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55+ Best Kitchen Countertop Ideas for 2018

Are those scratches and scorches on your laminate countertops making you toss and turn at night? Or maybe you're just ready to update your kitchen design?

Regardless of your budget or how decor savvy you are, it can be difficult to choose a countertop that fits your lifestyle. To help make your creative process a little easier, we pulled together a collection of our favorite kitchen countertop ideas that are sure to inspire your inner interior designer.

Once you've nailed down the perfect countertop idea you might be thinking about upgrading those old cabinets at the same time. If you're looking for more creative ideas, peruse our kitchen cabinet ideas and consider installing cabinets that best fit your updated design. Whether you're going for the rustic farmhouse look or sleek modern touch, we have a plethora of cabinet designs for all styles.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Read through our list below to learn the pros and cons of each trending countertop material.

Marble Countertop

Marble is the most luxurious countertop you can choose. If you're looking for a clean and bright look that is also awe-inspiring, this is the material for you. Marble's beauty and elegance is unrivaled, but it does have its downfalls. This timeless classic is soft and porous meaning it will easily etch and stain if it's not properly sealed. Properly sealing your marble countertop can be done yourself; first, you'll need to clean it with soap and water and then apply a few coats of an acid-resistant impregnator sealer.

More marble countertop ideas:

Quartz Countertop

Quartz and quartzite countertops are top trending materials for 2018 and it's easy to see why. This invulnerable material is offered in many different appealing colors and it's incredibly low maintenance. The material is hard and durable; it will easily resist stains and erosion, unlike some other natural stone options. Quartz can sometimes be slightly expensive but, as manufacturers make it more readily available, the prices have been dropping.

More quartz countertop ideas:

Soapstone Countertop

Soapstone is a great countertop material if you're looking for a natural stone option that has a warm and rustic look to it. Soapstone is soft, pliable and non-porous compared to other choices meaning it won't crack or stain, but it does scratch easily. Because soapstone is non-porous, it's smooth to the touch and doesn't need sealing the same way that granite or marble does. The upfront costs can be expensive but it's comparatively cheaper to maintain over time and it gets more handsome as it ages, gaining a patina that emphasizes the natural streaks in the stone.

More soapstone countertop ideas:

Granite Countertop

Granite countertops are incredibly durable and equally dazzling. Granite has the second highest hardness rating behind diamonds, so needless to say, it won't scratch—although you don't want to cut directly on it as it will dull even your best knives. Granite is also completely heat resistant so feel free to throw your hot pans and skillets on it with abandon. Granite does have its downfalls; it can be expensive and if it's not sealed properly, it can leave stains that can be impossible to remove.

More granite countertop ideas:

Wood Countertop

Wood countertops are another material that has been steadily trending for the past few years. Whether it's reclaimed wood like SF Architecture's beautiful bar counter or a butcher block countertop as seen in the other images, wood provides a warmth to any style kitchen. If you love the thought of being able to work directly on your counter without having to worry about staining or scratching that precious marble or granite, this is a great choice. Any wear and tear can easily be sanded away and refinished and the counter will look new again. The major negative to wood countertops is that they can be susceptible to water damage and harvest germs if not sealed properly and cleaned regularly.

More reclaimed wood/butcher block countertop ideas:

Concrete Countertop

Concrete is an interesting alternative to the typical countertop materials. It's great if you have unique countertop shapes because it's generally poured in place. Concrete provides a look that is rustic yet contemporary and it can be stained with many different colors, giving it the ability to pair well with various kitchen designs. If you are thinking about choosing this material, be aware that it can be pricey and time-consuming as it takes about a month for the concrete to fully cure.

Stainless Steel Countertop

Stainless steel countertops are a great option if you're looking for a material that is low maintenance and incredibly durable. Stainless steel is resistant to heat, stains, and germs. There are a few downsides to stainless countertops: it will scratch and dent (but some prefer the well-used look) and they can be a bit noisy when placing pots and pans on them. One interesting upside to stainless is that it's a reflective surface so if you have a kitchen on the smaller side, this material may help give it a larger look.

Choosing the right kitchen countertop material can be a tough decision because you have to decide on aesthetics, usability and durability. Our comprehensive list is meant to help you prioritize what's most important to you and help you gain a better understanding of what daily life would be like with each of these materials. If you're a DIYer looking for your next project, be sure to check out our selection of ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets.

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