An abundance of options may be the most significant trend when it comes to kitchen and bathroom countertops. While this means that homeowners have more aesthetic choices now than ever before, functional considerations are still important too. Selecting a material that as durable and easy to maintain as it is attractive ensures that the countertop will be pleasing over the long term. No material delivers functionality and beauty like stone.
A Preference for Stone
Stone remains the benchmark for durability and style. Almost three times stronger than cement, granite is the most durable choice. The widespread popularity of granite over the last decade, however, appears to be waning. Increasingly, homeowners are opting for a stone that gives their home a unique, distinctive look, such as soapstone, limestone or marble.
While marble requires a bit more maintenance than denser stones like granite and slate, marble has a classic, timeless look that is hugely appealing. The newest trend in stone countertops is quartz. This fabricated stone is made from a mix of 95 percent natural stone and 5 percent polymer resin. The result is a material that has the look and feel of stone but is harder and easier to maintain.
Marble Slab Island
Thick Granite Slab
Through Thick and Thin
Until recently, the standard thickness for countertops was 3/4-inch thick to 1 1/2-inch thick. New materials and new manufacturing processes are offering more options. Some homeowners prefer the heft and look of thicker countertops, choosing thicknesses up to 2 1/4 inches. Others feel that thin counters are best, especially for smaller kitchens and bathrooms.
A polished finish is easier to maintain but can darken the look of the stone. Honed finishes have a softer, matte look that is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. Satin finishes fall between polished and honed.
2″ Thick Quartz Kitchen Countertop
Some Modern Kitchen Designs Use Metal Countertops