When choosing a material for a new tabletop, you’ll want to consider factors like durability, stain resistance, cost, and style. While personal taste plays a role, some clear favorites emerge among US homeowners. From natural stones to engineered composites, below are five of today’s most sought-after tabletop materials.
Marble has adorned grand table tops for centuries and continues as a beloved upscale choice today. Available in colors from crisp whites to bold, swirling patterns, marble brings classic elegance with visual depth and interest. As a natural material, no two marble slabs have the same patterning and veining. Marble’s density makes it extremely durable over decades of use. The smooth, cool surface needs some maintenance though – liquids can stain the porous material and abrasions show through the finish. Still, marble’s beauty often makes the care worthwhile, especially for formal dining tables or decorative accent tables.
Wood never goes out of style for its warm, organic aesthetic. Woods like oak, walnut, maple, and mahogany have an enduring popularity for table tops. Their smooth grain not only looks attractive, but it resists damage from hot pots or spills. Many woods develop a patina and richer color tones over years of use for more character. Wood tops should be properly sealed though for protection from warping, splitting, or discoloration. And being a natural material, the grain and color will always vary somewhat between the two tables. For most homeowners, the uniqueness of wood only adds to its rustic, welcoming vibe.
Granite has surged in home construction for its rugged durability and decorative visual appeal. Mined from quarries worldwide, granite’s exceptional hardness withstands years of daily use without showing scratches, stains, or other damage. The natural stone comes in diverse patterns, from salt-and-pepper speckles to swirls of black, brown and cream for a customized look. The polished stone surface does need to be sealed initially and every few years, but granite otherwise provides almost maintenance-free longevity. Heat resistance also makes granite an ideal choice for kitchen tables. Its securely weighted mass provides a smooth, stable surface for dining.
Glass table tops impart a lightweight, floating effect through transparent views of base materials and surroundings below. Both tempered glass and acrylic sheets get used for their damage-resistant strength. Glass tops should have polished, beveled edges for safety and to diffuse lines for a clean aesthetic. Compared to natural stone, transparent glass reflects more fingerprints, marks, and dust that require frequent wiping. But for contemporary tables to highlight sleek bases or leg designs, unimpeded sightlines make glass a perfect fit. Some glass table tops get frosted or tinted for a soft, diffused appearance as well.
Resin table tops provide sleek, contemporary styling with designs not possible in natural materials. Made from blends of polyurethane or epoxy resins, the fluid surface gets molded into everything from simulated wood grains to artistic geometrics or abstract marble looks. Being an engineered composite, resin tops present fewer imperfections or variations between two tables. The material resists scratches, temperature changes, sunlight exposure, and other damage too. Cheaper fabrication makes resin tables affordable choices to replace wood or marble. Advancements in resin realism continue, expanding decorative options for one-of-a-kind tabletop visuals at reasonable prices.
Ultimately, the style, intended use, and maintenance considerations for each material should guide buyers’ decisions. But with today’s broad range of tabletop offerings, there’s an attractive, durable option to coordinate with almost any room’s décor and design sensibilities.