"The debate breaks down into a few large picture questions that you have to ask yourself. Despite the price difference in the two countertop options there are really two variables that you should take into account. One variable is whether you prefer a man made stone or a natural stone. You will find much more beauty in granite and there is certainly an excitement involved in picking out the small imperfections and color variation. I'll give this one to granite as it has a unique and impossible to replicate feel that never disappoints in upgrading your kitchen countertop. The other variable is ease of use in a number of different factors. Quartz countertops are sealed and therefore not porous, they are primarily made of quartz, which means they are more durable than granite. You'll find that quartz countertops are easier to clean, maintain, and forget about. If your primary concern is having a countertop that you can ignore and heavily use, quartz composite is the way to go."
Colors:
Best Granite Countertops for Cherry Cabinets | The colorogist
Kashmir White

Kashmir White at Bridgewater Marble & Granite

Kashmir creme $55/sf

At SRI Rock

What Granite Countertop Color Looks Best with Cherry Cabinets | KitchenMagic.com
For a stunning contrast with dark cherries, opt for a light colored granite countertop like New Venecian Gold, Santa Cecelia or Kashmir White.

Our choice at Bridgewater Marble & Granite

Top 5 Granites Countertops for Cherry Cabinets - Marble.com

Unknown:

Houzz.com Juperana

Choosing a green color or even a neutral with a green undertone will make cherry or mahogany kitchen cabinets go more red.
Cherry and Mahogany are already dark so choose a lighter color unless you have a lot of light.


Dealers: Bridgewater Marble and Granite Works (732) 560-1717
  Arielle arielle@bridgewatermarble.com

Central NJ Countertops Brian DeStefano cjgcountertops@gmail.com
SR International Rock,Inc. (908) 864-4700, Info@srirock.com
  7 Easy St., Bound Brook

Links:
Caring for Granite Countertops
Granite Versus Quartz Countertops – Advice For Better Kitchen Design
Quartz vs. Granite Countertops: The Complete Comparison

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last updated 3 Oct 2016