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Designers Dish on Their Top Materials for Kitchen Countertops (5 photos)

Engineered or natural stone? Thin or thick slabs? Solid or patterned? When it comes to selecting kitchen countertops, the choices are seemingly endless. That’s why we asked design professionals across the country to tell us which type of kitchen countertop materials they’re using the most and why. Read on to discover their choices, why they think they’re popular now and how long they think they’ll stay that way.

Oakland LoftCillesa Interior Design & Space Planning
Solid-Color Quartz

Designer Jennifer Gilmer notes that engineered quartz is among the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens, and she sees the trend moving in the direction of solid colors. “The fake granite and marble looks are already starting to feel dated,” she says.

Quartz is also a winning kitchen countertop material for designer Cillesa Ullman because it’s “hassle-free, durable and requires no maintenance.” She especially likes solid white quartz counters as a way to balance colorful cabinets, as it does in this Oakland, California, kitchen.

Dream Kitchen - Glen Ellyn, ILThe Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn
Designer Susan Klimala of The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn is also a fan of using quartz counters in her kitchen projects and believes it’s a trend that will last. “Quartz is low-maintenance and adds a nice, clean backdrop for the other elements being used in the space,” she says.

Klimala used a mostly solid black quartz for the countertops in this kitchen in the Chicago suburbs.


While engineered quartz may be the more common countertop material request, designer Kate Roos sees another material on the rise. “For a few years now, quartzite has been gaining popularity with many of my clients,” she says. “They want a natural stone but don’t care for the look of granite or the maintenance and sensitivity of marble. Quartzite is the perfect option.”

Roos is particularly fond of the dark and creamy swirls of Fusion quartzite, which she used for the countertops in this Minneapolis kitchen.

Modern FarmhouseSouth Hill Interiors
If you really want a countertop that mimics the look of marble, designer Barbara Milner of South Hill Interiors says quartzite is the way to go. “With its marble looks and granite toughness, it’s hard to imagine that quartzite will fade away anytime soon,” she says.

Milner used a marble-look quartzite for the counters in this Toronto kitchen. “Natural stone with prominent veining is trending in kitchen remodels as a statement piece in the room,” she says.
Bend Oregon Kitchen Addition and RemodelKaren Smuland Architect, LLC
Chunky Edges

While designers offered up quartz, quartzite and other materials as their go-to kitchen countertop materials, almost all of them see thick slabs with chunky edges as the way to get the most impact from whichever material you choose.

Architect Karen Smuland loves to use thick concrete countertops in her kitchen projects, such as this one in Bend, Oregon. “I’ve been using thick concrete for kitchen countertops for more than 20 years,” she says. “I prefer a matte finish because it’s easily cleaned and doesn’t show fingerprints and smudges.”

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