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If you are looking to remodel your kitchen, where do you start? You might want to add a few more accessories and change the cabinets. But what plans do you have for the centerpiece? Yes, we are talking about the countertops. A countertop is not only the most visually appealing thing in the kitchen but is also the engine of your kitchen.
So when you are looking for a countertop for your new kitchen or adding one to remodel it, you must pay special attention to a few factors. The countertop should complement the kitchen setting and color scheme since it consumes a large space.
It should also be able to withstand high temperatures and sustain scratch and stains over time. But it can be a challenging process with a large number of styles and materials of countertops. Here’s a comprehensive list of types of countertops and their pros and cons you can choose from. Also, go through the FAQs section at the end of this article to get some valuable tips on buying countertops.
36 Gorgeous Kitchen Countertop Design Ideas
Quartz countertops are just as shiny and chic as marble countertops but much more durable. These countertops are a bit more expensive but they add a modern look when coupled with cabinets of contrasting colors as shown here.
Quartz also has a higher starting price than granite but is bound to last longer too.
-Quartz is more flexible and hence doesn’t crack easily.
-It is non-porous and won’t require much maintenance.
-Quartz needs to be protected from direct sunlight as its color can fade over time.
A grey Caesarstone countertop will add a lot of character to your kitchen and give it a modern finish. The material is easy to clean and non-porous, making it easier to maintain. It ensures that stains don’t seep in easily.
-You don’t need to wax the surface, making it an excellent one-time investment.
-You can browse endless design options in Caesarstone Quartz and trust the quality.
-Caeserstone isn’t heat resistant, unlike granite and marble which can endure high temperatures.
3. Granite Slab
Granite’s originality and richness are qualities very few other materials can match. Its intriguing texture adds a natural sheen to the overall kitchen decor. Granite slabs can become the kitchen’s centerpiece with an array of shades and textures to choose from.
You can add a built-in stove on your granite slab countertop because of the high heat resistance of the material.
-Granite slabs are stain-resistant if sealed properly and easy to maintain.
-It can endure scratches and is pretty hard.
-Granite is a bit porous and can absorb juices, wines, and oils which can cause stains. Make sure you use a good sealant to seal your countertop.
4. Granite Tile Countertop
Granite tiles are sturdier than granite slabs because they evenly distribute the weight. Having tiles instead of slabs also eliminates the risk of breaking the whole slab instead of just one tile. You need to ensure that the tiles are placed closely to eliminate grout staining. It’s a good idea to use tinted grout for a solid look.
-It’s much inexpensive than a solid granite slab.
-You can install tiles even on uneven surfaces, unlike slabs.
-You’d need professional help to install the granite tiles properly.
If beauty and appeal is your priority, you don’t have to look further. Onyx creates some of the most incredible and gorgeous countertops and backsplashes. Its translucence adds to the aesthetics but isn’t the most practical option as the material is brittle than most others.
-You’ll find endless breathtaking patterns in Onyx slabs.
-The material can crack easily and hence is best suited for the front panels rather than on the surface.
6. Carrara Marble
Carrara is a luxurious shade of iconic Italian marble which has soft contrasts including white and grey. You can also find Carrara marble slabs with honed finishes to create waterfall islands and other such customized looks. It’s a premium slab and hence more expensive than others.
-It will add a cool and relaxing vibe to your kitchen.
-Marble is vulnerable to stains, and that is the case with a Carrara marble countertop. The stains will look even dirtier on this white and grey marble.
7. Calacatta Marble
Another type of marble that lends a relaxing aura to your kitchen, Calacatta is the most sought-after marble for countertops today. The premium quality stone is imported from Italy and naturally is one of the more expensive options out there. The natural shiny color of the marble and grey or golden vein pattern exudes elegance.
-this luxurious countertop will complement almost all interiors.
-It is high maintenance and you have to protect it from stains of wine, juice, etc.
Silestone countertops are one of the most resilient surfaces because of the combination of quartz and raw materials. The surface is non-porous and extremely hard built to last long. It is available in a host of colors, but the grey Silestone countertops offer an industrial look.
The stone doesn’t need sealing, and it has a natural sheen that won’t require polishing.
-The Silestone countertop comes with a 10-year warranty and the quartz ensures it will last much longer.
