When it’s come to discussing kitchen countertops this year, we have primarily focused on granite countertops due to the affordability of the material, the timelessness of its style, and its durability. However, not only granite countertops are out there for your next kitchen remodeling project, so this week we’re looking at other natural materials you can use for your countertops and how they compare to granite countertops.

First off, let’s take a look at natural stone, which granite is. While granite used to be a more expensive material found in high-end kitchens, now it can be found at many local fabricators, home centers, and kitchen showrooms, costing somewhere between $50 and $250 per square foot, depending on the color of the granite and complexity of fabrication.

On the flipside, soapstone and slate are other durable, time-tested options, but they come in far less colors than granite does and both tend to be a little more expensive than granite while not offering as many options in terms of color and installation.

Beyond natural stone, ceramic tile is another natural material that can truly transform the look of a kitchen with intricate patterns, a wide variety of colors to choose from, and many different shapes available. However, one major trend in kitchen design in the last decade has been the shift toward seamless counters like granite or unnatural materials like plastic laminate. In addition, tile is not always the best choice for your primary work surfaces as it can nick and stain rather easily, unlike granite. However, it can tend to run cheaper than granite, with the average cost running in the $3 to $5 per square feet range with a pro installation running between $30 and $50 per square foot.

The third most popular, and final, material we’re going to discuss today is wood. Wood counters tend to be made from extremely dense woods like rock maple and countertops can be fabricated in three unique ways: edge grain, end grain, and wide plank. However, high-quality wood can cost quite a bit when you factor in manufacturing, the construction of the countertops, and their installation, which runs more toward the $140 to $250 per square foot range.

So while granite is far from the only natural material choice out their for your kitchen countertops, granite countertops do provide you with more options and a lower cost than most of the other natural material options. But at the end of the day, it’s truly just a matter of your taste and your budget and what works best for you.