Alternative Countertops

Make your countertop distinctive with tile, metal, wood, glass, or concrete.

  • share
-Next to cabinets, countertops do more than any other element to define your kitchen. Plus, you use them everyday. So be sure to consider all your options before making a final choice. I'm Lacey Howard. Let's take a look at all the distinctive countertop options you have to choose from---- Tile, metal, wood, glass and concrete. Tile comes in many shapes, colors, finishes and sizes. You're sure to find something that fits your style and your budget. -Tile is heat resistant and can be installed in custom patterns. In fact, a practice do it yourself or can tile a backsplash or a countertop. Just make sure to use a quality wood saw and thoroughly seal the surface after installation. -Be aware that grout lines between tiles can stain easily and yellow over time. It helps to choose a darker tinted grout. Re-grouting every few years will likely be necessary. -Tile can chip but just replace individual tiles as needed. -Look for vitreous tile. It's harder and denser and will stand up better to the demands of the kitchen. Metal countertops such as stainless steel or copper can give your kitchen a restaurant or industrial feel. -Make sure to choose metal countertops that are stain and scorch proof. -And realize that scratches and fingerprints will show on metal until it mellows and develops the surface patina a year-long process. Wood is a great surface for cutting boards, so why not an entire countertop hardwood such as maple, beach and bamboo are ideal for wood countertops? Smaller pieces of hardwood are alt-impressed and glued together to form butcher block. Wood is great for an island or as an inset next to a sink. The surface is forgiving on small cuts. Wood countertops benefit from an application of mineral oil every 4 to 8 weeks. Glass is gaining a presence in kitchens. It's often used as an accent such as a snack bar or serving ledge. Glass manufacture for countertops is thick and crack resistant. Concrete is another countertop choice. It can be tinted and sculpted and you can mix in small stones and other particles for a variety of looks. Concrete countertops are created, polished and sealed onsite. A project best left to the professionals. You'll pay just about as much for a concrete countertop as you would a stone one. In order for concrete countertops to be stain-resistant, they must be sealed initially and again in every few years. They can crack and be difficult to replace or repair, but they are unique option that weather to a beautiful patina and can be any color, shape or texture you wish. Check out these options. All these services take a bit of care and upkeep. Ask a professional about cleaning, filling and maintenance, and knowing your countertop is going to show wear over time, but don't fight it. Embrace the beautiful natural patina of a well-used countertop.