I love granite just as much as the next person, but I feel like it has trapped people into thinking it is the only option for a countertop. Occasionally when I am flipping through channels I will land on one of those house hunter shows. I am amazed at how many people will pass on a house merely because there is not granite. It almost makes me sad! There are SO many great products out there, here are just a few!
Solid surfacing is one of my favorite products out there. A lot of people will recognize this better by a brand name like Corian. Basically, solid surface is a material combining two main ingredients: a natural mineral and a resin to bind it together. The way it is made allows it to have some awesome properties. One thing that is great about it is the fact that it is nonporous This means that it easily resists water and stains, and doesn’t promote bacteria growth, making it a perfect option for kitchens and bathrooms (think of all that bacteria! Yikes!). Another great thing is that the color is throughout the thickness of the material, which means it is easy to hide scratches and dents. This also means that the color can be really pure and bold. Some brands, such as Swanstone, are even considered to be sustainable because of the durability and process in which the product is made.
Marble is one of those materials that just screams luxury! It is a great option if you want that natural look of stone, but there are a few things to be aware of before installing marble. One major concern with marble is that it is very porous and can stain easily, especially with acidic foods like tomato sauce. This means you might consider having a marble island in the kitchen, which is GREAT for baking, and choose a different material for the rest of the countertops. It is also easily scratched and pretty fragile, so it may not be the best if you have a ton of kids around. But if you are willing to put a little more work into maintenance then it is a gorgeous option!
Laminate is a great option for countertops on a budget. The quality and pattern options are so much better than they used to be. You are able to get the look of a natural stone (or any other pattern for that matter) for a fraction of the price. The main downside to laminate is that since it is laminate bonded to particle board, if you get any dings in it then it will be pretty noticeable. But there are endless possibilities with laminate, definitely worth taking a look at!
I feel like I have seen wood butcher block countertops popping up all over the place as a recent trend. Wood is a great way to add a natural feel to the space. Like marble, I would be hesitant to do it in an entire kitchen or bathroom since it can pretty easily absorb bacteria. But it would also work great as an island or bar top. Another bonus is that it is an eco-friendly choice since wood is a renewable resource.
Concrete is another fun surface that I feel like I have seen a lot of lately. Once thing that is great about concrete is the fact that it is often cast-in-place which means you can get really custom with it. With it being custom you can even add sinks or other features as part of the actual countertop (try doing THAT with granite….you can’t). There are a ton of color options and you can go from more of a honed dull finish, all the way to a super high gloss finish.