Alternative Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Glass, slate and semi-precious stone steps outside the box of the usual granite or laminate.

SP0706_limestone-topper-02_s4x3 Limestone countertops, known for distinctive natural beauty, also offer practical attributes such as strength and heat-resistance. Photo courtesy of AKDO
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Glass. This durable option is gaining popularity, and for good reason: It lends unique beauty, resists heat and stains, and is easy to clean. Though it can chip with heavy impact, it's ideal as an accent surface, such as a serving bar. Recycled options make it an eco-friendly choice.

Limestone. Smoother than granite, this sedimentary stone comes in a range of neutrals and whites—and often exhibits tiny fossils and shells. Limestone withstands heat, and the smooth surface is great for baking areas. However, it is comparatively fragile and can scratch or discolor.

Slate. Slate is good for countertops, as it's extremely durable, heat resistant and easy to clean. Great for food prep, it resists stains and bacteria and has a low absorption rate. Cool to the touch, slate comes in a variety of colors.

Semi-Precious Stone. This sophisticated countertop is formed from semi-precious materials, including quartz, amethyst, iron, jasper, agate, petrified wood and fossils. More durable than other natural stones, the non-porous surface resists scratches, heat and stains. The high-end countertop is available in various colors, some of which can be back-lit for a luminous appearance. The drawback? It is among the highest-priced material options.

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