Meet your new countertops
National award-winning interior designer Patricia Davis Brown shares her top countertop picks. With today's endless choices, having these facts on hand can make your decision much easier.
If you're redoing your kitchen, you'll soon learn you're not limited to your mother's kitchen countertops. There are so many awesome materials to pick from today, many of which are maintenance-free and come in a wide array of colors. Over the last decade, we've seen a lot of granite, and while that's certainly still a popular choice, I'm seeing more and more people opting for materials with less movement in the pattern. Homeowners are choosing calmer pallets.
With that in mind, allow me to introduce three countertop materials that you might want to consider for your kitchen remodel:
Whenever I open my collection of Pyrolave samples, I feel like a kid that's been given the big box of Crayola crayons. Pyrolave is a lava stone that's been extracted from the Nugere crater of the Auvergne volcanoes and then cut into slabs, processed, and glazed. It's actually fired at such a high heat that it's impervious to high temperatures, acids, corrosive products…you get the picture. Nothing can alter the beauty of glazed lava stone. The best part? It's a sustainable material, so you can feel good knowing you're not taking from the environment.
One of my design philosophies is to bring the outside in when possible, and that is why I love, love, love Think Glass. This glass product gives the illusion of water, making it a perfect fit in the coastal communities where many of my clients live. It manages this by combining a smooth top with a textured finish underneath - the patterns range from bubbles to waves and have the added bonus of hiding fingerprints. It's also non-porous, so it gets the distinction of being the most hygienic countertop on the market. Though you may think glass is a fragile choice for a kitchen, Think Glass can tolerate very high heats without cracking.
The control freak in me celebrated when granite quartz was introduced to the marketplace - it really puts the designer in the driver's seat when selecting stone counters for clients. Natural stone is just that, so it's naturally made with imperfections. Quartz counters, on the other hand, are made by combining 93% natural quartz stone with 7% resin binder and some colorant. This creates an extremely hard stone that is stronger than granite or marble - and comes in more than forty colors and textures. The slab is the same working thickness as other materials, and it is shaped, cut, and finished using the same stone-cutting equipment. One of the leaders in granite quartz is CaesarStone and it is my go-to stone product.
Being able to select from nonporous, stain-, scratch-, and heat-resistant materials that are backed by a residential lifetime warranty makes me a happy designer, indeed!