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Counter Intuitive: 2013 Stone Trends in Kitchen Countertops

Since 1979, Brian Binns of The Kitchen Place has been remodelling kitchens. He recently revealed some of the current stone trends in countertop materials and what to think about before you invest in your new kitchen decor lift.


In many colours and patterns, granite makes a statement, but it can be noisy… and hard on breakables. Natural stone can become stained or etched if not wiped immediately, so think about the traffic in your kitchen living space.

Also, re-sealing (waterproofing) every six months is recommended. Granite is ‘green’—when discarded, it returns to nature in its original form. Price varies with source. $75 to $225/sq. ft.

Marble, limestone and soapstone are also eye-catching, natural-stone countertop options. $90 to $100/sq. ft.

Engineered quartz & other stone

Multi-sized stone pieces, colouring, and binding materials undergo pressure, heat and vibration, producing an attractive, low-maintenance, stone-like material with no imperfections. It’s permanently sealed, has clean joints, and is resistant to scratching, staining, chemicals, heat and cold. A lifetime warranty is available and it is likely to last a lifetime. $90 to $120/sq. ft.

Solid surface

This nonporous material (16% bauxite, polyesters, and acrylics) can be repaired successfully and withstands abrasive cleaners. Softer than stone, these countertops have invisible seams and provide a quieter surface. Scratches appear white, so light-coloured counters work best. Stress cracks can develop suddenly from extreme heat, so hot containers should never be left to sit on the countertop. $50 to $100/sq. ft.

Roll-on ‘granite’ paint

This hardware-store option refreshes the look of counters, but lacks the strength of stone. Brian warns that it can look really fake, especially in natural light. $70 to $80 per kit.

Considering new countertops?  First determine what’s most important for you—visual appeal, durability, maintenance, environmental impact, price, etc.—then you can narrow down your choices.

Coming soon! Some more kinds of unique countertop materials, along with service pros to help demystify the many choices.

By Zoe Waller

What else do you want to know? Please ASK a Service Pro

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