Kitchen countertops are essential in any kitchen. It can hardly function as one without them. However, kitchen countertops are more than a functional component. It has a deep impact on the design of the kitchen as well, mostly because they usually dominate the space together with kitchen cabinets.
Since it is so important for kitchen design, it makes a lot of sense to devote some time and effort in choosing the right materials and finish for kitchen countertops. These 6 trending designs should be a great resource for homeowners looking to make the most of their investment in kitchen countertops.
1. Quartz countertops is a top contender
Quartz countertops are manmade or engineered stone, originally developed to provide a viable option to natural stones, particularly granite. Granite had been the top favorite for kitchen countertops for decades, and a good number of homeowners continue to prefer it for its looks and durability. However, granite is porous, and quartz stone is not, which is the one of the biggest edge it has.
While sealing granite regularly does address this issue, many homeowners would much rather not bother with that added maintenance requirement. They choose quartz countertops instead, and this has been a growing trend ever since top quartz stone brands went mainstream in the late 1990s.
Today, quartz is a top contender for countertop material choice, given that it can quite successfully mimic the look of granite for those that want it. In addition, engineered quartz stone is available in a much wider variety of colors and designs, and on demand. This is not true for natural stones, which depends on the supply from quarries, many of which are from overseas.
2. Other finishes provide interest
The most common finish for kitchen countertops is polished, but it is certainly not the only one. Honed and textured finishes has lately enjoyed some popularity in line with the tactile design movement.
A honed finish is technically a look rather than a texture because it is still smooth. It has a lot less shine than a polished finish, so it has very little reflective effects. Some people find it dull, but it can look quite elegant and understated.
A leathered finish also has its fans in the design community because it provides a different look and experience from the usual smooth countertop, not the least of which is camouflaging stains and fingerprints to a nicety. It somehow enhances the natural look of stone, making it look both rugged and sophisticated at the same time. The leather finish is an interesting choice if you want to add a bit more depth in the kitchen.
Both natural stones and engineered quartz come in other textures, although it is worth noting that only selected kinds of engineered quartz are available in non-polished textures. If you want more flexibility in this aspect, you may have better luck with granite.
3. Character lines
Some designers favor the minimalist look, so they favored sleek and almost featureless countertops and cabinets. While these may look intriguing in design magazines, most homeowners prefer to integrate some character in the kitchens in which they spend a lot of time.
To achieve this, you may want to choose countertops with distinctive patterns and veins. For a truly dramatic flair, choose stones with darker veins and bolder patterns.
This is inherent in natural stones, especially in marble and some granite slabs. If you prefer quartz countertops, you will certainly find the right type of patterns and size of veins that cater to your personal design preferences.
However, if you choose to go down this route, you need to make sure the slabs you choose will integrate with the rest of your kitchen. If you are planning a major kitchen renovation, choose the countertops first and choose the rest of the color scheme to match or complement the stone design you chose.
4. Full sink-integration
An interesting development in kitchen design is the growing popularity of integrated sinks. These are sinks made of the same material as the countertops, which makes the sink blend in seamlessly. In some cases, the sinks are actually built into the countertops, so they are one, sleek piece.
It is certainly a chic and modern take on the perennial sink-countertop pairing, but more importantly, it makes practical sense. A separate sink of a different material is a source of maintenance issues. The areas where the sinks and counters meet are potential repositories of food bits, dirty water, and sludge-producing soap that are almost impossible to remove. A fully integrated sink eliminates that problem altogether.
Generally, an integrated sink is more expensive than a regular sink, and the models available are somewhat limited. However, if these are not major issues for you, you should seriously think about this into for your new kitchen countertops.
5. Neutrals takes sides
Previously recommended when flipping a home for immediate sale, neutral colors are actually gaining steam as a trend today in kitchen design. It replaces bolder, brighter colors that dominated the in previous years.
This should be a relief for many homeowners that would rather not commit too strongly to a particular trend, because it can be hard to recover from that when it passes. Soft hues such as gray, beige, brown, and pale blue are much more laid-back and versatile, opening an infinity of design possibilities, so they are an excellent choice for background-setting kitchen countertops.
Natural stones fit particularly well for this trend, as the most common ones available are usually neutral. That said, more options are available with quartz stones, so it is entirely up to your personal preference.
6. Natural is in
While technically not a countertop trend, the shift to a preference for natural light sources does have some impact on the material choice. Homeowners are increasingly making it easy for natural light to come into the kitchen with skylights, glass doors, and extra large windows.
Because of this, you should know that you might not want to choose dark quartz stone for your kitchen countertops. Dark colored quartz countertops tend to fade with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, so that is not good. Choose light colored quartz countertops, or natural stone countertops. Sunlight has no effect on the color quality of granite and marble.
Find the right kitchen countertops for you
If you are ready to make your choices, the next step is to go to a reputable countertop company. You need one that is reliable, and with the experience and skill necessary to fabricate and install your stones. KNC Granite is just the one for you.
We have a large array of granite slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
We are also experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities, and specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects. We deliver on time and on budget.
Aside from natural stones, we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties. Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.