Shake Up Your
Kitchen Countertop

There was a time when granite seemed like the only go-to material for countertops. But recently we're seeing a shift as more materials are edging their way onto the radar of homeowners and designers. From soapstone to concrete, there are several stylish alternatives to granite if you're looking to change things up in your kitchen.

6 Unexpected kitchen countertop trends for 2014

HGTV star Jonathan Scott has been noticing this shift away from granite. "Everybody used to only talk about granite and stainless steel; we're seeing that people are now realizing there's a lot more out there," he explains. "We're seeing a lot of different countertops, like quartz countertops, and we're seeing, actually, the revival of white appliances, really cool, glass, glossy white appliances, so we've seen a few changes there."

1

Quartz

Quartz countertop

One of the most popular alternatives to granite countertops is quartz. The sturdy yet stylish material for your kitchen is a great option for busy families. Quartz is extremely hard and durable, making it a long-lasting choice. We love the glossy sheen (although this look won't work with all kitchens), and we especially love how easy to clean quartz can be (mild soap with water does the trick). It also comes in a range of colors and doesn't require sealing or resealing. The downside? Quartz is heavy, and it isn't as heat tolerant as some other materials. Contact Caesarstone for pricing.

2

Soapstone

Soapstone countertop

If you haven't thought about soapstone when it comes to countertops, now is the time. We love the idea of having a soapstone countertop for a variety of reasons, the first being how sleek they look and how seamlessly they work into most kitchen decor. Soapstone countertops are also not affected by acids (lemon juice, vinegar), which means if you spill, those items won't stain like they might a concrete countertop. They're also heat resistant, and scratches and scrapes can be etched away. However, soapstone counters do require maintenance in the form of regular oiling and buffing. This material is also not as heat resistant as granite, so it can be susceptible to noticeable scratches. Contact Vermont Soapstone for pricing.

3

Concrete

Concrete countertop

One countertop that you're sure to see more of as 2014 begins is the concrete countertop, which is growing increasingly popular — with good reason. These eye-catching countertops are durable and scratch and heat resistant (if you seal them properly), and you can customize things like shape and texture depending on the look you're going for and how you want the counter to fit into your kitchen's overall design. Some drawbacks include the sheer weight of a concrete countertop (they are heavy), plus they are susceptible to stains and other damage from acids such as orange juice. Contact Speck USA for pricing.

4

Glass

Glass countertop

Over the past few years, glass countertops (and also recycled glass countertops) have been increasing in popularity, and we're not surprised to see them popping up in more and more homes. They create a modern yet timeless look that works in kitchens of all sizes. Glass counters also create a statement without taking away from the overall design of your space. They are very heat resistant and don't stain easily, not to mention that because they're nonporous, they tend to be very hygienic. The downside to glass is that it can crack or chip, plus fingerprints are highly visible — an even bigger problem if you've got kids. Contact ThinkGlass for pricing.

5

Stainless steel

Stainless steel countertop

You likely have or have had a series of stainless steel appliances — why not a countertop, too? Stainless steel countertops have been coming into their own for a variety of reasons, including their capacity to resist both stains and heat. The fact that they are nonporous makes them hygienic and easy to clean, but like glass, they too show every single fingerprint. Stainless steel can also be susceptible to dings and scratches. Contact Ridalco for pricing.

6

Lava stone

Lava stone

One of the newer kids on the countertop block, lava stone is garnering its fair share of attention. We love the glossy sheen you can opt for (or choose matte) and the wide variety of colors. Lava stone is also nonporous like glass and stainless steel and is almost impervious to stains, heat and scratches. But because it's newer, it's one of the more expensive options. Contact Pyrolave for pricing.

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Tags: countertops

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Comments

Comments on "6 Unexpected kitchen countertop trends for 2014"

Bea April 05, 2014 | 12:48 PM

I've had Corian in my homes since the first house I built in 1979. I love the solid white, and have had it installed in both my kitchens and baths. I've had the seamless sinks in kitchen and baths as well as the tub surround. I never get tired of it, no matter what other changes I've made. I'm so glad that we are finally seeing a trend away from granite and stainless steel. Those are great classic looks, but when everyone has the same thing it's not as special. I've also seen lots of wood surfaces and even some new eco-friendly counter products made of bamboo.

Renee January 22, 2014 | 1:19 PM

I would encourage anyone looking at these products to look to Corian as an option. I have had it in my last two homes and wouldn't choose anything else. There are so many things that you can do with this product, thick edges on the island (I have a table with a rock-face edge), sinks (I LOVE my Corian sink), backsplashes, etc. Any minor scratches that occur have always taken care of themselves with routine cleaning - however, I have the peace of mind knowing that if I need or want it professionally buffed out, I can do this and my tops will look like new again.

Cheryl January 18, 2014 | 9:35 AM

I would advise anyone to stay away from the Corian brand of solid surface materials. I had it installed in my new kitchen and have had many problems with it, such as separating at the seams, dull and gritty finish, and wavy top. DuPont will not stand behind their product or their certified installers. I am stuck with a $5,000 countertop that looks and feels horrible. I had another brand of solid surface prior to the Corian and loved it. Unfortunately that company no longer makes countertop materials.

Catherine Harris January 12, 2014 | 9:15 PM

I would encourage you to take another look at Corian, I had it in my last two homes and loved it. My designer told me their looks had gotten tired and I went with a stone product. Now after living with stone for three years we are shopping for a replacement. I went to a showroom and the first thing I looked at was the new corian. . My husband tells me that one cabinet has to come out and that means the crown molding could get damaged.

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