-This countertop just like other Quartz varieties, can’t withstand UV rays and is limited to indoor use only.
Glass countertops are known for their elegant look and fragile nature but they aren’t as weak as you think. They are heat-resistant as well as stain-resistant. You can install lighting under the glass to make a statement and add an artistic touch to your kitchen.
-You can customize it in a host of ways to complement different settings and make a gorgeous centerpiece.
-Foods with a high acid content, if left on the countertop for too long, may cause permanent stains.
Tile countertops look excellent in a farmhouse-style setting and are much cost-effective too. You don’t need to get them cut from a large-sized stone and can instead use small, inexpensive pieces. Since they are heat resistant, they are an excellent option to put next to an oven or a gas stove.
-Cost-effective options that exude a retro-style from the 90s.
-Stains and bacteria can get into the grout, so you have to clean them regularly.
Soapstone provides a modern matte finish that exudes richness and class. These countertops fit in all kinds of settings and are pretty tough too. The surface is pretty soft and hence more crack-resistant than other modern options like quartz. It’s also non-porous and won’t stain easily.
-Soapstone is incredibly heat resistant, so you can place hot utensils directly on it.
-It doesn’t require sealing.
-It might crack if you drop heavy objects on it like cast iron cookware.
If you are looking for a rustic countertop to compliment your farmhouse-style kitchen, look no further. The gorgeous slate countertop comes in various beautiful textures, but none is better than the shades of grey. It is significantly less porous and will resist stains better than marble and granite.
-It is pretty inexpensive and can withstand outdoor light as well as heat.
-The material is brittle and may chip away over time.
Laminates are inexpensive countertops and yet provide a rich finish. As a result, you can replace the material easily if you choose to remodel or renovate your kitchen once in a while. Laminate countertops are stain and heat resistant irrespective of which brand you choose.
-Available in a host of patterns and colors.
-Cheapest of all countertop materials.
-Can get scratched easily so you should place a cutting board over it while chopping fruits and veggies.
The glossy finish and the sheer power of reflection of steel countertops make them a desirable choice in modern and industrial kitchens. On the contrary, they are expensive and susceptible to scratching and denting.
You can choose from smooth and soft options or striking mirror polish when it comes to steel.
-These countertops won’t stain or rust at all. They are very low maintenance and just a wipe would clear most stains.
-You can’t chop veggies and fruits directly on the countertop as it will cause scratches.
15. Lacquered Copper
Copper is undoubtedly one of the most durable materials and can last decades. Most copper countertops are antimicrobial too and hence ensures you work in a hygienic environment which is essential for cooking. Copper countertops will provide a rustic feel to your kitchen and they are also pretty easy to clean.
-Over time the material gets distressed which looks pretty stylish.
-Easy to clean.
-The soft metal can get scratched and dented over time.
-The material is pretty expensive.
-Acidic spills have to be cleaned up quickly.
Zinc countertops are hip and trendy, providing your kitchen with an industrial look. Although it does react with various acids, the stains will create a patina over time which some people might like. The material will change color over time and may not be ideal if you want a shiny countertop all the time.
-The material is non-porous and can easily be cleaned with soap.
-You can include decorative edges and fabricate the metal easily.
-The material is scratchable and soft so you should place a chopping board on it while cutting fruits and veggies.
Although aluminum is a soft metal not usually used to make metal countertops, designers are increasingly using it due to its gorgeous matte silver finish. These countertops are pretty inexpensive and quite resilient too. The surface doesn’t stain easily and is easy to clean using household detergents.
-Aluminum countertops are available in a variety of colors and finishes.
-The material can dent easily.
-It tends to make a lot of noise when you place utensils over it.
If you are looking to go all-natural with your kitchen decor, it would be an excellent idea to have a wooden countertop. It does take some level of effort in maintaining it, but the rustic finish is worth it. You can also create this inexpensive countertop yourself, making it an affordable option.
Place a yellowish light over your wooden countertop to add warmth to the setting.
-Affordable, can be DIYed.
-There are a variety of wooden countertops available from—maple to rich walnut and more.
-You need to oil wooden countertops monthly.
-They may get scorched as they aren’t fireproof.
