Consumer Reports rates kitchen countertops, puts looks to the test

Countertops are the focal point of most kitchens. So, when you decide to replace them it's a big decision.

Stone is still one of the most popular looks. Based on its tests of 14 types of counter materials, Consumer Reports recommends granite for those who want natural stone, as it took the most wear and tear in their tests.

But deputy home editor Celia Kuperszmid-Lerhman other options for you to keep in mind.

"The downside with granite is that you will have to reseal it to make sure that it stays stain resistant," Lerhman says.

Another good choice is quartz. This engineered stone naturally resists stains.

"The nice thing about quartz is it's available in a lot of vibrant colors."

Stone is an expensive way to go. If need to a more budget-friendly option, Lehrman says consider laminate.

"Laminate comes in a myriad of patterns. It is also very stain and heat resistant and it's way better looking than you probably think it is."

More Information from Consumer Reports:

Countertop Buying Guide (ratings restricted to subscribers)

Countertop materials that stand up to years of abuse

Five ways to cut costs, not corners, on a kitchen remodel