Expert Overview

Countertops come in an exciting range of options. Beyond the sheer variety of colours and finishes, today there are more materials than ever to choose from, running the gamut from engineered to recycled materials.

Think about: Aesthetics

First decide the look you want to achieve: neutral or statement? Then explore surface types, which include stone, stainless steel, concrete, lavastone, tile, “green” materials like bamboo or recycled glass. Most of these come in a variety of colours and finishes. Engineered stone, another “green” option, is more durable and less porous than natural stone so it doesn’t stain as easily. It also comes in many colour options.

Think about: Durability

Natural stone—granite, marble, slate—holds up well over time; you can cut food and place hot pots on it without worrying about damage. It’s also beautiful. However, it’s one of the more costly materials.

Think about: Finishing touches

While many countertops are square-edged, consider rounded or beveled, decorative edges. Also consider mixing and matching: placing a wood inset for chopping, or using a different surface on the island.