By Megan Wild, Author of Your Wild Home 

Countertop selection is undeniably the most important task in kitchen renovation, and choosing the optimum design for your kitchen countertop will involve consideration of several key points. While there are plenty of material options for the surface itself, balancing practicality with elegance is an art.

Here are five ways you can ensure you get the most elegant countertops for your kitchen:

1.  Be Frivolous

elegant countertops

The caliber of your countertop dictates the presentation of your entire kitchen. It’s also a key representative of the level of quality that has been invested in other areas of your kitchen.

Your countertop should be one of the most extravagant spends in your kitchen. As the main focal point of the room, you’ll reap the benefits of your carefully-selected and high-quality investment for years to come when choosing to opt for an elegant countertop.

2.  Go Elegantly Green

Sustainability and elegance have rarely been synonymous with each other. However, the world of environmentally-thoughtful interior design is becoming competitive enough to offer truly design-conscious solutions to sustainable refurbishment projects.

Recycled glass and cement are the two obvious candidates for sustainable countertop materials, and depending on your tastes, industrial minimalism is very well suited to both of these options. While these materials can be slightly pricier, they are easily customizable as the color and texture possibilities are endless.

You might want to look for cement-based recycled glass that uses fly ash or slag. They are both by-products of the fossil fuel industry and bring big kudos to the eco-friendliness of your countertops. Keep an eye out for the type of binder resin used in your recycled glass countertop, though. Plant-based resin binders are more sustainable than other petro-based binders on the market.

elegant countertops

3.  Be Lifestyle-Appropriate With Your Materials

To ensure your countertops last, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle in addition to your color and décor preferences. There are so many materials to choose from for countertops, including quartz, granite, marble, butcher block, tile, concrete, stainless steel, soapstone, solid surfacing, recycled glass, limestone and laminates. However, stone countertops are worth the splurge in almost every category:

  • An Italian classic renowned for its classic beauty, marble is understandably famous in the countertop world, especially for its seducing patterns. This elegant and sophisticated stone is highly resistant to heat and cracks. It is porous, however, so it requires extra protection.
  • Versatile, sleek and tough, granite is the interior designer’s countertop as it beautifully showcases the elegance of natural stone while remaining comparatively low maintenance. It’s stain resistant as well as heat and crack resistant, so granite only needs very occasional resealing — unlike marble.
  • Quartz countertops typically comprise natural quartz and resin. This engineered stone is non-porous, heat and scratch-resistant and even lower maintenance than granite —and there are tests to prove it! Quartz can also be entirely color coordinated to match the rest of your elegant kitchen.

4.  Consider Your Edges

The bull-nose edge design is one of the most fashionable choices today. Curved edges that follow the same line across your countertop certainly can be charming and are the perfect option for avoiding snags on your clothing. The eased edge is slightly easier for cleaning, given its simple and flat design.

elegant countertops

5.  Mix and Match

If you can’t decide on one material, mix different yet complementary surfaces. For example, you could use one material on your kitchen island countertop, and then differentiate your space by using another stone for your mainland countertops.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you choose a reputable source for your countertop material and a credible installer. Tracking from where your stone originated is also a bonus, if you are so inclined.

We are in the age of elegant practicality, so take your time when choosing countertop materials to ensure your new kitchen showcases that fact — but no matter what, have fun when selecting your new kitchen countertop.