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Mix countertop materials for color-outside-the-lines design freedom

Have you been too busy contemplating your new kitchen cabinetry to put serious thought into the countertops? Using two or more different countertop materials, a professional design consultant can create a truly unique look.

Kitchen-remodeling consumers seem to get so wrapped up in cabinetry that they sometimes forget the icing on the cake--the countertops. The best way to make your new kitchen exceptional is to take advantage of the diversity of materials offered for today's countertops.

Don't be hard-headed when it comes to choosing countertop materials

Many of my clients are astonished to find out there is something other than granite or marble. Actually, the busy patterns in granite are overwhelming to some people, while marble can be a poor choice for a high use area like a kitchen counter. Don't be afraid to go beyond granite and marble. A professional designer with current knowledge of the latest in materials and how to properly design and install them can steer you in the right direction. They can even show you some amazing design concepts using more than one material. Yes, mixing materials allows you to create interesting shapes and colors, creating a "WOW" factor to the room design.

Black Soapstone Counter

Photo by D&D FINE ART

The example above shows three different materials used together. Introducing shapes and colors, I have taken a long rectangular island beyond its typical shape and made it both interesting and functional. The prep sink countertop is black soap stone with white veining, while the serving counter, mimicking the shape of the sink, is red LavaStone. I added the distressed walnut counter in a radius shape as an invitation for additional guests to join the party.

wood crescent shaped counter

Photo by ROB DOWNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Curving a countertop into a crescent shape can turn it into a social gathering spot, as shown in the picture above. I selected a cherry wood countertop to contrast with the granite, giving importance to the seating area and adding warmth to the overall design.

glass counter

Photo by ROB DOWNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Seams are one of my biggest pet peeves: If there is any way I can camouflage them, I will. The glass counter shown above had a seam around a support column, so I created an artistic break, making it part of the design.

Why hire a professional if you want design freedom?

A seasoned designer or fabricator can successfully mix countertop materials and shapes. For example, your designer may transition from one countertop to another on different planes by taking advantage of the different countertop materials' varying thicknesses. Good design is needed for the edges to come together just right to achieve the perfect look.

Design professionals are knowledgeable about the durability, availability and care of not just countertop materials but of each product you will be considering for your kitchen remodel. However, countertop products, in particular, can be very heavy, and if not supported properly can be a serious hazard. The weight of each product must be calculated to determine the correct supports.

When selecting any of these beautiful materials, why would you want to chance ruining them or your remodel? Have your countertops designed, fabricated and installed by professionals.