Beyond Granite: 20 Kitchen Countertop Alternatives
Stuck in a countertop rut? Explore your options beyond the typical granite and laminate, from unusual materials like glass and metal to more traditional choices like marble and wood.
Photo By: Caitlin Murray
Photo By: Robert Radifera; Design By: Jim and Kay Rill of Rill Architects and Nadia and Richard Subaran of Aidan Design
Photo By: Chris Amaral
Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson; Design By: Historical Concepts Architecture & Planning
Photo By: Jeff Herr Photography
Photo By: Amanda Kirkpatrick
Photo By: Giani
Photo By: Lincoln Barbour
Photo By: Jill Greer
Photo By: Jill Greer
© Photography by Aaron Leitz
Photo By: Kate Warren; Design By: Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images
Photo By: Emilee Ramsier
Photo By: BREVIN BLACH
Photo By: Nick Daunys; Design By: DW Design & Decor
Photo By: Treve Johnson; Design By: Mollyanne Sherman
One of the most popular countertop surfaces today, engineered quartz is versatile and durable. Its nearly endless range of color options allows you to visually tie an open kitchen to the surrounding living spaces like designer Caitlin Murray did here.
Smorgasbord of Surfaces
For a warm, cottage kitchen look, opt for butcher-block-style wood countertops. Both decorative and functional, this hardworking surface is ideal for food prep — properly sealed, wood countertops are sanitary even for chopping meat. Unlike other budget-friendly options, like laminate, wood is highly heat-resistant so you don't have to worry about putting hot pots and pans on the surface.
Wood on White
Counters of Carrara marble with a polished top function as beautifully as they look. While marble has a rep for being high maintenance, it can age beautifully with a little care – and nothing beats it for rolling out pastry dough.
A stunning twist on the traditional, the green marble finish in this renovated farmhouse kitchen extends to the deep apron sink, creating a continuous line that's echoed on the insides of the window casings. The overall effect is crisp and fresh, giving the space modern punch that ties in with the home's contemporary flair.
Giani stone paint is a sealant that completely and totally overhauls the look of any countertop. It can be used on anything from laminate to butchers block to primed and painted wood, and because it is a finish itself, it should only have to be redone if the surface is ever chipped or damaged.
Concrete countertops are highly customizable — you can choose any stain color and texture. Concrete mixes well with many different materials, such as glass, tile and marble to create a one-of-a-kind look. Aside from its eye-pleasing appearance, it is energy efficient — when the temperature in your home rises, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down.
The Eco Edge - Recycled Countertops
Countertops made of recycled glass are colorful, eco-friendly and durable. See more of this recycled kitchen update >>
Clean and Streamlined
Engineered for Beauty
Say Yes to Soapstone
Soapstone countertops offer a soft look but can also look great in a sleek, modern space. Though pricier than some other countertop options, soapstone is environmentally friendly and durable, offering significant value. Unlike other natural stones, it doesn't require yearly sealing but regular applications of mineral oil will help to disguise any surface scratches, add sheen and deepen the stone's color over time.
Tile countertops are a great choice if you want an inexpensive material that's easy to maintain. Opt for handmade ceramics or even off-the-shelf squares from your local big-box store.
A solid glass countertop looks almost like ice, lending a cool, chic feeling to this energetic kitchen. Although it's more expensive than other countertop materials, glass is growing in popularity for its stain resistance and sleek, dramatic style.
Count on Copper
Leather or Not
Wow With Walnut
Here, designer Amy Darooge used rustic materials to create a coherent style throughout. She chose distressed wood cabinetry, a copper sink and faucet, and “the material on the counter is walnut with a live ledge,” she says.