The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials for Antique Homes

best kitchen countertop material

Do you have an older home with character? You may be looking to update some aspects, including your kitchen countertops.

Continue reading to find the best kitchen countertop material that will give your antique home a modern twist.

Soapstone

Soapstone is a smooth, soft stone that comes in either gray, green, black, or blue-gray. 

Though its softness makes it more susceptible to staining, it’s heat-resistant, non-flammable, durable, and doesn’t react with chemicals. Soapstone is also easy to clean because it has a higher density compared to other stone countertops. To minimize stains, clean spots with acetone.

The stone can be polished for a matte look; it oxidizes after a while, so the color darkens. This transformation is important to keep in mind when choosing an initial color.

Slate

Another soft stone, slate is different from soapstone in that there is much less staining. It’s very dense and doesn’t need to be sealed, making it simple to clean. 

American-made countertops are your best bet when shopping for slate. Slate counters made outside of America are mostly too soft to stay in good condition for a long time.

The stone comes in an array of colors: greens, light red, green or gray with purple, gray, and purple.

Granite

Granite is a popular option because it’s non-porous, less easily scratched, and one of the toughest stones out there for countertops. 

There are also a ton of designs and colors to pick from, such as rainforest green, gray, gold, and mixtures of colors. Designs can have wispy swirls, spots like pebbles, lines, patches, or they can be uniform. 

Granite can also be smooth or textured. Its diversity and the fact that it’s a low maintenance countertop are the high points of this stone.

Marble 

Marble countertops definitely not tough, although it looks beautiful. It’s very porous, and reactions with acid cause etchings to form. On the other hand, there are many people who love this aged appearance.

Still, it’s important to care for the stone so it lasts as a countertop. 

Marble can either have a polished or honed finish. A polished finish will make the counter shiny and makes it more susceptible to scratches. A honed finish will make it matte, but it will stain more easily.

Quartz

Quartz is harder than granite, making it a very durable kitchen countertop. It’s non-porous, stain- and heat-resistant, and low maintenance. 

The stone comes in many colors and designs like granite. However, it is less heat-resistant than granite and, depending on where you get it from, can be more expensive.

Quartz is manufactured. Specifically, the stone is 90% quartz and 8-10% resin and pigments.

Wood

Wood is a great choice for a modern rustic theme. These countertops can be of different types of wood, such as cherry, walnut, oak, teak, and maple. You can also stain the wood blue, red, or other colors.

While it’s easy to clean, prolonged exposure to heat and water will stain and scorch the counter. One idea is to divide the countertop into sections and choose a different material for the area right around the sink and stove. This mix and match will also add a uniqueness to your kitchen.

Wood countertops do require maintenance. They have to be treated with mineral oil once a month. 

Stainless Steel

Continuing with the rustic theme, steel is another great option. 

Stainless steel countertops are durable and are low maintenance. If you don’t want to have to care for your countertop, the high price of steel may be worth it. They are also incredibly durable and, of course, don’t stain.

The only disadvantage is that, in comparison with other materials, steel will become extremely hot from too much sun exposure or heat from cooking.

Laminate

Laminate is layers of paper and resin. It seems like a simple formula and yet it can mimic so much. You can have a laminate countertop that looks just like marble, wood, rusted metal, or granite.

Laminate is cheaper than other countertop materials, but it won’t last as long. It scratches easily, is dulled by cleaners, stained by anything acidic, and isn’t heat-resistant.

These issues can be lessened by making some adjustments:

Use a cutting board rather than cutting directly on the counter. Put your hot pans and pots on a mat or trivet, and clean the laminate with water and a mild cleaner. 

Choosing the Best Kitchen Countertop Material

There are other things to consider besides material when looking for the right countertop to put in your updated kitchen. Edges are an option, and it’s important to think about theme and color scheme.

Countertop Edges

To add more detail, you can get edges for your countertop. They can anywhere from completely rounded to a rectangle shape. Here’s a list of some:

  • O’gee
  • Bullnose (o’gee, full, demi, and stepped)
  • Bevel
  • Metal
  • Normandy bead
  • Pencil
  • Tuscan curve
  • Radius
  • Straight

Bullnose, straight, and bevel edges are popular choices.

What Is the Look?

Aside from the countertop, there’s the backsplash to think about. For a sleek look, using the same material as your counter will do the trick. 

You can also change it up and mix and match materials. These are great combinations:

  • Wood and metal/rusted-looking metal
  • Slate and wood
  • Marble and wood
  • Granite and wood
  • Metal and marble
  • Slate and marble

The color scheme is important as well. If you choose certain colors, using both slate and marble won’t look balanced in your kitchen. Appealing color schemes include:

  • A pristine, all-white kitchen
  • Light or dark cabinets with a marble countertop
  • Dark-stained cabinets with a dark granite or slate, such as green or blue
  • White counter/cabinets and gray cabinets/counter
  • Stainless steel countertop and faded blue/green or light brown cabinets
  • Light-/dark-stained wood counter and white cabinets
  • Dark stone countertop with bold cabinets (red, blue, yellow)
  • Steel counter and bold colors

Also consider if you want the color scheme to complement the rest of the rooms in your house, or if you’re looking for something a little different.

Get Creative

Finding the best kitchen countertop material is a matter of weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Your vision for your antique home will also contribute to your decision. There are many countertop options to choose from, and putting your own theme in along with the counter is sure to add a modern twist that adds even more character.

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