Countertops have many applications in commercial spaces, such as in-office kitchens, reception areas, dining rooms, and more. When designing your commercial space, think creatively about how you can use durable countertop materials. Go-to materials include quartz, granite, butcher block, and solid surface.

This guide runs through some popular commercial countertop options and inspiring design ideas to get you started.

1. Quartz Commercial Countertop

1. Quartz Commercial Countertop
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With the look of natural stone but engineered for durability, quartz combines quartzite and minerals with resin. Quartz is a beautiful and resilient countertop for heavy commercial use.

Quartz tends to be more affordable and uniform than natural stone, like granite. Granite and limestone often have pricey imperfections in patterning, while quartz maintains its color and pattern beautifully indefinitely.

Quartz offers the following benefits for commercial use:

  • Extremely durable for heavy traffic
  • Resists stains (it’s non-porous)
  • Never needs sealing like natural stone
  • Slabs join seamlessly for uniformity
  • More affordable than real stone
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance

With occasional cleaning, expect a quartz counter to stay looking new for over 10 years. Quartz works well for reception desks, conference tables, kitchen counters, and high-traffic areas.

2. Granite Commercial Countertop

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Granite is a luxurious natural stone that comes with drawbacks for commercial use. Granite is pricey up-front and requires frequent sealing for protection. Granite also contains variances that make it hard to match slabs.

These are some of the disadvantages of granite for commercial use:

  • Expensive material and installation
  • Stains and etches without sealing
  • Resealing needed every one to two years
  • Impossible to find matching granite slabs
  • Chips or cracks under blunt force

Save granite for executive offices or other spots with minimal wear. Granite requires extra sealing, so it’s best to use the material sparingly in heavy-traffic spaces like busy kitchens or restrooms. 

3. Butcher Block Commercial Countertop

3. Butcher Block Commercial Countertop
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Butcher block provides a rustic aesthetic using wood slabs glued together as a sturdy surface. However, wood tends to show wear with heavy commercial use.

Warm, natural look
Fits multiple design styles
Sand and reseal to refresh
Scratches and stains without sealing
Warps if wet
Not durable for high-traffic areas
Needs frequent maintenance

Butcher block fits light-use areas best. Butcher block countertops usually won’t withstand heavy use like public counters or desks. Proper sealing is a must for wood countertops. Over time, butcher block counters develop a worn, weathered look.

4. Solid Surface Commercial Countertop

4. Solid Surface Commercial Countertop
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Made of natural stone and resins, solid surface countertops resemble materials like granite and quartz. Solid surface is molded into sinks, shelves, counters, and more. Durable solid surface stands up well to commercial demands, and specialists can repair damaged areas.

Benefits for commercial use include: 

  • Durable and scratch-resistant
  • Easily repairable
  • Customizable for unique needs
  • Resists stains as it’s non-porous
  • More affordable than real stone
  • Easy maintenance

Solid surface works great for high-traffic spots like reception desks, dining counters, clinics, and nurseries. With care, it retains its good looks for years. Creative options include built-in shelving, circular counters, and wash stations.

Creative Commercial Countertop Design Ideas

When designing your commercial space, think creatively about how to create a durable and beautiful countertop space. Here are some popular options and inspiring design ideas for your next commercial project.

Show off quartz’s neutral tones and patterns at your reception desk. Extend the surface into a flowing waterfall edge or other unique shape to liven up your entryway.

Quartz lends elegance to a restaurant bar. Let your vintage vibe shine through with clean lines that withstand spills better than real stone. 

Public restrooms see heavy use. A quartz countertop in a muted solid color conveys subtle class. As an incredibly hard substance, quartz stands up well to daily cleaning and traffic. Enjoy the fresh, like-new sheen of quartz for over a decade.

Make great first impressions with a solid surface reception desk in lively colors or neutrals. Solid surface material shapes beautifully into flowing custom designs. I recommend a solid surface for busy entryways as it stands up to leaning, bumps, and writing.

Easy-to-mold solid surface works if you are dreaming up flowing shapes and built-ins. A rounded reception desk contrasts nicely with wood finishes. 

Pair solid surfaces like ceramic or porcelain tile with a dark wood finish for bold commercial bathrooms. As an extremely adaptable material, a solid surface can be made into virtually any thickness. 

Craft beautiful merchandising displays with a solid surface’s seamless look. Unlike some materials, form solid surfaces into display shelves with delicate edges and details. This lets you design enticing retail displays that encourage sales.

So, What Material Is Best for Commercial Countertops?

If durability and low maintenance are important, quartz and solid surface counter materials excel in busy commercial settings. Commercial countertops withstand heavy use and should resist scratches, stains, and heat. Quartz mimics the high-end look of natural stone. Solid surfaces can be molded into fully custom designs. Quartz and solid surfaces cost less than real stone. For hassle-free counters that impress, quartz or solid surfaces are beautiful, low-maintenance commercial choices. 

FAQs About Commercial Countertops

How thick should a commercial countertop be? 

I recommend at least 1.25 inches as the minimum thickness for durability. Quartz and solid surface countertops be up 2 inches for extra strength.

What is the most durable commercial countertop material? 

Quartz is extremely durable and maintains its beauty with minimal maintenance, excelling in high-traffic commercial areas.

What is the most cost-effective commercial countertop? 

Solid surface provides value, durability, and customization at a lower cost than stone.

Can you repair commercial countertops? 

Specialists can repair solid surfaces and quartz countertops if damaged. Granite, on the other hand, is difficult to fix.

What material should you avoid for heavy-use counters? 

Butcher block and granite require meticulous care and show wear quickly with constant use.

Editorial Contributors
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Laurie Engle

Expert Writer & Reviewer

Laurie Engle is a freelance writer who provides insights to homeowners on topics such as the home warranty industry, relocation issues, and real estate trends. As a licensed Realtor since 2001 Laurie has acquired extensive expertise in dealing with home warranty companies and navigating the intricacies of the real estate market. In addition to her commitment to helping clients with their home buying and selling needs, she maintains a sharp awareness of market dynamics, including property values, interest rates, and local regulations.

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Lori Zaino

Lori Zaino is a freelance writer and editor based in Madrid, Spain. With nearly two decades of editorial experience, she’s written and edited for publications like Forbes, CNN, Insider, NBC, Newsweek, The Points Guy, The Infatuation, and many others. Having just completed her first home renovation, she’s more interested in home improvements than ever, dedicated to bringing you fresh and accurate content to help you update your living spaces.

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