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Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Counter Tops for Classy Kitchens

Counter Tops for Classy Kitchens

When you renovate your kitchen, everyone always seems to notice the counters. Choose granite and your friends will ooh and ahh, “You got granite, nice!” Choose one of those newfangled manmade products and people are sure to marvel at the creativity and ingenuity, “Wow, that’s made of recycled sporks? No way!”

With so many products, color choices, and price points, how do you make a smart decision? And will this decision affect your ability to sell your house down the road?

granite counter on peninsula

“It seems everyone is doing granite of some kind now, but do what you like,” says local realtor Jen Walker. “Countertops are very personal and space specific.” If you are worried about potential resale, she adds, “The choice of countertops will not stop the sale of a home.” Phew!

Liz and Cameron went with white Caesarstone, an extremely durable manmade product which boasts a lot of color choices and styles. Even though it’s bright white, caesarstone is known for being stain-resistant. Not to worry about spilling that red sauce in this crisp and clean kitchen, it’s klutz- and kid-friendly.

white kitchen

Karen also chose Caesarstone, but put black on the island and white along the wall, a little ying and yang in her peaceful modern home.

gourmet kitchen renovation, IKEA cabinets

Installing granite counter tops is like digging out a hearty chunk of earth and styling it into a magnificent piece of art. Durable, natural, and with various pricing options, it’s a solid and very popular choice. David’s granite offers prep and serving options galore along his kitchen peninsula.

1950s galley kitchen renovation

It was love at first sight when Elin spotted this slab of granite (Red Dragon is its name). When it was misplaced at the lumber yard, she would not stop searching until it was found. She even told the fabricators exactly where she wanted the granite cut based on its design.


Mary also selected granite, an elegant Cashmere white with hints of gray and brown, pulling in the colors of her cabinets, appliances, and fixtures. Surely those specs mask a rogue crumb here and there.

kitchen reno after

Though we have yet to find stainless steel in Del Ray (I know it’s there somewhere, so speak up if you have some!), this reader in Oregon shared her story of DIYing these super cool counters. Also of interest, the butcher block on the kitchen cart in the foreground. Both products can be purchased at IKEA.

Classic butcher block is a renewable and economical choice. Though they require caution and some maintenance, Jen and Sam’s counters look stunning with that modern mosaic-tiled backsplash, white cabinets, and chrome hardware.


Another durable manmade product we see frequently is silestone. Danielle chose the same gray color for the counters on the island and along the wall,  but contrasted the finishes of the wood cabinets for a more visually interesting design.


The light sage green hue of Sherrie and Virginia’s silestone maintains a vintage look for the modern product in their restored Del Ray bungalow.


But this is only the tip of iceberg. According to Alexandria Interior Designer Katie Moore of Olios Design, “There are a lot of counter top options available in a variety of price points. The type of counter top material you choose depends greatly on the use and type of space. Some great products I would love to try in a future design project include Paperstone, poured concrete, and Icestone.”

I’m intriqued by Icestone as well — it’s made from recycled glass. And Paperstone, well the name says it all, it’s made from paper. (Just please don’t used soylent green counters, we all know what those are made out of.)

And who’s to say you can’t keep your original counter tops during a reno. Michelle’s were in good condition and she saved money by fixing them up and embracing her retro-inspired kitchen.


Countertops are expensive and some vendors require a minimum square footage that mocks the miniscule amount we often need for small kitchens. But if you are looking for a bargain, check out salvage yards like Community Forklift where you can purchase a slab and have it cut to size by a fabricator.

Granite at Community Forklift

What products have you used in your home?

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