Bamboo countertops look natural and exude a calming influence in your kitchen. You can remodel them in a variety of shapes and craft one yourself. As a result, bamboo countertops are incredibly affordable. The material is hard and has properties similar to wood and hence would expand in different levels of humidity and temperature.
-The material is anti-bacterial and environment friendly.
-It’s also very hard and sturdy.
-The material isn’t heat-resistant or water-resistant.
20. Reclaimed Wood
As we inch towards using green materials in our houses, reclaimed wood countertops have gained further significance. The countertop material is environment-friendly because it’s recycled. But by no means does an unfinished reclaimed wood countertop look cheap. It adds a natural look to your kitchen and helps you work in a relaxing atmosphere.
-Reclaimed wood is strong and durable because it has expanded and contracted over many years.
-It has a unique and charming look due to weathering.
-The material is more expensive than regular wood because of the effort put into creating it.
21. MDF countertop
MDF or medium-density fiberboard is engineered wood. The wood fibers used in the making of MDF give it a much smoother finish than plywood. You can also choose to put a laminate surface over this board for a shinier look.
-The use of fine fibers to craft this ensures you get smoother corners with it.
-It’s cheaper than plywood.
-The material can get stained easily.
22. Butcher Block Countertop
Butcher blocks, as the name suggests, are tough and durable. The affordable material looks warm and provides a sturdy surface. It’s effortless to cut on this surface because of the presence of straight cuts of wood.
It comes in various elegant textures and can be crafted from multiple wood types depending upon your choice.
-Tough surface that resists stains and scratches.
-You should oil the material frequently to prevent it from cracking and getting dull.
Terrazzo is a popular material in flooring but is hardly seen in countertops. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used as countertops as the material is highly resistant to heat. The material cools down very fast and doesn’t chip easily. The mosaic pattern on its surface adds a dash of vibrance to the decor too.
-It’s heat and UV resistant and can be placed under direct sunlight.
-It uses recycled material and is eco-friendly.
-The material is challenging to repair because of the presence of various materials in it.
Travertine countertops look quite elegant and are remarkably durable. The material is created by treating limestone on very high pressure and heat—this makes the countertops easier to cut. The reflective surface of a travertine countertop and its unique veining adds a delicate aesthetic to your kitchen.
-The material is inexpensive and yet aesthetically pleasing.
-The material is quite porous and susceptible to stains.
Concrete countertops are incredibly customizable surfaces, and the grey finish adds a naturally pleasing aesthetic. You can choose various textures to fit any setting—modern, rustic, contemporary, or traditional. You can add glass fibers to your concrete countertops to create unique textures and increase the material’s durability.
-Glass fiber reinforced concrete won’t crack easily.
-The countertop is vulnerable to stains but you can prevent this by applying a sealer.
Polyester is an ideal surface if you want to have a countertop with a glossy finish on a budget. These countertops are more durable than laminates despite a similar cost. The material is heat resistant, making it a convenient option for kitchens.
-High gloss finish.
-It’s available at low prices.
-The material is more brittle than natural stones and even acrylic.
– It’s vulnerable to scratches.
Epoxy is a popular material used for refinishing and can be applied on old, worn-out countertops to revitalize them. The material can be applied on most other countertop bases including ceramic, laminate, metal, etc. It helps recreate and refinish the look of your countertops at a low cost.
-Epoxy creates a lasting shine as it hardens into a solid surface.
-Provides a high gloss finish and will be resistant to scratches.
-Application is time-consuming and messy requires high-quality professionals.
-Is prone to stains, so clean any spills immediately.
White countertops will offer a minimalistic and calming feel to your kitchen. You can combine them with textures and contrast them with red or other vibrant colors to create a balanced look.
-White makes space look more spacious.
-It lends a modern as well as classic appeal and is easy to blend.
-It may get dirty quite quickly so you should be very careful when choosing the material for it.
Blue countertops add a sense of cool and calm to your kitchen decor, which is the preferred vibe for most homemakers. You can choose a glossy material for blue if you want a modern and vibrant yet balanced look.
Blue countertops don’t get dirty quickly and blend in smoothly with modern and industrial-style kitchen designs.
-Adds a calming and cool aura to the kitchen.
-Can match several other light colors.
-May not be ideal for a classy and luxurious look.
