Granite is still the big dog in kitchen countertops, and the No. 1 most requested material when it comes to kitchen remodels. Color options for granite range from super neutral (grays, whites, tans and golds) to super bold reds and blues. Prices range as well. "Expect granite countertop prices to range between $45 and $200 per square foot, including installation," said HGTV.
Deals can be had (make sure to check with your local stores). Lower-cost granites will typically include colors and patterns that may not be the most desirable or that are overstocks; be aware when pricing seems too good to be true that you are not getting an inferior product or a depth of granite that is insufficient.
Trends in granite today are moving away from the typical polished stone look and toward alternative looks. "Specialty finishes like flamed, brushed, leathered and honed are giving even the most common granites a new life," said Houzz.
There was a time when tile countertops were popular…however that time has passed. Unless the home is Spanish style and the countertop is intended as an homage to authentic Spanish villas with hand-painted tile, it's probably best to stay away today. Is tile a penny-saver? Sure. But when you go to sell your home, it might also be a buyer-keeper-awayer.
For its clean lines and modern aesthetic, concrete has gained in popularity inside the home, on floors and on kitchen countertops. Concrete counters can be stained stamped, or left stark depending on taste. Costs tends to be about "$65-$135 per square foot for a standard 1.5-inch thick concrete countertop," said Concrete Network. Want to do it yourself? Check out a tutorial here.
For something a little different, recycled glass countertops are a growing option. Companies like Vetrazzo use recycled glass and bottles to create countertops that are as cool to look at as they friendly to the environment. Expect to pay between $50–80 a square foot for materials alone.
Quartz is the hottest material in countertops right now, gaining on granite thanks to the incredible array of colors and patterns and durability that surpasses granite. "People have been predicting granite's demise for years, despite the enduring love for the material said MSN. Added designer Neil Kelly: "Granite has been dethroned. While granite isn't going away and still has many die-hard fans, the new king of countertops will be quartz composite -- the closest thing to no maintenance, bullet-proof countertop materials available today. Because quartz has a manmade component, it comes in a dizzying array of options. Trends today include sleek white and gray counters and those with large gems and those that mimic the look of granite, like this radiant quartz.
And check out porecelain, glass, acrylic, and Richlite, "a blend of wood pulp and polymers that's as resilient as it is sustainable," on Houzz.
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Pros: Each slab is unique, hard, durable, scratch-resistant, impervious to stains, heat, and water when sealed, relatively easy to clean, comes in all colors, still highly covetable with an even higher resale value.
Cons: Expensive, heavy, needs annual resealing, ubiquitous, "granite fatigue."