Smart Tips for Picking the Right Kitchen Countertop Material

a kitchen with black cabinets and white subway tile and an island in the middle that has a waterfall style marble countertop
Best Kitchen Countertop Ideas and Materials Annie Schlechter

We demand a lot from our kitchen countertops. We want to them to be pretty, long-lasting, hardworking, stain- and water-resistant, and did we mention pretty? The true workhorse of a farmhouse kitchen, countertops take a beating as we roll dough, cut produce, and put hot pans on them, not to mention the homework and other "life" happening in the kitchen daily.

As you start to pull together farmhouse kitchen ideas for your next renovation, take the task of choosing kitchen countertop materials very seriously. Ask yourself some important questions to find the right countertop material for you and your family. What will my kitchen cabinet colors be? Simpler white kitchens can handle a stone pattern with some movement in the veining, while a more colorful design plan calls for a quieter, more solid countertop. How much do I want to spend? If the answer is less than average, butcher block is a solid option for farmhouse kitchen countertop ideas on a budget. Look into affordable laminate too—the choices have come a long way. If you're up for splurging and love a classic farmhouse look, go for a handsome marble kitchen countertop. Do I want a kitchen island? If the answer is yes, consider unique kitchen island countertop ideas, like an impressive waterfall edge design, or repurposing an antique to add loads of patina to your space.

Read on for new kitchen countertop ideas, including granite countertops (polished and honed), quartz, soapstone, concrete, and even stainless steel.

Black Polished Granite Kitchen Countertop Idea

For a modern touch among this fully pine kitchen (the walls and cabinetry in the same finish), consider sleek black appliances, faucet fixtures, lighting, and countertops, like this polished granite.

a pine wood kitchen with black appliances and countertops and lighting
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Ornate Backsplash and Sink Bump Out Kitchen Countertop Idea

In this sunny yellow kitchen, classic marble countertops extend into an ornately carved backsplash behind the sink. This pretty detail, along with the depth-changing countertop and cabinet, set the bumped-out sink apart from the rest of the lower cabinetry to create a unique "antique cabinet" look.

RELATED: See more from this British-inspired kitchen.

a cheery sunny yellow kitchen with gingham curtains and white marble countertops that extend into an ornately carved backsplash behind the sink
Becky Luigart-Stayner - Hearst Owned

Concrete Kitchen Countertop Idea

Hardworking concrete countertops sit atop rustic cabinets made from reclaimed wood. Concrete countertops are heavier than other materials and require cabinet reinforcements, so be sure they are installed properly.

concrete countertops site atop reclaimed wood cabinetry in a mountain house
Brie Williams

Indoor-Outdoor Kitchen Countertop Idea

How clever is this indoor-outdoor bar-height counter?! This clever idea, shown here with thick terrazzo countertops, helps this tiny kitchen live larger. Install bifold windows the width of the countertop to throw open when the weather's right.

RELATED: See more from this Southern California cottage.

the outdoorsy type southern california cottage homeowner raili clasen indoor outdoor bar height counter
Karyn Millet

Waterfall Kitchen Countertop Idea

A waterfall edge island design brings sleek, sophisticated style in this modern farmhouse kitchen. Plan your budget accordingly to pull off this impressive look, as the material costs will increase. Popular materials for a waterfall countertop include quartz and marble for their eye-catching vein pattern.

a kitchen with black cabinets and white subway tile and an island in the middle that has a waterfall style marble countertop
Annie Schlechter

Mixed Materials Kitchen Countertop Idea

You don't have to stick to one countertop material. Mix it up as needed, like this space with marble on the sink wall and wood on the sides. This same idea is widely used in farmhouse kitchens with center islands, with one type of stone on the outside walls and a different material on the island.

a tiny blue kitchen pantry space that has marble countertops and wood too
Laurey W. Glenn

Decorative Edge Kitchen Countertop Idea

The detailed edging on a countertop can change the overall look of a kitchen. Here, a decorative Ogee style edge detail on the island's Silestone "Charcoal Soapstone" top elevates the style to a more formal vibe. White countertops along the perimeter have a simple square edge, keeping the space from being too fancy.

RELATED: See more of this beautifully renovated Mississippi farmhouse.

a blue kitchen with a large island that has a gray countertop
Becky Luigart-Stayner - Hearst Owned

Phenolic Resin Kitchen Countertop Idea

At first glance, you might think the black countertop shown here is soapstone or quartz, but it's actually a material called phenolic resin. It's often found in a chemistry lab setting due to its durability, which is what makes it a good (and also economical) choice for farmhouse kitchens where countertops should be able to take a beating.

RELATED: Take a tour of this modern renovated barn.

a modern farmhouse style kitchen with oversize white pendant lighting and an island with black countertops
Alpha Smoot

Marble Kitchen Countertop Idea

This impressive 10-foot island is no doubt the heart of the kitchen. The cool marble countertops provide a pretty, neutral palette as well as the ideal place to bake.

this impressive 10 foot island is no doubt the heart of the kitchen with marble countertops provide a pretty cool palette as well as the ideal place to bake
Aaron Colussi

Antique Butcher Block Kitchen Countertop Idea

Old breaks the mold in this renovated galley kitchen. The treasured antique butcher block table adds an additional prep and serving surface, as well as much-needed warmth and patina. Everything else here is new, including the marble-inspired quartz countertops and butcher block window seat beyond.

a kitchen with green cabinets with an antique butcher block table
Amanda Dyer Photography

Island Overhang Kitchen Countertop Idea

Create a comfortable island eating area with a right-size countertop overhang. A typical overhang range is 12-18 inches, but confirm the dimensions before installation because it does matter. For instance, 12 inches doesn't leave room to tuck away most counter stools, but longer overhangs may require support brackets or posts.

an all white kitchen with wood beams and a large island in the middle where a woman is standing
David A. Land

Reclaimed Marble Kitchen Countertop Idea

An old printer's table topped with reclaimed marble serves as a storage-friendly island. The curved ends of the island topper create enough overhang for a small stool on each side.

a kitchen that has an old wooden island and a marble top

Honed Granite Kitchen Countertop Idea

In this Tennessee cabin, black honed granite countertops top painted poplar cabinets. Honed surfaces, which are stripped of their reflective shine, are popular for their matte finish that hides scratches and their modern farmhouse look.

RELATED: See more of this restored Tennessee log cabin.

olive green cabinets in a kitchen with honed black granite countertops and lots of windows

Heated Kitchen Countertop Idea

Thanks to an electric mat installed underneath, the quartz countertop (Calacatta Laza) on this 7-by-5-foot kitchen island is heated.

RELATED: See more of this gorgeous newly-built Minnesota lake cottage.

a kitchen with a huge middle island with rattan type barstools surrounding it
Marta Xochilt Perez

Butcher Block Kitchen Countertop Idea

This lake house kitchen boasts a casual, friendly vibe, thanks to a happy hodgepodge of barstools, nostalgic finds like the "café" sign, and practical design choices like butcher block countertops and painted floors.

RELATED: See inside this Missouri lake cabin.

a kitchen with painted green floors and a vintage vibe thanks to mix match barstools and bright colors and a cafe sign
Adam Albright

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