||There are numerous types and levels of granite. Other natural stone options include lime, soap, and sandstone.
||Galvanized steel or aluminum frame with cement board and either glued or mortared tile.
||Powder coated aluminum or stainless steel.
||Engineered Concrete Composite or Ultra High-Performance Concrete, reinforced with composite rebar.
||Between slab cost, fabrication, and installation, granite can cost between $55-$250 per sq ft.
||Between labor and materials, cost of tile countertops can range between $20-$35 per sq ft.
||Powder coated aluminum is generally only found in an aluminum base cabinet system. Stainless steel countertops cost between $50-$75 per sq ft.
||ECC and UHPC countertops generally only available through local concrete specialist. Cost can range between $60 – $300 per sq ft (UHPC being the most expensive).
||Natural stone like granite generally has high compressive strength. The weakness is it lacks ductility and tensile strength. Thus, the granite is brittle and prone to cracking.
||Strength of tile countertops depend on frame quality and strength of the mortar joints.
||Strength of metal countertops depend on the gauge of the sheet used and how it is supported by bends and welds.
||ECC & UHPC countertops have exceptional tensile and flexural strengths. Also, UHPC has compressive strengths comparable to granite.
||Granite has good durability as long as the seal is maintained. Some other natural stones can be porous and require maintenance.
||Grout lines, moisture, and freeze/thaw cycles can lead to breakdown.
||Powder coated aluminum and stainless finishes can/will wear. Both are susceptible to rust in coastal environments.
||Both ECC & UHPC are non-porous and engineered for outdoor environments.
||If exposed to the elements, seal 1-2x per year and keep covered while not in use, including wintertime.
||Seal and maintain grout lines. Keep covered while not in use and wintertime.
||Use protective coatings 1x per year and keep covered.
||Seal 1x per year.
||When maintained and protected, granite can be good for outdoor use. The downside is the stone heats up in the sun and reflects sunlight during the day.
||Tile countertops can be a lower cost option. Not good for freeze/thaw climates and grout lines are a weakness.
||SS is good for sanitary surfaces. Both metals overheat in the sun. SS reflects sun. Both wear poorly overtime when outside.
||Durable and easy to maintain. The downside is they can be expensive depending on availability of your local concrete contractor.