There are many different countertop options. Some of them are Laminate, Ceramic Tile, Hand Painted Tile, Solid Surfacing Veneer
Laminate is a very low cost material and low-maintenance. It is thin layer of plastic bonded to playwood. It is very durable and stain resistant and has wide variety of colors. However some lower grade laminates have patterns that don’t penetrate below the surface, which means if touched by sharp knife or hot pan, it could ruin the surface.
So it’s best to leave laminate for least used spaces in the kitchen if this is the material of choice. Ceramic Tile. Ceramic tile has more durability and more color options are available. Tile comes in myriad shapes and sizes which allows a great design flexibility.
It is safe to put hot pans on tile, but some people don’t like uneven surfaces created by grout lines.Plus grout lines can collect dirt and food particles and it can cause staining. Hand painted tiles can be used for the countertops or they add a nice personalized touch to back-splashes, but they are more expensive than regular stock tiles.
Solid Surfacing Veneer It is similar in structure to laminate, solid surfacing veneer is made of thin layer of solid surfacing material bonded to a wood base. The veneer is durable, very easy to maintain, and it is about 20 to 30 percent less in cost than conventional solid surfacing.