Stone has been a popular material for countertops for several years now. Newer materials and newer trends, however, meant that a shift was moving popularity away from neutral stones and the types of granites that had been popular for so many years. This does not mean that stone has fallen out of favor, however, and natural stone still holds one of the number one spots for designers and homeowners alike. Colors, appearance, and even materials have changed, though, making today’s stone counters look dramatically different than those seen ten years ago.
One of the biggest changes has been a shift away from neutral and safe choices. While dark, gold, and tan colored granites had been fairly popular along with white marbles for several years, today’s choices for kitchens include stones with lots of bold, wild color and pattern. Stones that have unexpected veining and movement, as well as color choices that are dramatic and over the top are taking the place of the safe choices previously favored.
In addition, instead of decorative or even gently refined edges, many homeowners are choosing to allow their stone counters to have a more natural or raw and unfinished edge. This fits in with other trends moving toward using materials in their natural states, rather than overly polished and refined.
Another trend that is emerging is the use of soapstone in the kitchen. Soapstone has long had a loyal following for its beauty and smooth, soft texture, but in recent years its popularity has begun to take off. Soapstones that have lots of veins or unusual colors such as green or red are particularly popular, but many homeowners are also drawn to the process of finishing the stone themselves using mineral oil after it’s installed.
Natural stone will always be a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms, but with today’s trends moving toward more dramatic color and natural finishes, it’s no wonder that stone is only growing in popularity for counters.