by Megan Wild
Granite used to be one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, but it looks like it is on the way out. If you want to add value to your home, it pays (literally and figuratively) to stay on top of the latest kitchen material trends.
So what choices do you have for countertop materials that are low-maintenance and stylish? There are plenty.
Quartz looks and feels like stone. It’s also low maintenance and requires no sealant. While a material like granite might be selected because of its natural beauty, quartz is more durable.
Quartz is ideal if your countertops are going to get a lot of use. So, if cooking is your thing or you have a large family, pick quartz for your counters.
2. Cultured Marble
Marble is a good choice if you are going for an elegant look. It comes in a range of colors, and you can use it for both bathroom and kitchen countertops.
Cultured marble is extremely durable and resistant to stains. Don’t think of it as plain marble, which is more porous and more difficult to maintain. Cultured marble lasts for years and doesn’t require any extra care or maintenance.
If you’re looking for one of the most inexpensive options, then you might want to go with tile. Not only is the cost low, but tile is easy to maintain, too. It also coordinates with many different styles and colors, and you can install it yourself.
You won’t have to worry about durability, either. Tile lasts a long time. The only downside — more grout lines means you’ll be cleaning more often.
Wood is perfect if you want a cottage-style décor. Think butcher block — wood is both functional and decorative. When properly sealed, wood counters are ideal for kitchen food prep, and they’re even safe for cutting raw meats.
Wood is also highly heat-resistant, so you can set hot pans right on the countertops without worry of ruining the surface. You can choose from a few different grains to get the look you want, too.
While concrete doesn’t sound like material for countertops, it is a good choice if you want an industrial look. You also have many choices in shadings, colors, and patterns to fit your décor.
As long as it is properly sealed, you should have no problems cleaning and maintaining your kitchen countertops. And since concrete is naturally resistant to weather, they are an ideal choice for outdoor kitchens.
6. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is popular in kitchen appliances today, and it’s also a common choice for countertops. It does have a more modern and industrial look, but it is simple to clean. These countertops also inhibit bacterial growth, making them ideal for the kitchen.
Metal surfaces coordinate with any color, so you should have no problem matching these countertops to your kitchen décor.
7. Recycled Countertops
If you want an eco-friendly kitchen or bathroom, consider recycled countertops. You can choose from a variety of materials, including glass, concrete, paper, plastic and composite. They are made from both post and pre-consumer products, so you can find an assortment of textures and colors.
Recycled kitchen countertops are durable, and some types are stain resistant. You may be able to find the look you want for less by choosing these over more traditional and expensive options.
This is still a new market, but you can look into the choices you have and the benefits of each.
Where Granite Stands
While granite is still a good option, it is not as popular as it once was. With all the other materials out there that vary in cost in durability, you need to educate yourself on the choices you have. Granite may not be the right material for you.
If you’re having trouble deciding, you can always ask a professional to help. This way you can make the best choices based not only on the appearance of countertop materials but also on the durability, maintenance, and longevity. Not all countertop materials work well in every kitchen, so find the one that’s best for your needs and the look you want in your home.