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Decor Disputes: 3 Kitchen Countertop Ideas That Are Sweeping The Nation

kitchen countertop debate
photo: Smitten Studio

On the weekends, my husband and I enjoy visiting the building district here in Denver. We like to go to the tile and wood shops and plan our future home and decide what we like and what we don't. We've been on the topic of kitchen countertops for a while now and I just can't make a decision on what I love most! While white marble is a fave, there are two other options that are slowly edging that out of my mind!      

 

Kitchen Debate: Marble, Butcherblock, or Concrete?!
photo via: Harbourside Kitchens
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I love the look of white kitchens. The marble makes everything feel so chic and clean. While many options of marble are great, the white calcutta or carrera marble seem to be the most popular! 

Kitchen Debate: Marble, Butcherblock, or Concrete?!
photo via: Melissa Miranda Interior Design

My biggest concern is that the marble is tough to keep clean or that it will etch too quickly. I don't really mind the marble having those characteristics and looking "lived in and used", but I don't really want to pay a lot for something that might not stand up to my amounts of baking and cooking messes that may involve citrus and/or red food coloring! But it sure is pretty, don't ya think?!

kitchen countertop debate
photo via: ACS / Paradise Concrete

My husband used to pour concrete when we were in college (years ago!) and he and a friend started doing concrete counter tops as experiments in small student homes. And the result was insanely amazing! I've always been partial to the concrete and it's definitely becoming a runner up! The bonus of the concrete counter is that even when it looks a little "weathered" it won't look out of place. What do you think?

kitchen debate counterop
photo via: Smitten Studio

The third option that I love is the butcher block. I have a few friends who are redoing their kitchens and they've replaced their boring builder grade counters with butcher block ones. It looks fantastic! But again, what about the staining? And I know myself and I would be so tempted to just cut my food right on the counter and skip the cutting board. I've seen old cabins with butcher block countertops and those counters were BEAT UP! However, they were still so charming. 

I'm so torn! What is currently in your kitchen? Would you ever do the modern concrete? Or would you stick to the classy marble?! Feel free to leave a comment below! Let's discuss!

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Anonymous on Feb 24, 2015:

I am inclined towards the concrete with the white base as suggested by a previous commenter. It goes with my modern esthetic and feels right at home in a white kitchen. You could easily get a Boos block and put it out or in an indentation made for the purpose. If you ( or someone who cooks) is tall, putting the block on top of the counter provides a higher, more ergonomic work spot. And it's easier to replace than the counter!


NeetX on Feb 24, 2015:

BUTCHER BLOCK!  i LOVE the way it looks and warms the ceramic tile and stainles steel in the kitchen.  But i've mixed countertops.  The counters for the sink and cook-top are granite.  The 3rd countertop is butcher block.  It's SO PRETTY and so WARM and so against the grain (forgive the pun).  EVERYBODY'S doing granite.  The butcher block mixes it up a bit.  I don't have kids.  And it seems from the other remarks that might make all the difference.  If it needs to be refinished a few years from now, I have that to sand and refinish.  I'll take that! I LOVE the BUTCHER BLOCK!  It's SOOOO PRETTY!


Iz on Feb 21, 2015:

Calacatta and Carrara looks great, but marble is not suited for real kitchen. Same goes for wood - both are easy to stain. BUT - there is a way to have its looks on countertops. Try looking for LAMINAM or NEOLITH (NEOLITH migt be easier to find in US, Laminam is more focused on Europe). It's kind of conglomerate that is made of quarz sand and it's dedicated for kitchens countertop and other spaces. There are a lot of designs, you will find Carrara/Calacatta/Statuario or even few wood patterns for sure and in diffrent finish. Here are their websites - http://www.laminam.it/en/home/  and   http://www.thesize.es/web/index.php?pg=2&spg=1&coleccion=06


Denise on Feb 20, 2015:

We redid our kitchen 4 years ago and went with concrete for the island and bamboo for the wall cabinets. I LOVE the concrete and never worry about it anymore. Like anything new I cringed at the 1st few stains or scratches but learned most stains come out if caught quickly and if not its become part of the character that I love. I still like the look of our bamboo tops but still obsess over scratches etc. If I did it again I don't think I would do a wood top. I think I would do concrete all over but maybe have some drop in spots where cutting boards could be strategically placed. That would make them easy to clean and easy to replace and break all that concrete up.


lexy.b.ward on Feb 20, 2015:

Bahahaha! I am laughing so hard at the poor/pour editing mistake! I can't believe I did that! And I used to edit papers in college!!!! I'd blame it on the pregnancy brain, but my daughter is currently 16 months old. It was just pour editing... ;) 

See what I did there?!

And I am loving these responses! I feel like I don't see enough of the butcher block counters! I definitely agree that it would be a pain to seal and stainevery few years! I'm just really leaning towards the concrete! I once saw a kitchen with white cabinets, a marble hex tile backsplash, and dark grey concrete counters. And I was just smitten! 

I think that if we were to go the marble route, it might be a granite that closely resembles marble. What great links and suggestions! Thank you!


Nicole on Feb 20, 2015:

Butcher block is impossible to keep clean too.  I suggest option #4... quartz.  Casaerstone's Misty Carrara looks pretty damned close to real marble in mass and it's resistant to EVERYTHING.  Also, it's cheaper that marble which is good too.

http://www.caesarstoneus.com/en/The-Catalog/Pages/4141%20Misty%20Carrera.aspx

You could also do the conrete counter, but use the white base concrete instead of standard.  Ardex has beautiful colored concrete options you could look at.  Pandomo (their italian color collection) is amazing.  

http://www.ardexamericas.com/en-us/Products/pandomo/Pages/DecorativeConcrete.aspx


Anonymous on Feb 20, 2015:

pour, poor

 

My husband used to POUR concrete when ...


Laura on Feb 20, 2015:

I love concrete countertops!  Butcher block looks great in photos, but I have a small butcher block countertop in my kitchen and in 8 years of living in the house we've had to sand and reseal it a couple of times.  I think it also depends on if you have kids (they are not so careful about spillage)! 


Anonymous on Feb 20, 2015:

If you really want your countertops to stay shiny and clean, don't go with marble or butcher block. Butcher block will get worn down quickly and isn't heat-resistant. It's also susceptible to water damage. Marble is really soft - it etches quickly, it absorbs certain stains quite easily (and they're super hard to remove), and it'll lose its shine pretty fast. (Don't spill your lemon juice!) I had marble counters in my old condo and I didn't mind them looking weathered but keeping them clean/unstained was a pain.


Steph on Feb 20, 2015:

I've seen spaces with two different counter materials, and that might really be the way to go. Butcher block mixed with concrete seems charmingly rustic and pretty nearly foolproof. Marble is always a gorgeous idea, though.


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