Curb Appeal in Lawrence>Question Details

Jason Todd, Real Estate Pro in Lawrence, KS

What types of kitchen countertops are the most popular right now in various areas of the country?

Asked by Jason Todd, Lawrence, KS Wed Sep 12, 2007

As a midwest Realtor, most buyers around here are generally after granite. As a remodeler, I am quite partial to the Silestons and Zodiaq products and am becoming more and more interested in concrete tops...We generally get new trends a bit slower than the coasts, so I am simply curious what "upper end, solid surface" tops are most popular and provide the highest resale in your area?

Thanks -
Jason Todd

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44
Jolie Muss’ answer
Jason,
An update: What I've recently seen in new luxury construction in Manhattan is beautiful recycled glass! Recycled glass tiles, as back splashes (and even as wall treatments in bathrooms) and countertops made of recycled glass and concrete and/or terrazzo or resin. The only drawback is that the countertops seem to need some sort of maintenace...Icestone is local here in Brooklyn: http://www.icestone.biz , there is also Vetrazzo:http://www.vetrazzo.com; Seattle http://www.environmentalhomecenter.com has some large glass tiles
My favorite are the stunningly beautiful recycled glass tiles by Bedrock : http://www.bedrockindustries.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 23, 2007
Granite is still tops in the south.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Time to put this SIX YEAR OLD question to rest!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 24, 2013
Surprised to see so many people still going with granite. Having built custom homes in Denver and LA and in the process of developing high end condos in Toronto, I have seen an shift from granit to silestone and dupont. People are always looking for the next best thing. Just as in fashion, as things trickle down from high end designers into department stores into big box stores, they lose their appeal. If you want to go with the crowd go with granite, if you want to set yourself apart go with whats next.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
Granite is king in AZ. The quartz based surfaces like silestone have made gains because of the durability, lack of sealing required, and decent luster, but it is not widely accepted yet as granite's equal. It doesn't have quite the depth or sheen of granite, and people still like a "natural" product. Stone seems timeless while composite surfaces are eyed suspiciously as flashes in the pan. As for concrete tops, the price is outlandish. I don't think concrete will gather any momentum (outside of the very high end properties where they are always looking ahead) until the techniques evolve to become less labor intensive. It's just too cost prohibitive here.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
Granite is still most popular in the Bay Area , but I held an open house where the kitchen countertops were made of recycled glass. Everyone loved them and they especially liked the 'green' aspect of it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Zodiaq quarts composite countertops are catching on here in Portland for their beauty and low maintenance requirements. Cutting is fine, but why ruin your knife? This is a beautiful alternative to other stone surfaces.

I'm disturbed to see continued use of cheap granite tile with the belief that these are going to appeal to buyers. They're tacky and easily break since they're so thin. It doesn't fool many and to see this in higher end homes screams 'cheap' in all other facets of that home's construction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
KUDO's Jennifer! I feel so much more informed. Being a granite lover I have a new respect for the other up-and-coming trends! Quartz & or Silestone have me intrigued and I will definitely look for those - especially for those clients wanting to build.

Thank you Jason for such a great question!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Granite and Corian are still very popular. There is an increasing interest on concrete.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
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Hi Jason,
Granite still seems to be the most popular upgrade here in the Bay Area, but we agents are wondering when the granite counters are going to start looking dated! Granite has been so popular for so long now, that it's past time for a new trend. I've preferred concrete for about 4 years now, and I think it will be the next big thing. Recycled glass is also up-and-coming as a "green" choice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
I have been following the answers here, and waiting for comments about engineered quartz. Anyone?

BTW, I would have needed the explanation on Silestone, too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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Most high end homeowners here and builders up to $5 Million still use shiny granite. You also see honed stone and finished wood. The towns along the Midtown Direct Corridor have traditionally styled homes. What I haven't seen is a lot of new products like concrete or " green " products shown on HGTV or in the magazines. Homeowners here see silestone and Zodiac as :" cheap" imitations though the price isn't cheap.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
People in South Jersey still love granite. I had a listing with Silestone and had to explain its attributes to almost everyone! The latest news is that granite is out and concrete is in, but not in my neck of the woods. It's too modern for most, I think.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
So far, Granite is the big winner. As an extension to the original question, around there seems to be a misconception that granite is the most expensive product, therefore it must be the best product. With the exception of some of the exotic granites, many of the Silestone variant are higher priced and concrete tops are even more expensive. I have also noticed that over time, the lower maintenance required for the Zodiaq and Silestone products is a huge plus for most owners...Thanks for the answers so far!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Granite always seems to get the most interest here in NJ but Corian is also somewhat popular.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Granite still offers the "wow factor" here in MA
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Granite still is in high demand here in San Diego.
Deb
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
I just wrote a blog article on this. Check it out:

Consider 6 counter-top materials popular on the West Coast.

