By Lana Bingham
As a Tampa new home builder, we love the elegant and timeless appeal of granite and marble countertops. Although it is often a first choice for most customers, there are some other unusual materials that are currently trending in custom kitchens. Swapping out these precious rocks for a more innovative countertop alternative doesn’t have to sacrifice the luxurious quality of your kitchen.
Crazy For Concrete - This strong and stylish counter will make a bold statement your kitchen, creating a contemporary vibe. Poured concrete is becoming a popular alternative as it is both affordable and low maintenance. Although the material itself is heavy-duty, the sealant used is neither heat-resistance or able to easily hide scratches, so take it easy on your concrete counters. Recycled glass shards can also be added into the cement mix, which will produce a pretty pop of color in your counters.
Bring On The Stone Age – Not to get too scientific, but there are a few stones out there that can work well as countertops due to their chemistry compositions. Soapstone (think back to your high-school chemistry class) is both heat-resistant and able to ward off bacteria. This natural stone is always black in color and won’t stain. Limestone is similar to marble, with a soft, elegant feel. Although this stone does well in humid climates it is high maintenance and stains easily.
Wild About Wood – There is something sensible about using wooden counters in the kitchen. A thick “butcher block” countertop for your island will create a warm and inviting country cottage feel. To protect your unsealed counter, refrain from using it as a cutting board and care for it with mineral oil. Reclaimed wood is another choice for a rustic style kitchen. This “green” option is low in cost and allows for easy clean-up. To make a wooden counter look new again, all you have to do is sand and refinish.
Put a Cork In It – For those wine lovers (who have already read our past blog about building a wine cellar for your home), cork can be an interesting counter choice. In addition to being environmentally friendly, cork is resistant to both water and heat and also has antibacterial abilities.
Tile Takeover – Although it is typically saved for the backsplash, tile can be inspiring for your entire kitchen counter. With nearly any color available, it creates a beautiful, glossy surface that can match your finish selections perfectly. Although the tiles themselves are stain-resistant, be careful not to spill on the grouting.
The Strength Of Steel - Stainless steel counters can accompany a modern style kitchen quite nicely; just keep your polish on hand. When using this material for countertops and appliances be careful not to overdo it, unless you are going for the “Iron Chef” look. Both GE, Whirlpool and Viking are jumping on the bandwagon with a new line of products that compete with our standard stainless steel. Read Famous Tate’s blog post to learn how these new trends are affecting kitchen appliances.
Designing a kitchen is one of the most exciting parts of building a custom home and nowadays home builders in Tampa Florida have many stunning counter options to choose from. Although these alternatives are not the norm, they offer a great alternative to granite.
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