Both a design element and a work surface, the countertop is an important kitchen feature. Making a choice can be difficult - all of the options are appealing, durable, and cleanable, although some are less troublesome than others. If you're a serious cook, you may want a tough surface that doesn't need alot of care. If your countertops will be a major design feature, look for material that commands attention. When you're ready to shop, remember to take cabinet and flooring samples with you.