Recycled Glass.

Colorful, recycled glass mixed with cement. Contractors can color or stain them for more variation. Recycled glass along with cement mixed with fly ash from coal-burning stoves saves these products from the landfills. This option makes your home attractive & cutting edge.

End-Grain Bamboo Kitchen Counters

Bamboo is an Eco friendly substitute for wood--it's fast growth makes it more renewable. (I know this for a fact, as I was forever cutting down the ever-growing bamboo branches at my home in California.)

Recycled Paper Kitchen Counters

Recycled paper in a resin base. Comes in thickness from .25 to 2 inches. Not only can it be integrally created in many hues, but it's a lot more stain resistant than marble or laminates.

Durapalm

Comes from coconut palms, & it's stronger than oak. Don't worry about destroying palm trees. This one comes from old, non-fruiting palms.

Fuez

Created from recycled fly ash, stone & shells. It beats granite for durability.

Endura

Popular on the West Coast, this countertop displays a stupendous patina. it's created from reclaimed wood from wineries, such as oak wine vats.



Marcia Kelly, CRS
Keller Williams, Topeka, KS
(785) 249-3989
marcia@marciakelly.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
I wanted to say, I'm from a real estate family in CA, even though I live in KS now. This counter top material is cutting edge & Eco-friendly. CA is a bell-weather state. What is popular here first becomes popular later in the rest of the country.
Flag Wed Oct 30, 2013
Granite countertops are a big thing here at Sunpointe Townhomes in Harrisburg, Pa.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 29, 2013
Granite, Zodiaq and concrete are my 3 faves
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
granite is best, but corning has some great value products.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
There are some STUNNING colors and textures available from a company in Los Angeles that's been in business 30 years. They make backsplashes, tile, flooring, cabinet inserts, shower enclosures and some AMAZING countertops in GLASS.

The name of the company is UltraGlas. You can check them out at the website: http://www.UltraGlas.com. They only sell to the installers or contractor, but you can see what they're doing and then aim your glazer or contractor directly at them. Pricing can be comparable to granite, and the look sparkles in the kitchen and bathroom areas!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 24, 2013
Hi Jason,
For high end projects and luxury properties, you'll start hearing more and more about thermoformed (fused) glass countertops made by ThinkGlass. Our glass has a 25% recycled glass content and is 100% recyclable. We can fabricate glass countertops without a seemin sizes of 84" x 126" and thicknesses from 3/8" to 6". Our glass countertops are very sturdy, don't require any surface treatment, no risk of cross-contamination (100% non-porous), they are stain, heat and scratch resistent. Most importantly, they are very easy to maintain. You can light our countertops with an LED lighting system. People know very little about glass countertops but take a minute to visit our web site and see for yourself.
Cheers to all,
Bruno
Montreal, QC, Canada
Web Reference: http://www.thinkglass.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 6, 2011
Lool your answer here, on the Livigstone countertops site: http://www.livingstonesurfaces.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 9, 2010
Thanks, for the shoutout to Seattle, Jolie; the Environmental Home Center in Seattle is now EcoHaus, http://www.ecohaus.com and just as fabulous as ever.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
LookI found a very large selection of marble countertops: http://www.livingstonesurfaces.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
As an A+D representative for CaesarStone in NY, I can personally testify to the fact that quartz is becoming more popular everyday. Many designers here are simply tired of granite and turn to us for a modern esthetic with practical benefits (i.e., consistency, durability and easy maintenance). We are not only being used in single-family residences, but can also be seen in many multi-family sales centers and the feedback from agents is positive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2007
To all -

Very nice to see loads of folks chiming in...I liked the stainless reference as I have rarely seen that, but liked it each time I did. Caesarstone? Can you elaborate? Another name perhaps...soapstone...limestone??? Thanks

Jennifer -

Although I am not an interior designer, nor am I a certified expert on countertops, but I do disagree about your Silestone comments to a certain extent. Silestone is one of the most expensive countertops (depending upon the grade or level) that one can purchase. Check out your local costs on the Silestone "Leather" lines and you will find that only the highest grades of granite rival it in cost. As to the resin percentage (or its composition period for that matter) I cannot speak.

