Kitchen Countertop Materials

Consider this wide range of kitchen counter materials when designing the surface area of your dreams.
Traditional White Kitchen With Stainless Steel Island

Traditional White Kitchen With Stainless Steel Island

This traditional kitchen features white cabinets, lots of natural wood and industrial-grade stainless steel appliances.

Photo by: Peter Rymwid

Peter Rymwid

A wide variety of kitchen countertop styles, colors, textures and materials means your options are endless when choosing a surface area. A few to consider are granite, laminate, stainless steel, Corian, wood, glass and tiles.

Kitchen Countertop Alternatives

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Glowing Glass

A solid glass countertop by Glassworks, Inc., looks almost like ice, lending a cool, chic feeling to this contemporary kitchen. Although it's more expensive than other countertop materials, glass is growing in popularity for its stain resistance and sleek, dramatic style.

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Photo By: Right Angle Productions; Design By: Glassworks, Inc.

The Eco Edge

Countertops made of recycled glass are colorful, eco-friendly and durable. The artisan who fabricates these particular countertops, Dakota Surfaces, makes a weekly run to IKEA to collect broken glass from damaged furniture and housewares.

Photo By: Steve Silverman; Design By: Mackmiller Design+Build

Say Yes to Soapstone

Soapstone countertops, like the ones in this kitchen by Jarrett Design, 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.

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Photo By: Matt Villano Photography; Design By: Jarrett Design

Steely Resolve

Stainless steel countertops aren’t just for sleek modern spaces. Here, Dave Vogt of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., used the metal in a country-style kitchen, where the gleaming surface contrasts beautifully with exposed brick and the well-worn bottoms of the homeowners’ cookware. Over time, the counters may scratch and show wear – but that’s part of their charm in a space like this – and they are super durable.

Photo By: Kate Warren; Design By: Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

Auto? Correct!

How’s this for new and different? It’s glass, back-painted with blue automotive lacquer and set into a stainless-steel border by cabinetmaker Zee Design.

Photo By: Works Photography; Design By: Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design

Clean and Streamlined

Developed specifically for countertops, Granicrete has the great modern look of concrete, but is seamless and is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as being bacteria-proof and stain-proof. The waterfall edge here creates an especially sleek look, without the weight and cost of poured concrete.

Photo By: Jill Greer

Engineered for Beauty

Granicrete is also available in stone-like patterns like the one featured here, perfect in a more traditional kitchen. The surface never needs resealing as “real” concrete would.

Photo By: Jill Greer

Square Deal

Tile designer Vicki Morrow lined the countertops in this kitchen with her own, handmade ceramics. You could, of course, use purchased handmade ceramics – or even off-the-shelf squares from your local big-box store.

Photo By: Vicki Morrow

Paper Works

As its name implies, Paperstone is made of compressed paper – yet is surprisingly durable. Designer Mollyanne Sherman used it to give this colorful kitchen an eco-friendly design.

Photo By: Treve Johnson; Design By: Mollyanne Sherman

Count on Copper

A custom copper countertop and backsplash add warmth and glamour to this bar area designed by Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of HGTV's Kitchen Cousins. Copper countertops are highly germ resistant but are prone to dents and scratches. Polish it weekly to maintain its shine, or allow it to develop a patina of a burnished brown-black with green flecks.

From: Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Magnificent Marble

Counters of Calacatta Gold 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.

Wood on White

Dark-stained wood adds contrast and a country feel to this white country kitchen by Historical Concepts Architecture & Planning. Like natural granite, wood counters can vary widely in the uniformity and graining of their patterns. That variation is part of their appeal.

Photo By: Richard Leo Johnson; Design By: Historical Concepts Architecture & Planning

Blonde (Wood) Ambition

A lighter wood finish complements the midcentury look of this kitchen by Ines Hanl. The space also features gleaming stainless steel for a great modern look.

