There are many countertop options on the market for kitchen countertops, but 10 materials comprise most countertops in residential kitchens. They include granite, marble, quartz and more. Each material has its positive and negative aspects. For example, some are very strong, while others can be scratched or damaged.
And some materials cost a lot more than others. For some time, granite has been the countertop material of choice when there were no cost issues to consider. Granite defines elegance in a kitchen. Even modest kitchens look like luxurious spaces when scented by the beauty of granite countertops.
Knives quickly blunt when cutting granite. Soapstone is another natural stone, usually dark gray in color with a soft and silky feel. It has seen a recent resurgence as an alternative to granite. Soapstone is often seen in historic homes, but it is also used in modern homes as a countertop and sink material.
Over time, soapstone acquires an antique-looking patina that can be very attractive in certain kitchen styles. Contrary to expectations, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually quite hard and resistant to stains. However, it will scratch over time, although this may increase the ancient patina of the stone. Another natural stone commonly used in kitchen countertops is marble.
Because no two marble slabs are exactly the same, each marble countertop will be completely unique. Due to its extremely high price, marble is not often seen across the full extent of most kitchen countertops. More often, its luxurious appearance is limited to use on an island or section of the countertop reserved as a baking center. Although highly prized, marble may not be the best choice for kitchens due to its penchant for stains and scratches.
Newer sealants may reduce marble maintenance, but this is a considerably more temperamental stone than granite or soapstone. Sold by companies such as DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera, Cambria and Silestone, quartz was created as a more adaptable and better performing alternative to granite and marble. It is available in a wider range of colors than granite and has a non-porous surface that resists both scratches and stains. Some types are convincing copies of natural marble, with similar veins.
Unlike natural stone, engineered quartz requires no annual sealing. Solid surface material, sold under brands such as Avonite, Corian and Swanstone, is an artificial material that consists of a mixture of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed into sheets and other shapes. Solid-surface countertops and sinks have been around for nearly 50 years, but at the time of their introduction, they were considered alternatives to space-age natural stone, which they sought to imitate. Once considered premium luxury countertops, solid surface material is now considered something mid-level, but it's still an excellent choice for mid-range kitchens.
It can also be a good material in high-end kitchens with a lot of countertop space that would be prohibitively expensive to cover with granite or quartz. Ceramic tiles are durable and easy to clean, and are considerably cheaper than countertops made of natural stone, quartz or solid surfaces, especially for DIYers who want to do their own work. Recent innovations in porcelain stoneware offer many more design options than ever before, including tiles with the look of wood, marble or even leather or cork. Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer more design options than almost any other countertop material.
It doesn't have the same prestige as granite or quartz Laminate counters carry trademarks such as Formica, Nevamar and Wilsonart. Laminates are synthetic, plastic-coated with a smooth surface that is easy to clean. Countertops are manufactured by joining the laminated sheets to a particle board (MDF) core. Laminate countertops can be purchased as preformed segments (called post-formed countertops) or can be custom manufactured to specifications, either on site or in a manufacturing shop.
Although for many years considered more common than premium countertop materials, laminates have seen a recent increase in popularity, thanks in part to the thousands of colors, patterns and styles available now. Laminates are especially popular in retro designs, especially in mid-century modern kitchens. When you want a bold and eye-catching countertop material, you can lean towards granite, and you'll undoubtedly find plenty of impressive options to consider. However, the bold marble patterns are scheduled to take over in the coming year.
For example, the marble in this contemporary kitchen, which looks like Calacatta Gold, is a perfect example. Coupled with dark wood cabinets above and below, the countertop and backsplash help make the open space cohesive and inviting. This is also an excellent example of the powerful statement that a bold marble pattern can have. Below is a comprehensive analysis of current countertop trends.
Incorporating any of these trends can help keep your counters current and stylish, while maintaining or increasing the functionality of your space. Overall, countertop trends will change from year to year. Rarely is there anything that stays popular for years. Below are some countertop options that are no longer as popular as before.
Whether you have a traditional, modern country house or a contemporary style kitchen, here are all the different types of countertops to consider. See our simple guide to countertop types below, or read on to learn more about each type. The waterfall islands feature a unique countertop edge that cascades from the countertop surface to the kitchen floor, creating a beautiful canvas to showcase your chosen material. If countertops are a little more expensive than what you were looking for, they can end up paying off in the long run, considering that new countertops aren't a frequent investment.
The role of your kitchen has changed, so you'll need to know what are the most current trends for the most used room in the house, from warm tones to quartz countertops. While older laminate countertops may look dated, today's laminate countertops are a little different. Seeing its importance in decorating the kitchen, it matters a lot what material, finish and design you choose for your countertop. Virtually maintenance free, engineered quartz countertops are stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant and, thanks to their non-porous surface, do not need to be sealed like natural stone countertops.
After all, they cover the entire kitchen work surface and are the true basis of any kitchen design. Considered a focal point in any kitchen, a waterfall island is a kitchen countertop trend that adds beauty, elegance and uniqueness to a design. So, if your kitchen countertop tends to get dirty, you might want to consider darker colored grout, such as gray or black. The non-porous material of the kitchen countertop is famous for its resistance to bacteria, stains, heat and scratches.
This kitchen countertop idea displays a streak-like color pattern on a white background (or in neutral tones), to give just the right amount of vitality to your space. No matter what color scheme or design preferences you have, a countertop with a beautiful and realistic pattern will add subtle yet artistic appeal to your kitchen. A creamy travertine countertop gives a classic Old World look to this neutral kitchen designed by Lisa Stanley. If you have unusual shaped countertops, or if you want a truly unique kitchen, concrete can be a good choice for your countertops.
Best of all, if you're skilled, a tiled kitchen countertop is a project you can do yourself on a long weekend. . .