Beyond Granite: 21st Century Kitchen Countertop Options

Mazama Butcher Block Countertops Appalachian Collection European Walnut

Mazama Butcher Block Countertops Appalachian Collection “European Walnut” from BuildDirect.

Granite kitchen countertops are a popular choice for obvious reasons. But there are other kitchen surfaces out there that also deserve your attention.


There’s no denying that granite countertops combine sophisticated visuals with kitchen practicality. But, granite countertops aren’t the only stylish and enduring kitchen countertop surfaces out there. In many ways some alternative countertops are more suited to certain kitchens, just because they are more likely to fit in with a surrounding decor.

Also, more options for look and performance make for more options for budgets, too! Whatever the case, here are some kitchen counter surfaces that may provide the perfect solution to your space. Here they are.


Concrete is another countertop material that’s gained popularity in the past decade. Although it emits a cold feeling, pairing it with a hardwood floor makes it very easy on the eyes. Molds for most concrete countertops measure one-and-a-half inch in thickness and are installed by professionals.

Even with this process, concrete is relatively inexpensive. Perhaps the best aspect of concrete is that it allows for inlays within the countertop, so it’s possible to add shells, glass, or whatever material you want to add your own style.


Quartz is the ideal material for those who love the look of granite, but want to vie for something  requires less attention when it comes to being sealed. The reason that it needs no sealant is that it’s 95 percent quartz mixed with five percent polymer resins, which act as a natural, long-lasting sealant.

Quartz is also offered in a variety of colors, just like granite. Chances are, there’s a variety of quartz to match your kitchen color scheme, or to provide an important contrast.


Whether it’s painted, stained, or natural finish, wood never goes out of style. Right now, butcher block style countertops are adorning many 21st century kitchens. Wood countertops are a fashionable selection. If this is what you’re looking for, seal the wood with a boat or marine grade sealant to keep the wood from absorbing moisture during a spill.

butcher block wood kitchen countertops

Mazama Butcher Block Countertops – Appalachian Collection from BuildDirect “European White Oak AB Pre-Oiled”.

Remember that wood can be a challenge to maintain, depending on the type and how its been sealed. Setting glasses on it can leave rings, while hot pans or pots leave marks and stains. Make sure that you mean sealants and stains when you talk to your vendor of choice. They should have a solid response when it comes to these kinds of questions.


While tile seems to have lost favor in many kitchens, it’s started to make a comeback thanks to cheap costs and a variety of textures and colors. The average cost for a tile countertop installed is only about $10 to $20, thus making it a great alternative for those looking to save money. Tile is also easily customizable, so it’s easy to express yourself with different colors or even a mosaic style setup.


Like quartz, soapstone is a similar, viable alternative to granite as far as looks. The difference is that soapstone is a bit cheaper, but a little harder to maintain. It needs sealing every so often, but it also becomes more aesthetically pleasing with age. Furthermore, it is durable and replaces other materials in the kitchen, such as a replacement for a metal kitchen sink.

Shopping around

Granite may a shining star of the countertop galaxy and all, but that doesn’t mean that other options out there aren’t worth your attention. By shopping around and being open with your tastes and expectations, you’ll find that perfect countertop way sooner than you think.


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