you’re looking for the perfect counter for your kitchen, check out the
profiles of these popular options.
"Granite comes in almost any color of the rainbow, and every piece
is different," says Robin Swernoff of Lakeside Stoneworks in Brown
granite is durable and stain-resistant, be sure to use trivets when
taking hot dishes out of the oven, as
you would with any
"You can use
granite in contemporary, traditional and transitional kitchens,"
says Cheryl Ryan of Kitchens By Design in Elm Grove. "Lighter grays
with white and gray taupe are popular," she says, adding that for a
modern look, "solid black could be used in polished or leathered
finish," depending on your preference for high gloss or little
price per square foot (ppsf)
sure that you protect it," Swernoff says. Ryan adds that it
should be sealed with
a nontoxic sealer.
"Marble exudes elegance as well as being classic and timeless,"
"Marble can be more prone to etching by
acids and oils," Swernoff
trend in kitchens at the moment is white or gray cabinets and marble
with gray veining in contemporary homes as well as more traditional
homes," Ryan says.
She adds that
statuary marble can work in
either case, pairing it with cabinetry featuring clean lines and no
ornamentation for a modern take or in a Shaker style for a traditional
"Install it honed — which takes the polish off the surface — to
make it less prone to etching," Swernoff says. "Because it’s
more porous, sealer is important," she adds.
Variety. Much like
granite, quartz, which does not need a sealer, comes with many options.
"(You have a) wide range of choices, from speckled mirror chips
mixed into the top to a solid gray top, as well as a top with veining
similar to real stone," Ryan says, noting that quartz’s
popularity is on the uptick.
is more heat-sensitive because of a poly-resin bonding agent,"
splatter-patterned look has appeal for contemporary designs,"
Swernoff says, while Ryan adds that solid colors also lend
themselves to a modern look.
Matchmaker tip You
can find engineered quartz, which combines ground natural quartz and its
bonding material, under
other names, including Silestone and
elegant option, this metamorphic rock is hard, dense and resistant to
A small budget.
Quartzite tends to
be more expensive than your
If you value
subtlety, this is your stone. "Quartzite creates a softer, almost
translucent look," Swernoff says. "A transitional or
traditional kitchen would look stunning in Iceberg quartzite with an
eased edge detail and under-mount sink and tiled backsplash," Ryan
says. She adds that quartzite’s linear lines work well in contemporary
As with other
natural stones, use a nontoxic sealer for an extra layer of
TLC. If you treat
it well, wood can add the right kind of relationship drama to your
space, livening up a contemporary kitchen’s white walls and cabinetry,
for example. "Wood adds warmth," Ryan says.
treated like a cutting board. "It requires more maintenance and
care," Ryan says, so she suggests using it for an island. The
bonus: Wood countertops pair well with other countertops for more visual
wood could be used for a more rustic or industrial look," Ryan
says. For the eco-conscious, bamboo is another solid choice.
Natural oils are
nontoxic and make spot repairing your countertop easy, according to the
U.S. Green Building Council, which also recommends a combination of
natural oil and beeswax if you’re looking for a water-resistant