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Counter Culture: Beyond Granite

G

ranite has long been
the gold standard
in kitchen countertops.
But as homeowners look
for options with less
maintenance and more
sustainability, granite’s
reputation is cracking.
If you’re looking for a new
countertop, here are some
options other than granite
to consider.

Quartz
OK, get the visions of shiny rocks
out of your head. Unlike granite,
most quartz countertops are
actually engineered out of lots
of things and not a solid piece of
stone. So, yes, it can look like a
rock. But it can also look like wood
or come in a variety of stunningly
modern and chic colors. There’s
also no resealing and it may have
a smaller environmental impact
than your solid chunk of granite,
depending on your fabricator and
location.

looking for, maybe go another
route.

concrete

Butcher Block

Metal

While wooden countertops take
hits on sustainability and low
maintenance, they get lots of points
for style. And, once you know the
proper maintenance for your wood,
it may be easier than you think.
If you’re still a little scared of caring
for it, consider making just one
section of countertop butcher
block and choosing another,
more low-maintenance,
material for the rest.

Metallics have been big for a while
now, and their durable, non-porous
nature makes them a good choice
for countertops. Think: restaurants.
Stainless steel is the traditional
choice here, but you can also
go for a warm copper or even
bronze. You’ll need to polish these
countertops regularly, as all of them
but stainless steel will eventually
develop a patina. You’ll also need
to be OK with scratches and scuffs.
All of these things build beautiful
character, but if it’s perfection you’re

You read that correctly. Your favorite
driveway substrate is coming to
a countertop near you. While it’s
heavy (so is granite), it can be
customized in a variety of colors and
textures to look like natural stone
or be embossed with a pattern of
your choosing. And, of course, it’s
right at home if you’re going for an
industrial look. Consider, though,
that it may crack as your home
settles and may also require some
maintenance, depending on your
finishes. The good news is that
imperfections, nicks and cracks are
generally pretty easy to fix.

tIle
Tried and true tile is also available
in a variety of options and, if you
have bad memories of replacing
cracked tiles past, today’s materials
are harder than ever before. Some
considerations to take into account
are grout, which is porous and
may harbor kitchen bacteria, and
sealants. And, yeah, keep a few back
for replacements, if needed.

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