Move Over, Marble! | 6 Countertop Materials to Consider for Your Home

 

Marble countertops are beautiful and timeless, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Don’t get us wrong, we love marble, but there are so many incredible alternatives out there that we couldn’t help but round up some of our favorites! 

Mixing countertop materials in different areas of the kitchen is a great option to break up a space. Soapstone, stainless steel & butcher block are featured in this kitchen by  Megan Pflug Designs .

Mixing countertop materials in different areas of the kitchen is a great option to break up a space. Soapstone, stainless steel & butcher block are featured in this kitchen by Megan Pflug Designs.


No. 1 | Quartzite

It looks and feels like marble but is more durable, like granite. There is a lot of confusion surrounding quartzite and for good reason. True quartzite is a natural stone and looks very similar to marble, but it is less susceptible to staining or scratches. The problem today is many fabricators or stone suppliers are labeling stone as quartzite but the properties of the stone are more in line with marble.

Design by  Bria Hammel Interiors  | Photography by  Spacecrafting

Design by Bria Hammel Interiors | Photography by Spacecrafting

Design by  Dawn Reeves  | Photography by  Ryan McDonald

Design by Dawn Reeves | Photography by Ryan McDonald

Pros:

  • Looks like marble

  • Resistant to staining and scratching

  • Resistant to UV rays, which means no fading

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant

  • Limited color options

  • Knife cuts can damage the sealant used


No. 2 | Terrazzo

This speckled beauty is completely customizable and engineered to withstand years of use. It also tends to be environmentally friendly as the glass and chips included in this man-made material are recycled. While terrazzo has been around for quite a while now, it has started popping up more & more as a modern alternative to stone countertops and has appeared in products like bowls, side tables, and even shelves. 

Design by  Nordiska Kök

Design by Nordiska Kök

Design by  Maria Marinina
 
 
 
 
Design by  Play. Associates
Design by  Heju

Design by Heju

Cons:

  • Not readily available from most contractors

  • Requires regular cleaning and sealing

  • Can often cost as much as marble

Pros:

  • Completely customizable

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Heat resistant


No. 3 | Soapstone

Named for its soft-to-the-touch feel, the nonporous surface of soapstone makes it resistant to bacteria so cleaning is a breeze. You can skip harsh chemicals and instead opt for more environmentally friendly soap and water. The rich, dark color of soapstone can sometimes appear to be blue or green. Due to its soft nature, soapstone is more prone to nicks and scratches but these can easily be repaired with a bit of sandpaper. 

Design by  Heidi Caillier  | Photography by  Haris Kenjar

Design by Heidi Caillier | Photography by Haris Kenjar

Pros:

  • Heat and stain resistant

  • Extremely durable

  • No sealing required, just oil treatments

Cons:

  • Needs regular oil treatments for consistent coloring

  • Very limited color options


No. 4 | Quartz

This is another man made creation, but unlike terrazzo, quartz can pass as real stone. Because it is man made, it is available in tons of different colors and styles. If you love marble but want a tougher alternative, quartz is the way to go. It can easily mimic the look of marble without being too obvious. Quartz is nonporous and stain resistant, meaning it’s perfect for a busy family who might not always have time to wipe up spills right away.

Design by  Bria Hammel Interiors  | Photography by  Spacecrafting

Design by Bria Hammel Interiors | Photography by Spacecrafting

Design by  Bria Hammel Interiors  | Photography by  Spacecrafting

Design by Bria Hammel Interiors | Photography by Spacecrafting

Pros:

  • Stain and bacteria resistant

  • Stronger and more flexible than many stone options

  • Available in many colors and styles

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant

  • Can cost just as much as natural stones

  • Can be difficult to color match when using multiple slabs


No. 5 | Concrete

Concrete countertops bring an industrial vibe to a space. They are custom poured for your space and can be poured elsewhere or directly in your home. Just like the concrete we walk on, the countertops are tough. However, they are not resistant to damage. They are extremely porous and will stain easily if not properly sealed and cared for.

Design by  Roberto Sosa  | Photography by  Kate Holstein  /  Pete Cabrinha

Design by Roberto Sosa | Photography by Kate Holstein / Pete Cabrinha

Design by  Amanda Pays  | Photograph by  Matthew Williams  for Remodelista.

Design by Amanda Pays | Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

Pros:

  • Created just for your home

  • Very durable with proper care

  • Heat and scratch resistant

Cons:

  • Prone to staining and discoloration without proper sealing

  • Requires a lot of care and attention


No. 6 | Butcher Block

Butcher block countertops bring a beautiful, natural touch to any kitchen. They are perfect for those who want to skip the cutting board and work directly on their countertop as the soft surface of the wood will not damage knives. Knives can damage the countertop, though. With a little bit of sanding and a good finishing oil, these countertops are built to last.

Design by  Devol Kitchens

Design by Devol Kitchens

Design by  Nordiska Kök  | Photography by  Andrea Papini

Design by Nordiska Kök | Photography by Andrea Papini

Pros:

  • Easy to restore and care for

  • Wood has natural antibacterial properties

Cons:

  • Prone to nicks and scratches

  • Requires routine maintenance and care


We can all agree that marble countertops are a classic choice… and for good reason! But these alternatives are stunning in their own right and whether it’s an unexpected terrazzo or a stunning soapstone countertop, we’re sure that there is an optimal material out there that will meet the needs & style of your home. Have a question about a material listed above? Let us know in the comments! 

 
counter-top-marble-alternatives-scout-and-nimble-soap-stone-soapstone-quartz-quartzite-butcherboard-butcher-board-concrete-terrazzo.png
terrazzo-scout-and-nimble-concrete-collaborative-granite-chip-ivory-pewter-fossil-alabaster-venetian-.png
 
 
terrazzo-scout-and-nimble-concrete-collaborative-alabaster-coal -marble-chip-venetian-blush-tones.png
terrazzo-scout-and-nimble-concrete-collaborative-granite-chip-ivory-pewter-fossil.png