The one item in the kitchen that Americans ask the most of are countertops. Whether it be cooking, eating, chatting, or learning, the counters are where families gather and also what can make or break a kitchen design. Given the multitude of countertop options available, it can be difficult for homeowners to pick just one. The Wall Street Journal asked interior designers about their favorite surfaces for every type of buyer. Cost-conscious? One Seattle-based designer says look no further than large format tiles, as they can often be cheaper than slabs. Modernist? Christopher Peacock says go stainless steel.
They require custom fabrication, so they’re not a budget option—but besides Machine Age good looks, they have a lot to recommend them. They’re germ-resistant, easy to clean and impervious to stains and rust.
If You’re a Minimalist
When it’s perfectly seamless simplicity you’re after, man-made, “solid surface” workhorses like Corian (from $40 a square foot) are hard to beat, said Marianne Brown of Salt Lake City’s W Design Collective. “If I’m using Corian, I always stick to solid colors and straight lines, because decorative edges can definitely make it look dated,” she added. Another nifty trick? Match the color of your countertop to your cabinets for a sleek monochromatic effect.