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Journal

March 21st

Give Your Kitchen a Facelift with New Countertops

Mixing butcher block and solid surface countertops gives your kitchen a more diverse look.

It’s not necessary to completely gut-renovate a room to freshen its look. For example, just replacing your kitchen countertops can make this important space look brand-new and make it more user-friendly too.

Selecting countertops really depends on the style of your kitchen. For example, a Tuscan or traditional kitchen is perfect for granite. Look for granite that has “movement” in it due to the flowing colors, or a really pretty combination of color shades in general. Since granite is natural, every piece is unique so you should browse around to find the mixture you want.

If your style is more transitional or contemporary, think about countertops that have a clean look, unlike the busyness of granite. For example, a smooth stone might work well, or even concrete. I’ve also seen stainless steel tops. The more modern your kitchen is, the more leeway you have in selecting counters that reflect your minimalist design.

Consider mixing two types of countertops in your kitchen if you have enough surface square footage to warrant the dual look. I recently used a manufactured solid surface for my client’s main tops and then butcher block on her island, but you could also combine granite with butcher block, or two colors of the same surface type.

Granite remains a popular choice for countertops, although it is porous and does require annual upkeep.

Durability is a big issue for kitchen countertops. Although marble is my favorite because it is so beautifully dramatic, we rarely use it for counters because it is soft and stains. Instead, we might design that into the backsplash and choose a more realistic Caeserstone or Silestone (both are made from quartz, which is stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant) that will stand up to knives, spilled wine and other cooking activities. Even granite, which is durable, needs to be sealed once a year to avoid ruining its porous surface.

Butcher block is a very utilitarian choice because your counter becomes a giant cutting board. However, it does need some maintenance to retain its look, and you should be prepared for a weathered appearance as you use it over time. I especially like this top with a coastal kitchen style.

What is “out” with countertops? The 4×4 tiles we often saw in houses built in the eighties are no longer popular. That said, if you have a Spanish hacienda style of home, colorful pillowed tiles might work well, but perhaps just as a pop of color in your backsplash.

Speaking of backsplashes, I will be talking about those in a future post because they are a key design element distinctive from countertops in kitchens. Meanwhile, if we can help with choosing new countertops for your kitchen, or with any of your design needs, please contact us.