What are the Latest Trends in Countertops?
Countertops can make or break a house.
If they’re not right or the right material, it could end the interest potential buyers have in the home. If you’re building a home it’s one of the most important decisions you make.
From kitchens to bathrooms, you have to make the right choice. Choose correctly and it improves the resale value of your home. The right selection can bring everything together – the cabinets, the floor and the backsplash. If the countertops are poor or bad quality, you don’t yourself any favors.
So what you should you choose?
What are the latest trends?
Is granite still No. 1 on the must-have list for countertops or has another material take the top spot?
To answer these questions, we asked the professionals.
Lately quartz is an affordable replacement to granite countertops for properties going for a more modern look.
I’m one of the first people-if not the first person-to bring counter top resurfacing with tinted concrete to the Southeastern Virginia region. Back in 2006 I was a professional decorative
painter on the lookout for affordable ways to resurface counters for clients and for the new home that my husband and I had purchased that needed a lot of updating on a budget. Couldn’t find anything on the market, except that
Rudd Company was developing a bonding primer to be used with SkimStone, their concrete floor resurfacing material, so that SkimStone could be used
on laminate counters, tile, and pretty much any other surface.
When they released the bonding primer to market, I jumped on it and began testing/using it in my own home and those of a few clients. Loved it! Then I developed an entire workshop around how I redesigned my own kitchen, which
included resurfacing the counters for a second time with SkimStone and creating a faux-tile backsplash with paint (the backsplash was an extension of our counters, with the laminate continuing up the wall).
The project looks as if it cost several thousand dollars but can be accomplished for less than $1,000 (back then, about $800).
This project is perfect for homeowners, contractors, landlords and home-sellers on a budget, home stagers, etc. With a little artistic skill and the right tools and knowledge/direction, almost anyone can make hideous
old counters look like gorgeous new concrete surfaces.
We still see most people in that granite and quartz world, contractor Geoff Horen said. Concrete and wood tend to be and recycled glass, tend to be what I kinda call our HGTV products. The first thing you need to ask yourself is not just how much you’re willing to spend, but how much you should spend.
Countertops are no different than any other type of remodeling project. It’s really important to assess the value of your neighborhood. You don’t want to overinvest in your house because you won’t get the return. So, for example if you have a rental property that you rent out for $1000/month, installing countertops that are $80/square foot is way too much money to invest.
You also need to determine how you’ll be using your countertops. Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Do you do a lot of cooking? Are you worried about stains or scratches? Sometimes people will say things like, ‘I want to be able to put hot pans right on my countertop.’ Well, then those people, generally speaking, need to go toward a granite product because granite has a heat tolerance of like 900 to 1,200 degrees.
When deciding on a material, ask what fits with the rest of your home’s style and design. A modern concrete countertop may look out of place in a more traditional kitchen. But remember, you don’t always have to spend more to get a superior look.
I can take a couple of laminate samples and literally set them on our granite samples and show people. They look exactly the same, Horen said. Be honest with yourself about how much maintenance you can handle. For example, porous materials like limestone and marble need sealing once a year.
I’m seeing more and more granite even in mid-level homes. It can really dress up a property and if you get connected with a good supply house you can get low level granite for bargain prices. Lower end buyers are always impressed with granite and most have no idea about the grades of granite.
Formica is also popular especially with more distinctive edges like ogee profiles. These seem to impress mid/low end buyers too, buy granite is still the sought after counter so that’s what I recommend for kitchen makeovers in all but the lowest end renos.
We are noticing an uptick in homeowners opting for high-end countertops from companies such as Cambria. Cambria countertops are starting to be preferred over marble and granite because they are lower maintenance; they don’t need to be repeatedly reconditioned and resealed. They are perfect for homeowners that actually want to cook in their kitchen.
A big trend we’ve been seeing is homeowners concreting over their existing laminate countertops. That’s right, instead of pouring their own custom countertops, they’re using thin layers of concrete over their already installed laminate countertops. This saves money and is usually used during phase 1 of a makeover while the homeowner saves up for quartz or marble countertops.
We specify and install quite a bit of quartz countertops and manly Pental quartz products. This is a line of quartz material that is private labeled for them. I find the color choices better and since they don’t have a large marketing budget like Silestone or Ceaserstone the slabs tend to be less costly. The advantage of quartz is that it has color consistency, harder than almost all granites and you can bleach it to clean without resealing the surface. The other positive for some of our clients is that they have colors similar to limestone and marbles with much less maintenance.
We are still doing a good amount of granite and many times we are honing the surface. Honing removes the sheen on the face of the slabs and brings it down to a much more matte finish.
What I see trending forward are mixing surfaces and textures. The honing I was talking about adds a certain feel of texture. We continue to mix countertop materials, one for the island and a different in the perimeter. We are also seeing more interest in hardwoods for some counter areas.
Kitchen counters need to last so keeping it simple is paramount i.e. a little texture over a lot will not annoy you as much 10 years from now. Grays, whites, offwhites, even black … with a little variety hue is always a timeless choice. As for material SILESTONE all the way … beautiful stone that doesn’t scratch or stain. It’s brilliant and not going to break the bank.
Granite is still tops here in NJ.
Corian is thought of the way Formica was when Corian came out.
Resin stones have not aged well.
Very trendy and popular especially with white cabinetry being in vogue is black honed leather finishes on granite. The wood facing is a separate piece.. This home received seven offers in the first weekend at a new high price point.
Basic granite has the cookie dough type very popular, beiges Browns and golds mixed.