Designer SOS : Alternatives to granite countertops

Today's question is one that I am glad we are getting asked more frequently.

"Are there options other than granite that you would recommend for kitchen countertops?"

Thank you for asking!

Working in real estate, I constantly hear the request for granite countertops. I don’t get the obsession. It is overused, dated, and many buyers do not realize as a natural stone it requires some maintenance.

Two things to take into consideration when selecting countertop material: maintenance and budget. With that said, here are a few great alternatives:

Marble

Marble is elegant, timeless, and generally a relatively inexpensive natural stone.  Stands up to heat and because it is naturally cool, it is ideal for baking. However, marble is a softer stone and porous which makes it susceptible to staining. It needs to be well-sealed. A honed finish can help hide scratches that can occur.

 Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz

 Via Decorpad

Via Decorpad

 

Quartz

If you are looking for something that has the look and feel of stone but without the maintenance, then consider quartz.  Quartz is an engineered stone comprised of 93% ground quartz combined with pigments and resins to create a rock hard surface. In some designs, small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks are added to the mix. There are even some designs that look like natural stone.

quartz countertop
 Via Good Life of Design

Via Good Life of Design

 

Butcher Block

Butcher block another timeless material that adds warmth.  Durable, biodegradable and affordable, particularly compared to granite or quartz. Bi-annual sanding and oiling is recommended to protect the wood.

 Image via Ikea

Image via Ikea

 Via Eat Well 101

Via Eat Well 101

 

Concrete

Concrete offers the ability to really customize a look. It can be created into any shape, finish, and embedded with objects. Concrete is porous so requires regular sealing. Because of the labor involved, it often is not cheap.

 Via Local Noir

Via Local Noir

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a great option but usually comes with a hefty price tag. It is very durable, easy to clean, and reflects light. It can scratch easily, but for many, it just adds to the patina.  

 Via Decoist

Via Decoist

 Via Coco Cozy

Via Coco Cozy

 

Porcelain Slab

A European product gaining popularity, porcelain slabs are more durable than granite and are stain resistant. It can be used outdoors as it stands up to rain, snow and sun without deterioration. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

 Via Casalinea. This porcelain slab replicates well the look of Calcutta marble.

Via Casalinea. This porcelain slab replicates well the look of Calcutta marble.

 Via ArchiExpo

Via ArchiExpo

These are just a few options of the many alternative countertop materials. What type of counters do you have in your home, and how do you like them?