White countertops occur naturally in granite and marble. Natural stone is heat-resistant, durable, and easy to maintain, if properly sealed. One of the major challenges to white natural stone, specifically marble, is avoiding stains from certain fruits, red wine, and acidic foods. Granite and marble both need to be sealed regularly, but marble is more susceptible to stains even with diligent sealing.
If you love the look of marble but worry about staining, there are certain kinds of granite that mimic the beautiful gray-blue veining of marble. Like other natural stones, granite is strong and heat-resistant, but it's often one of the more expensive countertop options.
Conversely, engineered countertops offer a wide variety of colors that aren't found naturally, and there are lots of materials to choose from: solid-surfacing, and quartz-surfacing, and laminate countertops are all manufactured and can be made into any color of the rainbow. Quartz has soared in popularity in the past few years with its super hard, low-maintenance, and stone-look qualities. Silestone, a kind of quartz-surfacing, even has antimicrobial properties, which lends itself well to a hardworking kitchen.
Still can't decide on one type of countertop? Mix-and-match countertops are an emerging trend. Put butcher block on the island and marble everywhere else or white granite on the exterior countertops and dark granite on the island.
Once you've chosen the countertop material and configuration that's perfect for you, you'll quickly find that a white countertop lends itself to many styles and types of architecture. A glossy white quartz-surfacing countertop is the perfect complement to dark espresso cabinets in a midcentury-style kitchen. Speckled granite works well with white cabinets and detailed corbels in a traditional space.