Despite its popularity, or perhaps in light of it, more people are beginning to investigate options other than granite for their counters. Here are a few to consider:
Also a popular choice right now, quartz composites are made from stone aggregate and polymers compressed under high pressure so they are practically non-porous and as strong as natural stones with consistent colors and patterns.
Similarly and less expensive, solid surface counters by Corian are made from mineral powder blended with acrylic and sometimes polyester binders. New colors and textures are spurring this products comeback.
Wood counters add warmth and are definitely experiencing a resurgence. They also look fabulous atop islands when there’s a different material on perimeter cabinets.
Stainless steel counters are a mainstay in commercial kitchens that are being brought back into homes thanks to the foodie phenomena.
Concrete is also an option that’s generating growing interest for its versatility when it comes to shape, color and finish. Add some glass aggregate and you’ve got a beautiful terrazzo appearance or try some different colored stone to make a unique natural look.
Believe it or not, glass is fantastic counter material, especially since the thickness used in counters makes it super strong. The options for special effects from a rainbow of colors that can be painted on the back side to imbedded textures and dramatic lighting allow for a great deal of artistic expression.
While not for everyone, Cararra marble is a softer stone than granite, so it will show signs of age and wear.
Resilient and an excellent heat insulator, soapstone is a soft, non-porous natural stone that’s nearly black and adds dramatic contrast to an otherwise monotone kitchen.