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The Best Countertop choices

Granite has held the spotlight for years as the "luxury" choice for kitchen countertops.  There's nothing wrong with it--its a durable, natural surface, comes in at a variety of price points, and offers a bounty of colors, patterns and types to choose from (I have it in my own kitchen).  The problem is that granite has become so mainstream, and despite its variation and natural beauty, is starting to look somewhat "predictable" from a design standpoint.  In addition, its becoming so overused and "expected" that its losing its luxury appeal due to mass market availability.  This Houzz Ideabook offers ten awesome alternatives (some new, some not-so-new) to granite, and has great visuals of each type.  Thanks Paul of Kitchen and Residential Design for expertly putting this together.

In addition to this great collection of images, I also want to highlight Cambria's release of a new line of colors.  In the past, I haven't loved Cambria surfaces because of their uniformity and sometimes unnatural look.  I'm now a lover, however, and can't wait to use some of their new colors/patterns in a future design project.  A little fun fact about Cambria is that, unlike granite and marble, its quartz composite surface is completely non-porous, making it NSF certified.  This means that the surface doesn't allow liquids to penetrate, thereby reducing the risk for stains and bacteria growth. Additionally, Cambria doesn’t require sealing or on-going maintenance to protect the surface--how easy is that?  Here are a few of my favorites from their new collection:

The photo doesn't do it justice, but this one, called Windermere is a great greeny-gray with some pretty umber accents throughout.  It has subtle movement, and a fossil-stone look to it.  I would love to see it with white rift-cut oak cabinetry, or in a classic white painted kitchen.

I like Minera for its sparkle and bit of "edge".  It has the industrial look of concrete with some glam, mirror-like flecks in it

Called White Cliffs, this one is outstanding.  Its the purest white I've seen in a quartz surface, and has such a clean crisp quality to it.  Great for that modern kitchen or bath that demands beautiful simplicity.

This photo doesn't look like much because the sample isn't showing it in its full back-lit glory.  Yes, they've come up with a quartz surface that has an onyx-like quality, and can be lit from behind to achieve a gorgeous amber glow.  See a lighted version here.

Well, those are my favorites, and I think Cambria has done a terrific job of engineering a look that is natural, timeless and unique.  See the entire collection here.

1 comment:

Robbie Marinero said...

Well, I would like to believe that the opposite is true. Granite, for me, serves as one of the most favorable choices for countertops. Aside from its durability, granites are easy to maintain and are highly resistant to heat. But all of the countertops you presented here are quite stunning too! I like the quarts surface countertop. The plain and restrained design and simplicity of the material are notable. [Robbie Marinero]