The most common countertop choice among homeowners, natural stone comes in a number of varieties, from luxurious marble to durable quartzite to ubiquitous granite. Patterns and colors vary wildly, as do the finishes, which range from sleek and polished to honed or leathered. When choosing a stone and finish, consider your lifestyle. Certain varieties, like polished marble, are prone to scratches and stains, while others, such as leathered granite are more forgiving against wear and tear.
WoodLooking perfectly at home alongside logs and timbers, character-rich butcher block countertops offer a sense of rustic warmth thanks to their varying tones and grain patterns. Often made of maple, cherry or walnut, wood counters are also sound absorbent. Keep in mind, this material requires extra TLC to protect it against scorching and stains, though countertops can be sanded and refinished.
Simple, clean-lined and non-fussy, concrete countertops fit seamlessly into rustic modern or industrial design schemes. But set aside that image of dull gray expanses. Available in a nearly unlimited array of textures, colors and patterns, concrete countertops can even be made to look identical to wood or marble. Keep in mind that concrete must be treated with a high performance coating to protect it from stains or acid pitting.