Gray countertops, like white, add a minimalistic look and a bit of serenity to your industrial kitchen design. You can choose from various shades and textures in grey, but dark matte grey has the strongest appeal. Couple it with copper-finished knobs and a sink for an exquisite look.
-Dark grey softens the look of your kitchen and doesn’t look flashy like black.
-Grey doesn’t reflect light much.
-It might look a bit dull and boring in luxurious settings.
It may not strike your imagination but black countertops actually go with appliances and decor of any color. Typically your oven, fridge, and dishwasher can be black, and the countertop adds to your setting’s boldness. You can choose a glossy black for a more glamorous finish.
-Stains and dirt are hardly visible.
-Creates a glamorous appeal.
-Doesn’t reflect light and isn’t ideal for dimly lit or small kitchens.
32. Contrasting Color
Contrasting color countertops like a combination of orange and black, white and black, red and blue, and other such varieties can lend your kitchen a bold and fashionable look. You can experiment with many contrasting colors, either in the same countertop or two adjacently placed ones.
-Offers a bold and unique look.
-Can look too flashy at times.
Typically people like a harmonious look in their kitchen with every cabinet and countertop adhering to the same color scheme. You can stand out from the crowd by choosing two-tone countertops on different sides of the kitchen. This can help you cater to other requirements like a laminate countertop for chopping and quartz for a glossy look.
-this design will add uniqueness.
-you will have two surfaces for different needs.
-can disrupt the harmony of the design.
Curved countertops are trendy and bring an element of coolness to your kitchen. It’s part of the modern kitchen and can help you use corners smoothly. It can also increase the space where it’s needed by broadening in the middle.
You can also keep chairs and make a separate counter-type bar around your curved countertop.
-Trendy and stylish.
-Allows for clever use of space.
-It’s expensive to craft and may not be very practical in some spaces.
Modern countertops are more about sleekness and minimalism than vibrance and curves. The kitchen looks more spacious, and the edges are pretty sharp and straight. To get a modern industrial look, dark matte-colored countertops are your best bet. Quartz or granite exudes that modern vibe more than marble or laminate.
-Gives a sophisticated finish.
-Doesn’t provide a natural vibe.
A patterned countertop adds a natural touch to your kitchen. The unique patterns make an otherwise dull kitchen seem lively. Moreover, naturally patterned countertops are tough and durable because of the years of heat resistance. Stains are hardly visible and tend to blend in patterned countertops too. They don’t require polishing as the patterns are natural.
-Doesn’t require polishing.
-Stains aren’t visible.
-Doesn’t suit minimal kitchen decor.
What is the latest trend in kitchen countertops?
Quartz is undoubtedly the latest sensation among countertops because of its striking glossy finish and durability. The material is non-porous and extremely stain resistant, making it a hygienic and long-lasting option.
What is the most affordable kitchen counter?
Laminates are the most affordable type of countertops, yet it’s hard to distinguish premium quality laminate from quartz. They are stain-resistant too but they can’t withstand very high temperatures. If you want your countertop to last a few years and look glossy, laminates are an excellent choice.
What is the easiest countertop to maintain?
Quartz is by a mile the most low-maintenance countertop because of its non-porous nature. The naturally shiny stone doesn’t need any repolishing either. It’s scratch resistant and will withstand most stains, excluding bleach and nail polish remover, which might damage the resin used in them.
Should countertops be darker than the floor?
If you are looking to create a modern design, you can have a darker countertop and a lighter floor. You can also make it vice versa, but avoid bringing in too much contrast if you are going for a natural and rustic feel.
How do I choose a countertop color?
You should consider the kind of vibe you want your kitchen to exude. For a rich and subtly sophisticated feel, go for veiny patterns of white. While patterned white looks elegant, pure white fits in industrial and modern settings.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to go strictly by the current color scheme around the kitchen as that might change while your countertop won’t.
Should countertops match floors or cabinets?
No, matching countertops and cabinets or floors can make the color scheme too monotonous and clinical. If you want them to be of the same color, consider adding accents of other shades with the help of accessories like lamps, appliances, handles, and knobs.
Always keep in mind that the kitchen countertop is a long-term investment. So you shouldn’t go for material that you may regret later. Choose an adaptable countertop that will be worth investing in.