Countertop Ideas: The 9 Best Countertop Materials

Countertop Ideas: The 9 Best Countertop Materials

A countertop can make or break a kitchen design.

So whether you’re remodeling or designing a kitchen, you need to be able to make an informed selection.

With so many different materials for countertops, it can be daunting to choose which one will be a permanent part of your kitchen. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you with a comprehensive list of countertop ideas!

Read on for our guide to the 9 best materials and how to choose between them.

Stone Countertops

Stone countertops are the most traditional kind. They are made of sliced stone slabs that are cut to shape.

Stone is known for its grand appearance and beautiful texture. We’ve listed the four most common types below.

1. Quartzite

Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone. It’s a metamorphic rock that forms when sandstone meets extreme heat and pressure.

It’s available in a variety of neutral colors and is known for its characteristic wave patterns.

Quartzite is harder than granite and can withstand high heat. You can place a hot pan directly on to these countertops.

It does need to be resealed at least once a year to make sure that food stains don’t seep into and stain the rock.

2. Soapstone

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock made of talc and other stones after they undergo heat and pressure.

It’s available in more limited colors; blacks, greys, blues, and greens.

It has a reputation for being soft, but there are different “grades” of soapstone, so if you choose to use it in your kitchen just make sure it’s a high grade.

Soapstone feels at home in rustic or minimalistic kitchens.

It doesn’t require any maintenance, in fact, the aging of soapstone is desirable. But for clients that want a more uniform look, you can oil the surface.

3. Marble

Marble is the perfect touch to any grand kitchen. White marble is used most often for functional and aesthetic reasons.

It’s a relatively soft stone, so it can be scratched and etched. White marble disguises these marks better than dark.

Aesthetically speaking, white marble allows for the dark veins to show through.

4. Granite

Granite is one of the most popular of stone countertops because it’s readily available, very durable, and completely versatile.

Granite is an igneous rock which forms when magma cools. Becuase it can include so many different kinds of minerals, granite is available in a variety of colors.

It’s a hard, durable stone that can withstand knives and high temperatures. But it does need to be resealed to maintain color and strength.

It’s perfect for the homeowner who wants a warm, traditional, and elegant style in their kitchen.

You can never, ever go wrong with granite!

Manufactured Countertops

Manufactured Countertops are man made which means they come in a variety of colors and price points. Because of their versatility, they are incredibly popular.

And the most popular of manufactured countertops are quartz.

5. Quartz

Quartz countertops are made of about 90% ground quartz stone and 10% resin and pigments.

Quartz stone already comes in a variety of colors, but because pigment can be added to the resin that forms the countertop, many color options are available.

Because quartz countertops are molded, and whole stones don’t have to be used, it’s typically less expensive than stone models.

Other Countertop Ideas

Below we’ve listed a few other options for countertop materials. While they may be less commonly used, they’re just as functional, beautiful, and available.

6. Luxury

For the homeowner who wants a kitchen that’s a cut above the rest, a luxury countertop is a perfect choice.

We’ve listed it in the other category because it includes both manufactured and stone types.

Manufactured use sliced agate, crushed glass, or semi-precious stones that are placed in a clear resin. They are designed to have a high visual impact.

Glass and stones like agate come in so many different colors that these types of countertops create a bold statement in the kitchen.

Onyx countertops are an example of a rare stone type. Onyx is the luxury version of marble. It has a similar vein characteristic to the stone and comes in a variety of colors. But unlike marble, it has an often matte finish and is quite rare.

These styles of countertops are perfect for the client who wants a bold, unique, and showstopping kitchen!

7. Concrete

Concrete countertops are having a moment in home design partly because of how cost effective they are. Finishing a full kitchen with a concrete countertop can cost a few hundred dollars sometimes. We’ve even seen DIY tutorials.

Another benefit of this inexpensive option is the aesthetic. It feels perfectly in place in a farmhouse kitchen paired with warm woods and white cabinets.

A concrete countertop also works well in minimalistic style kitchens with flat front cabinets, metal barstools, and a modern chandelier.

Concrete is an industrial, modern, and economical option for homeowners.

8. Stainless Steel

Because of its industrial nature, stainless steel countertops feel right at home in modern and minimalistic homes and kitchens.

It’s also popular among aspiring home chefs because it’s a type of material commonly used in restaurant kitchens.

Homeowners can enjoy the feeling of cooking in their own professional space but in the comfort of their pajamas.

9. Wood

Wooden countertops are making a splash in eclectic and bohemian kitchens. They are perfect for the homeowner who wants a touch of nature in their space.

Edge grain is the most common type of wooden countertop. Wooden rails are laid on their edge, faces pressed together, to make a long block.

End grain is another option, where the blocks of wood are pressed together creating a checkerboard look.

Face grain is when wooden rails are laid flat and pressed side by side, running along the countertop.

Wood requires special maintenance because it’s more porous and can deteriorate if not sealed properly and regularly. It makes for a stunning aesthetic, but make sure you’re committed to the upkeep before you decide.

You Decide!

Now that you’ve got all the info, it’s time to decide!

Which one of these countertop ideas will you use in your kitchen?

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