Design Trends: Countertops 101

Kitchen countertopsWhen building a brand new, custom home, several decisions must be made throughout the process to ensure every detail matches the dream home you have in mind. Some decisions, like how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, come easily while others require a little more thought and research. For example, the average homeowner might not know exactly what type of counters and countertop material they want. This is an important decision to make, especially for any family that spends a lot of time in the kitchen, but how many choices are out there?

Countertops in an Alabama custom home


Quartz countertops are currently on the rise in home renovations and new home projects. This natural mineral material is gaining popularity and popping up in homes of all styles and sizes. One of the biggest reasons we are seeing so many quartz countertops is the material’s durability. This super-strong material is resistant to even the toughest damage and will not crack, scratch or chip without a fight. Because these countertops are known for their durability, they often come with incredible warranties. For example, Silestone offers a 25-year warranty on its quartz countertops, ensuring long-lasting quality and integrity in kitchen use. Quartz countertops are also extremely customizable, allowing for seamless design flow in any kitchen.

Quartz offers several advantages including stain resistance, durability and appearance. However, before you decide on using this type of countertop for your new kitchen, make sure to keep a few things in mind. Quartz is considered one of the most expensive types of countertops. Quartz is also more susceptible to heat than other materials, meaning hot pots and pans could lead to discoloration.

custom bathroom countertops


Granite is perhaps the most commonly used countertop material. Granite has a wide variety of color options and designs to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect hue to match appliances, cabinetry, backsplashes, floors and other kitchen features. Granite is also an extremely hard material, resisting even cutting from kitchen knives. In fact, this widespread countertop material is resistant to scratches and regular kitchen wear-and-tear, including heat.

One thing to consider before deciding on granite countertops is that while they are not susceptible to scratches, lighter colored granites can stain. Because granite is a porous material, it can absorb darker liquids more easily, including wine, coffee and other juices. Another factor to consider with granite countertops is the cost. This popular countertop material is a mid-range cost option. While it can be expensive depending on how much you need and the shape and size of each piece, the durable, long-lasting material is typically worth it.

bathroom counters in a custom home


Dekton is a really unique countertop material composed of quartz, porcelain and glass. This hybrid material brings together the best of three substances to create a durable countertop, perfect for all types of kitchen connoisseurs. Dekton is incredibly strong and resistant to abrasions, stains, heat and cuts. This countertop is virtually scratch-resistant and impervious to outdoor elements, such as water and UV rays, making it a great option for any outdoor living area. Another benefit of Dekton is the price – this countertop is significantly less expensive than other leading materials, including quartz and granite.

While Dekton is less expensive than other leading materials, it is still more costly than laminate and concrete countertops. It also requires professional installation by someone experienced in working with the material. Another disadvantage of Dekton is that it is prone to chipping and splitting under high stress, which could be a problem if heavy or bulky items are dropped on it.

kitchen counters

Solid Surface

If you’ve spent any time browsing Pinterest or Houzz, visiting home improvement stores or watching HGTV, you’ve probably heard about solid surface countertops, specifically DuPont’s Corian line. While they’ve been around for a while, they’ve increased in popularity recently. These countertops mimic the look of a number of other countertop materials, such as quartz, granite or marble, but at a fraction of the price. They’re a great option for cost-conscious homebuyers who want a material a step above laminate.

One of the major advantages of solid surface countertops outside of the price is its durability. Because it is one solid surface, it is considerably more resistant to breaking or cracking than other natural stones. It is also easy to repair, which is convenient as solid surfaces are much more susceptible to scratching. Even the average kitchen knife can scratch a solid surface countertop. Heat can also damage solid surface countertops.

Bathroom countertops in an Alabama custom home


Marble is often considered the crème de la crème of countertop options, but just like any other option, it has its pros and cons. Marble is typically the most expensive countertop option, but it provides an upscale, luxurious feel that is hard to replicate in other materials. Like granite, marble is available in a wide variety of colors, with various veining options, meaning you are likely to find a style and colorway that works in any home.

If your budget allows for marble, a few other things to consider before choosing the material for your countertops include weight and maintenance. Marble is incredibly heavy, so ensure that the cabinets that it will be positioned on can support it. Marble countertops stain easily because of their porousness, so if you plan to entertain frequently or have young children, marble may not be the best option for you. Finally, they are delicate and susceptible to scratches, nicks, cracks or general signs of wear and tear. Because of this, they do require more regular maintenance and upkeep to keep them in tip-top shape.

Choosing new home features is a fun and exciting process. At J. Wright Building Company, we want to make sure you are informed about every aspect of the home building process and the many different options available to you. Now that you know about the various countertop options available to you, you can narrow down the options that will work best for your family, and we can help you make a final decision as you build your new home in Alabama!

For more information on building your custom home or other design trends, make sure to visit You can also take a look at some of our favorite trends on our Pinterest page here.

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