Granite, quartz, marble, concrete - there are so many relatively standard options for countertops. But what if you want something a little different?
Go exotic, and you'll never be worried about someone coming over and pointing out that they have the exact same countertop in their bathroom. Make a smart choice, and even though your upfront cost may be greater, you just might get paid back in the end.
"Indeed, unique kitchen countertops add a ‘wow' factor to your home, and just might help increase its value," said HGTV.
Gemstones and geodes imbedded in your countertop are a growing trend and one of the hottest looks in high-end kitchen design.
"If you want to turn your cooking area into something spectacular and full of color, gemstone countertops are a good place to start," said Scottsdale Design Center. "Gemstone countertops are made from semiprecious stones like Hematite, Tigers-eye, and Amethyst embedded in a resin base."
You can choose a material that can be backlit like this onyx countertop from Houzz.
Semi-precious gemstones in earth tones like this agate geode countertop.
Or in a bolder hue that reflects your style.
You can go super exotic with granite, but be prepared to pay exotic prices.
Speaking of exotic prices, neither gemstones nor granite nor any other material compares to the priciest one out there.
Pyrolave is a volcanic stone "that is extracted from a volcanic crater in central France," said This Old House. It's said to be both lightweight and durable and coated with a with a tough glass coating. Available in 32 colors, it is a whopping $370 per square foot.
Perhaps metal is a better option. Stainless steel counters have long been a favorite in the kitchen - especially for professional chefs. But today the trend is moving toward other metals, like this copper countertop that patinas naturally over time.
Or, choose recycled metal, a new trend among eco-friendly homeowners. A growing segment of the countertop market, recycled and earth-friendly materials can help create a unique and beautiful kitchen that is also respectful of the environment. These countertops are made from recycled glass.
And this stunning option from Freshome is reclaimed wood.
You can also stay eco-friendly with paper countertops.
"Paper countertops are often 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard and, as one of the biggest manufacturers, PaperStone, states, "[is] a petroleum-free resin that contains natural ingredients like cashew nut shell liquid," said Home Renovations. "Paper is the greenest of the green countertop materials."