So you’re buying a new home (hopefully using us), and now it’s time to choose your interior options. Builders like Toll Brothers,KB Home, and many others have design centers around Orlando that you visit after signing your contract, and choosing every option in your new home can be a daunting task.
The one room in your new house guaranteed to get a lot of foot traffic is your kitchen. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious meals with the family and entertain guests. It only makes sense that you’d want one of the most central rooms in your house looking sharp.
Kitchens have gone through some major changes over the last few years, so we’re here to help show you the latest countertop materials, styles, colors, and designs for 2016.
1. Natural Stone
Natural stone countertops are really making their way into kitchens everywhere, and they look incredible. Most of the model homes I’ve seen in Orlando choose natural stone as their countertop choice, and it’s easy to see why. Marble, granite, soapstone and slate are a few of the most common kitchen countertop stones that are trending. Of course when selecting your countertops at the design studio, there’s personal preference and pros and cons to take into account before making a decision.
Marble: Marble brings a polished elegance to kitchens. With a smooth and cool surface ideal for baking and rolling dough, it might seem like the perfect choice, but marble does stain and scratch more easily than granite.
Granite: The only natural stones harder than granite are diamonds, rubies and sapphires. This should tell you how durable and functional granite is in a kitchen. It’s by far one of the most common natural stone countertop materials used amongst homeowners. While it’s not exclusively for high-end kitchens anymore, it can still be pricey.
Soapstone & Slate: Soapstone and slate are beautiful options, but you’ll be limited on the colors and styles you can choose from. Soapstone must be cared for as to minimize staining, while slate is pretty much maintenance free.
2. Durable Engineered Stone Countertops
These are man-made engineered stone that are going to continue to be a popular kitchen countertop option for 2016. While there are different choices of engineered stone countertops out there, they’re actually composed of 93% quartz particles.
Quartz has been catching up with the ever popular granite and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Homeowners love engineered stone countertops because they’re durable, which also means that they’re resilient against scratches, stains and heat. An added bonus is that they require very little maintenance. Here are a few of the specific quartz stone brands you’ll be seeing a lot more of in 2016.
Silestone: Silestone quartz is easily the most durable of the group, and probably the most common choice. They’re extremely non-porous and basically resist all spills and stains. While it doesn’t have the natural look of granite, Silestone comes in a huge variety of colors and styles.
Caesarstone: While Caesarstone comes in many different colors, there aren’t as many options to choose from compared to Silestone. Plus, it’s a little more expensive than Silestone, but that’s because you also have a wider variety of edge profiling and edging selection.
IceStone: Founded in 2003, IceStone has an advantage above the competition. They’re a company that has taken and redirected 13 million pounds of waste glass from landfills and developed an uncompromising balance of design and sustainability. Their product, QuartzStone, is a beautiful option for any kitchen. The countertop is known for its low environmental impact, safe manufacturing process and product consistency.
3. Classic Butcher Block & Wood
Wood and countertops with earthy elements are trending right behind Quartz these days. Designers have moved the wood from the flooring, and have started adding it in other places. It works well in a traditional kitchen, as well as a more modern kitchen design.
Wood is easy on the eyes and brings a homey feeling to your kitchen, which is sometimes what’s missing in a modern design. Consider installing a benchtop with a natural grain or pattern.
Butcher block countertops are recommended for cutting and chopping. It’s an amazing countertop selection that looks great blended with other materials and designs. Another benefit of this wood is that, if it chips or burns, you can lightly sand out the scratch or burn and apply mineral oil for an easy fix.
4. Upscale Laminate
Yep, laminate is still a thing, but this time with an upgraded and polished look. Upscale laminate allows you to get the appearance of an expensive material at a lower-cost.
Get creative with laminate and you can recreate modern, butcher block or luxurious countertops. While laminate countertops are very low maintenance, they aren’t heat-resistant and are more vulnerable to scratches and chips. Whatever your feelings about laminate, it’s still around, and it’s trending in 2016.
This might be my favorite option, but concrete definitely isn’t for everyone. Concrete countertops closely resemble slabs of natural stone. While concrete counters can be custom-designed, they do require regular sealing. Precast counters come fully smoothed and polished, so don’t worry about them looking messy. One thing you really have to watch out for with concrete is that it’s very prone to cracking.
6. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is best known for its ability to spruce up appliances. Well, now the material is also gaining popularity in the kitchen countertop department. It may not surprise you to hear that stainless steel is durable and resilient to just about everything, even bacteria.
These custom-made countertops play nicely with hot pans, are cool in the summer and work well in modern and contemporary settings. The best part is that they’ll make your kitchen look bigger because of their reflective properties! They’re nice looking, but not a good fit for everyone. Some homeowners think they look cold, and they’re not the best option for people who are rough and careless when cooking and working in the kitchen.
7. Tile & Backsplashes
Tile can be installed as a kitchen countertop, a section of the wall or as a backsplash. This man-made material is versatile which makes it easy and fun to get creative with colors and patterns. Mosaics and recycled or hand-painted tiles will brighten and liven up your kitchen.
Tile is easy on the wallet and has the possibility of becoming a DIY project. Glazed ceramic is resistant to heat stains, scratches and moisture. The frustrating part about tile is that it can chip or crack pretty easily, and the grout needs to be routinely cleaned in order to avoid stains and mildew.
More Kitchen Design & Style Trends
- The thinner the countertop, the better.
- Textures are in.
- The strongest kitchen design trend is an open floor plan (a clean look with few curves).
- It’s becoming more common to install two sinks in separate areas of your kitchen for the purpose of dual work zones.
- Transitional kitchens win because they allow easy flow from one area to another (think somewhere between traditional and contemporary/modern). A kitchen island is a must with this design.
- Color palettes feature a lot of neutrals—grays, blacks, and whites—with a white kitchen still the most popular.
- A bold color for your range hood, interesting hardware, a unique backsplash, painted cabinets and trendy materials and textures are in.
There are not only tasteful kitchen countertop options trending in 2016, but also reasonably priced ones. Installing new countertops is a big project. Hopefully this list will help you make a decision when it comes time to make the countertop decision at the design studio. So, what do you think of the 2016 kitchen countertop trends? We’d love to hear your comments and reactions below!