Photo By: Works Photography; Design By: The Sky is the Limit

A Twist on Granite

Love the durability of granite, but searching for a new look? The stone takes on a more modern appearance when it’s cut so that the backsplash continues the countertop pattern. “We chose this piece because it looks like a watercolor painting of the home’s exterior wooded landscape,” says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design in Victoria, BC.

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Photo By: Works Photography; Design By: The Sky is the Limit Design

Leather or Not

Leather-textured granite gives the sexy look of skin with all the durability of stone. The look is edgy and of the moment without being in-your-face.


A Growing Trend

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, as designer Lori Dennis did here with dark blue tones in a kitchen by SoCalContractor.

Photo By: Stephen Busken; Design By: Lori Dennis and SoCalContractor

Double Vision

Two countertops? Twice as nice! A center island topped with quartz by Cambria is a functional focal point in this kitchen by Denise Wenacur of DW Design & Decor, and the countertops around the room’s perimeter are solid black granite. “That mix – and those materials – represent the most current countertop trends,” Wenacur says.

Photo By: Nick Daunys; Design By: DW Design & Decor

Smorgasbord of Surfaces

And why stop at two surfaces? In this gorgeous space, perimeter countertops are Taj Mahal Quartzite, and the island combines 3-inch-thick walnut butcher’s block with 14-gauge stainless steel topped by Silver Waves marble.

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Photo By: Robert Radifera; Design By: Jim and Kay Rill of Rill Architects and Nadia and Richard Subaran of Aidan Design

Granite countertops are available in a variety of colors, ranging from creamy whites to deep grays and forest greens. Visit a home or kitchen design store and look through their selection of guides and samples to begin determining the color that will work best in your kitchen area. Ask if they allow customers to purchase or borrow samples so you can see how they'll look in your home.

Laminate countertops are another popular countertop material. Made from layers of plastic that are bonded to particleboard, these countertops are available in a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns, ranging from options that look like marble to ones that mirror the appearance of stainless steel.

Speaking of stainless steel, this countertop option can also come in a number of finishes and textures, including a brushed finish or reverse hammered surface, which looks like it's decorated with raised dots. The surface pairs well with a variety of cabinetry and themes, including white, light and dark wood, and bold colors.

Corian and solid-surface countertops are some of the most durable surfaces available on the market. The countertop is available in a variety of colors, ranging from white to fire engine red to a speckled cobalt blue. The color and pattern are consistent throughout the countertop, so it will not change its appearance with wear and tear that naturally occurs over time.

Glass, wood and ceramic tiles are a few other countertop styles that should be considered when choosing a surface that will work with your kitchen design. Be sure to keep in mind how you will be using the kitchen surface; this will help you choose the best material for your level of activity.

Kitchen Countertops

Next Up

Quartz Kitchen Countertops

Get the high-quality look of stone—without its inconsistent patterns and veins—with engineered quartz kitchen countertops.

Quartz: The New Countertop Contender

With low maintenance, high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a tempting alternative to natural stone countertops.

Kitchen Countertop Materials

Aesthetics, cost, maintenance, durability—HGTV hones in on the pros and cons of each of the top kitchen countertop materials available.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop

This hard-working surface can make a small kitchen look bigger.

Metal Countertops: Copper, Zinc and Stainless Steel

There's a reason professional chefs have relied on metal countertops for decades: they're anti-bacterial, stain resistant and add a beautiful glow to any kitchen.

Concrete Kitchen Countertop Options

Create a uniquely personal kitchen surface with the use of concrete countertops.

Granite Countertop Colors

Don't mistake granite for just any old stone—this surface is available in a variety of colors, making it a suitable option for any number of kitchen designs.

Marble Kitchen Countertop Options

Traditional and elegant, marble countertops are a prime choice for a kitchen space.

Solid Surface Countertops for the Kitchen

Marrying the strength of granite with the versatility of laminate, the solid surface countertop is a top kitchen surface choice.

The Best Kitchen Countertop for You

HGTV Magazine asks, What’s your countertop style? Find the best option for you and your kitchen, no matter how much you want to spend.

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