Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters. Although it’s sometimes scoffed at by stone lovers, plastic laminate still has a serious fan base. The wide range of customizable edges and finishes means it can work in any design. At $8 to $20 per square foot installed, its affordable price makes it a winner for many. However, it’s not the most durable of countertops, so it may not be best for heavy‐duty cooks.
Marble Kitchen Counters. Marble has an unrivaled, classic look that always seems to be in style. For lovers of white kitchens in particular, a marble counter offers more variety than almost any other material. Marble is known more for the patina it develops with use than for its durability. It’s a softer stone than granite, and can scratch and stain easily;; the cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot installed.
The U‐shaped kitchen lends itself to high‐efficiency cooking: You can often pivot on one toe as you spin around from refrigerator to sink to stove. A good friend and accomplished cook swears by this kitchen layout. He loves it because it keeps people out of the way when he's cooking. Guests can hang out as long as they stay on "that" side of the peninsula! The U‐shaped kitchen (also called the C‐shaped kitchen) is the perfect expression of the work triangle we hear so much about in kitchen design.