Design Tip: Understanding Counter Tops

When it comes to counter tops, granite is quite common but it’s not your only choice. There are several other great natural and manmade options that you can use depending on your aesthetic and use.

Natural Options

Source  IMEX Stone

Source IMEX Stone


Quartzite is the strongest of the natural options, generally requires very little upkeep and tends to have a very linear design. It’s a great option for kitchens and bathrooms, especially when wanting a white countertop option that generally is not available in granite.


Granite is a very popular choice for both kitchen and bathrooms due to its strength and generally easy upkeep. Its design is very organic and it comes it many different colors.

Source  Decor Pad

Source Decor Pad


Marble is easily recognizable by the veining. In Europe, the marks and stains that form over time create a much sought after patina. Because it requires more care and can scratch or stain easily, it’s not ideal for use in the kitchen mainly for aesthetic reasons. Applying a sealer once a year can help mitigate issues. If you’re looking to incorporate marble into your kitchen, a great option would be to use it as an accent tabletop as seen in our Belgium Influence Project.


Limestone is the weakest of the natural stones and also requires more care and attention, so it’s not recommended for use in the kitchen. It would be a great option in an bar area or outside kitchen. Although limestone is porous, if used in a thick format on a pool coping with a waterfall edge, it can be spectacular.

Manmade Options

Source  Classique

Source Classique


Porcelain is one of the newest counter top materials and is ideal for creating a light and bright kitchen. As technology and techniques advance, don't think of your typical 1980's pocelain sink chipping, as these slabs are made to be stain and impact resistant.

Source  Decoist

Source Decoist

Solid Compact Surface

Solid compact surface can be used in both kitchens and bathrooms, is very durable and easy to clean. They aren’t as heat resistant as natural stone or quartz, but is a great substitute for stone and perfect for busy families. 

Source  Cambria

Source Cambria


Quartz, a man made version of Quartzite, comes in a variety of colors or patterns and is ideal in the kitchen due to its durability over natural counter tops. It's not as natural looking as stone, but it stands up to stains and cleanliness while giving an upscale look with low maintenance. The polish on Quartz can scratch and the resin can fade.

Source  Residence

Source Residence


Concrete is a great option for those wanting to customize their counters. It can be custom formed and pigmented and used in all inside and outside applications. These counters can stain easily, so be sure to have them sealed on a regular basis.

Source  Becki Owens

Butcher Block

Butcher block is the weakest of the manmade options, but with proper sealing techniques it is an excellent work surface for those who do a lot of baking or food preparation. If you are looking for an Old World aesthetic to your kitchen, then nothing beats using butcher block!

We are so excited to be sharing a fabulous new counter top with you soon! Check out this video to get a sneak peek and let us know what you think about in the comments below.