5 Stylish and Affordable Alternatives to Classic Granite
In 2018, homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to kitchen countertop materials. If it’s been at least 15 years since you renovated a kitchen or looked at the newest trends in homes on the market, you might still be thinking your options are fairly limited and that granite is the most popular—and therefore best—material option. Well, it turns out the times have changed. According to Houzz, granite is on a three-year decline in popularity, with fewer and fewer people choosing the classic standby for their newly renovated kitchens.
Granite became such a popular material in the 1980s and ‘90s for good reason: It’s durable, comes in countless colors and patterns, and is fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to pricing. So what are homeowners opting for if they aren’t putting granite in their kitchens? Below, 5 stylish and affordable alternatives to classic granite that are trending in kitchens across the country.
Quartz is an engineered stone, meaning it’s manufactured by human beings instead of nature, and as a result, is extremely durable and easy to manipulate when it comes to color and veining in the stone. Like any countertop material, there is a range in price for engineered quartz, but it typically ranges from $60 to $150 per square foot. As this material becomes more popular (it’s the most popular material choice of 2018, according to Houzz), we’ll likely see more varieties of the stone. While quartz can be appreciated for its consistent pattern and color (no fear about not being able to match two edges), there are now more shades of the stone being created that have abnormal and asymmetrical veins to better mimic natural stone.
Butcher block wood countertops are nothing new, but they have gained popularity in the past decade, especially as a good pairing with white cabinets for a farmhouse style kitchen. Wood countertops can start fairly cheaply (around $40/square foot) and increase depending on the type of wood and thickness of the counter you choose. Wood isn’t quite as durable as an engineered stone (it can stain and needs to be oiled regularly), but it will put up with a lot, and is an especially great accent material for an island if you don’t want to stick with just one material./p>
Concrete counters lend a modern, industrial feel to your space, but can be <surprisingly versatile with different design styles. In the same way they’ve become a popular flooring material, concrete countertops can be stained or stamped to create a unique finished look that won’t remind you of sidewalks in the least. Concrete isn’t the cheapest granite alternative, with costs starting around $75 per square foot, but when sealed properly, it can be a long-lasting, durable material for a heavy-duty kitchen.
Soapstone is another natural stone that comes in essentially only one color family: a dark grey-black with varying amounts of white veining in it. If you’re interested in dark countertops, soapstone can be a beautiful alternative to granite. It’s a great material for kitchens since it’s heat- and stain-resistant, but as a softer stone, can be a bit susceptible to chips.
You may think that marble is an unattainable material for your kitchen, but not every type of marble is priced the same. Some types of carrara marble (a very popular shade that’s fairly white with grey veining) start at just $40 per square foot. There are of course higher-priced marbles that are sure to stun. All marble tends to be pretty high maintenance though. If not properly cared for, marble can stain. But if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, you’ll be sure to have your marble countertops for a long time.