Thanks again all -

Jason
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
In Florida, it is still granite, even with lower end price homes.
Web Reference: http://www.PhilFowler.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
Jason,
Granite is still popular as is marble and other types of natural stone but I did recently see a corian type of counter-top in a luxury "new development" model apartment here in Manhattan..

The italian high end kitchens designs are integrating a lot of stainless in their kitchen designs...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
I'm getting a lot of feedback from buyers lately that they are tired of granite. Caesarstone is really popular in high end construction in the Los Angeles area right now.
Web Reference: http://rd.la
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2007
Granite slab, especially the expensive ones with interesting colors and patterns are king, or queen in Marin.

Although I was a docent at the Eichler Homes and Exotic Car show, a fundraising event at for the Hospice by the Bay last weekend; the owner had gorgeous granite counter and then a brushed stainless steel bar counter top with a special pattern; that received a lot of ooohs and aaahs. Those Eichler enthusiast were all taking notes, so I think that might be something that;s going to be popular at some homes here :-)

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Granite..hands down! Like the Midwest, here in the south we catch on to the trends after they hit the West and East Coasts...granite is now standard in the $500 per SF to $700 per SF homes in the French Quarter, with clients who buy from around the world.

The composite marterials are too much of a "learning curve". The conservative thing to do is granite....at the end of the day, it takes too much time to teach people about new materials. From my experience from Shanghai to Buenos Aires, Chicago to LA, granite is the common denominator.
Web Reference: http://www.iansellsnola.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
Hi all -

Thanks for all of your responses. It seems that granite still reigns supreme from coast to coast. Not much positive input from the man-mades (i.e. Zodiaq and Silestone). A few folks seemed to be suggesting concrete is gaining favor. I particularly like soapstones/limestones but are not ideal for everyone. Thanks again for all of your responses...

Jason
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
As an Interior Designer and Realtor, I have been in thousands of homes!!!!!! What do buyer's want to see????? Home Buyers still have a love affair with granite. It has always been highly regarded as a Luxury Item. For Home Owners that have owned and lived with granite already, the next progression is marble and Concrete. I sell RealEstate in Arizona and Granite is still # 1. Originally from California, many years ago granite was no longer the #1 choice for Luxury homes. Concrete began to gain in popularity 15 years ago. Now marble is used as wel as LimeStone. Lots of choices but I would have to say Granite is # 1 for buyer's.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
Granite is tops as far as popularity... But, I really like the work I have seen recentley in the poured cement counters. Very sharp!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2007
Jason,

Granite is still King In GA.
Web Reference: http://www.TeamRenton.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Granite is still most common in my market. I have seen some silestone, but not much.
Web Reference: http://mioaklandcounty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
MVP'08
Contact
In the Gulf South...specifically Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, granite is the most popular. With the barrage of Chinese imported granite..the prices are a fraction of what they were in the past...both material and labor. On the upper end such as in the French Quarter mansions, granite is overall king.
Web Reference: http://www.iansellsnola.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Jennifer -

I wholeheartedly agree with you in regards to the granite tile counters...UGH!

Jason
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Granite is very popular and draws a lot of attention to homes for sale.
Mandria Pisek
Web Reference: http://www.mandriapisek.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Jason, marble and granite countertops are the way to go. In addition to being overwhelmingly beautiful, the are practically scratch-resistant, when compared to the usual formica countertops. Marble has a lustrous finish, while, granite is flat. Both are non-porous, adding to their ability to maintain appearance. Both look great, so it depends upon your taste. An expensive amenity, but, a great investment because they are timeless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Thanks a bunch Jennifer~!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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We have had a few people using Soapstone out here. Granite is still quite popular and so is Silestone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2007
Steve Ostrom, Real Estate Pro in Roseville, CA
MVP'08
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