By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
In most kitchens, the first thing to choose when doing a renovation is the countertop. Because it’s a prominent part of the room, this hard worker sets the tone and feel of the entire kitchen.
Here are five trends you’ll want to know about.
Quartz: This man-made material, a mix of natural quartz and resin, has become the darling of many in the design world and for good reason — it has amazing durability and versatility. How does it compare to the longtime countertop champion granite? Pretty well. Take its low-maintenance track record.
“Quartz has an antimicrobial surface that, unlike granite, doesn’t require annual sealing,” says Nicole S. O’Dwyer of NS Designs, an interior design firm in northeast Pennsylvania.
Quartz is easily customizable too: Colour pigments of your choice are added so you can get the exact hue you want; with a natural stone like granite, if you’re looking for a certain colour, you may have to hunt around awhile until you find it. One thing quartz can’t do that granite can is withstand high temperatures without warping.
Waterfall: This is a pretty way to describe a countertop style that has no seams and continues down the sides to the floor without making an abrupt stop at the top edges. “Waterfall countertops have a sophisticated contemporary feel that carries throughout the kitchen,” says O’Dwyer. While it adds a touch of drama and is a good way to show off a high-end countertop made of a luxe material like marble, granite or quartz, it can also be a practical solution for concealing shelves or appliances.
Dekton: No, this isn’t some weird sci-fi creation — it’s a fairly new man-made countertop material that’s a combination of quartz, porcelain and glass. O’Dwyer recommends it because it’s extremely durable, stain- and heat-resistant, and it won’t get scratched. Popular in kitchens with a modern or industrial style and available in many colours, dekton can be installed in one piece so it appears to be a uniform surface minus any cuts or joints.
Veining: This refers to the patterns and colours that occur naturally in some stones like granite and marble. If you prefer a countertop in a man-made product like quartz, you can have veins added that mimic the natural swirls. Veining pairs well with subdued flooring, walls and tiles, says O’Dwyer, and will give a shot of personality to a too-plain countertop.
Integrated sink with countertop: A marriage made in kitchen heaven, this trend features the countertop continuing down into the sink to create a seamless look — there’s no obvious demarcation where the sink begins and the countertop ends. Often made of concrete, Corian, or stainless steel, this duo works in any kitchen style from modern to farmhouse.