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    Today's countertop options are both fashionable and functional.

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Today's countertop options are both fashionable and functional.


Other Top Surfaces

Your kitchen isn't the only room where you can dazzle with beautiful countertops. Don't forget the bathrooms, laundry room and home office. Look for remnants to get the best deal on small pieces.

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  • What's Tops in Countertops?

    Find out what materials and styles are topping the charts in today's kitchen makeovers.

    by Jennifer Sellers

    Most of the hard surfaces in your home are designed for beauty. The handcrafted wood shelves in your family room draw the eye to your valued collections. And the antique buffet in your dining room is a resting place for family servingware. Your kitchen countertops, however, are much more utilitarian by design. They handle splatters, spills and knife chops—hardly a glamorous job. But there's no reason these hardworking surfaces can't also be stylish and stunning—and even add to the value of your home.

    So if you're looking to update this humble part of your décor, look into some of the latest countertop trends:


    Customized Granite

    Almost every homeowner would like granite countertops in their kitchen. And it's a feature that many homebuyers look for when they're house hunting. So it's safe to safe to say that granite countertops are a good investment. But don't think you're limited to the selection at your local home improvement store. Kitchen designers can work with independent granite dealers to offer you a more unique selection. With this option, you can actually pick out your own slab—not a showroom sample.


    Special Finishes

    Today's granite countertops come with many more options than you might imagine. A popular choice is honed granite. Another trend is "leathering." Both of these finishes offer alternatives to the shiny, reflective, fingerprint-prone look of traditional granite countertops. If you're looking for a more forgiving surface, one of these finishes might be ideal for your home.


    Other Types of Stone

    Geologically speaking, quartz falls in between marble and granite. This means it's not as hard as granite and not as soft as marble. Therefore, you get some of the benefits of both. It provides a fairly sturdy surface with a delicate look. Like granite, quartz will be right at home in your kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is better suited for bathroom counters. It's arguably the most beautiful of the three surfaces, but it is also the softest and most susceptible to staining.

    Other countertop surfaces that are growing in popularity are soapstone and concrete. Concrete countertops can even be custom stained to blend in with your kitchen's color scheme.


    Laminate Look-Alikes

    While the price of granite has been coming down, making them more affordable for the masses, laminate is still one of the most economical options. These days there are also a variety of laminate countertops that emulate stone looks.


    Don't Forget Wood

    You may have a practical surface like granite for most of your countertops, but you can create a stately, traditional look in your kitchen by using wood tops on accent areas like islands. Just remember: Wood countertops require maintenance. They need to be oiled regularly or treated with a conversion varnish to help them better stand the test of time in a hardworking kitchen.