The world of kitchen countertop materials can be a baffling one. There’s just so much to consider—from the type of look you want for your space to the material that’s going to function best for your home, family, or cooking style. Countertop selection is also uniquely individual—while there are trends that come and go, ultimately selections must be tailored to the designer, client, or homeowner choosing them. “Many materials come with a long list of upkeep demands, while others are extremely resilient,” says Remodelista’s Christine Chang Hanway. “Be realistic about how much effort you’re willing to put into the care of your countertops.”
Everyone has their own idea of what they’re willing to sacrifice or bend on when pulling together those oh-so-important details. When redesigning the kitchen of our 1820s colonial, my husband and I wanted a “living” countertop material that felt genuine to our home’s provenance and would patina beautifully. After much deliberation, we went with marble countertops and a soapstone island—and we haven’t stopped hearing about it since. While everyone admits they’re beautiful, many are of the opinion that tender stones and high-maintenance marble have no place in a home with a young family. I disagree: their imperfections are what I love most about them.