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Countertop Styles

Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

Your new countertop is an element of your kitchen or bathroom that you will live with on a daily basis. Your bathroom countertop must be handsome yet serviceable. Your kitchen countertop is more than a place to prepare food--it can become the focal point for family gatherings and a selling point when you put your house on the market. Whatever style you choose, there is no doubt the countertop matters.

The most popular countertop styles

The first step to purchasing a new countertop is narrowing down the styles to one that suits you. Here are the most popular style options:

  1. Traditional. Countertop styles for the traditional kitchen can include almost any type of material, with perhaps the exception of stainless steel or poured concrete. As long as the countertop matches well with the cabinets, a traditional kitchen offers a great deal of flexibility in countertop choice.
  2. Modern. The modern style calls for a lot of sleek, open space. Highly polished granite or dark marble with blunt edges are great options for the modern kitchen. On the other hand, some homeowners love the look of stainless steel countertops, which can offer an airy restaurant feel to the kitchen.
  3. Country. A wood countertop with curved edges or a worn solid surface are great options for a more rustic feel. Unusual materials for countertops, such as copper or brass, can make the country kitchen even more appealing to the senses.
  4. Tuscan. Ceramic tile countertops are perfect for the Tuscan kitchen. Decorative tiles set among earth tone tiles can allow for creativity while staying true to the old-fashioned Tuscan look.
  5. Cottage. Also known as the French style, the cottage kitchen needs a countertop that is attractive and easy to clean. Go for a high-end laminate or solid surface countertop. More expensive countertops will look out of place.

When choosing a countertop for the bathroom, carrying the theme of the kitchen throughout the rest of the house is often a good design plan. However, some countertop styles for the kitchen, such as stainless steel, might not work well in a bathroom. If you have a vision for your kitchen and bathroom countertop but you're not sure how to make it happen, use the handy form on this page to contact a local contractor who can help you.

Your new countertop should suit your budget and your kitchen style. Whether you choose a versatile tile countertop or a solid, smooth granite that brings to mind a luxurious kitchen featured on the cover of a home design magazine, the style of your countertop should be a reflection of you.