When it comes to the latest kitchen countertop design trends, there is a lot to know. Colors and materials factor strongly into 2018’s trends — especially with stones like quartzite becoming ever more popular. Even though quartzite costs more than other types of stones, it comes with advantages that homeowners love.
Colors and types of stones aren’t the only factors to look at. Some of the latest trends revolve around things like waterfall islands and custom mitered built-up edges. What this means is that current trends include not only material choices, but fabricator choices, too. To follow the latest trends, experienced installers and fabricators with the right tools for the job are necessary. Let’s look at some of these trends so that you can make an informed decision as you choose your new kitchen countertops.
Waterfall Islands for Kitchens
Waterfall islands are one of the biggest trends for 2018 — and we forecast that this trend will be around for years to come. That’s because these islands have a sleek, contemporary look. A waterfall island will add to a kitchen remodeling budget, especially if you need a larger piece of stone in which the patterning for the top and sides flows together, but the extra cost is worth it. With clever fabrication, electrical outlets can be hidden in waterfall islands and these islands can even serve as pony walls or room dividers in homes with an open floor plan.
The typical waterfall island is made with 3-centimeter thick stone and expertly mitered edges that give the island a seamless look. Because of this, you’ll need to work with a stone fabrication shop that has all the right tools and skills. Not every fabricator can produce a flawless waterfall island! Look for shops like Arch City Marble & Granite, which use tools such as the Fusion Sawjet that can make perfect 45-degree miter cuts. The ideal fabricator will not only have the tools to cut the stone to exact specifications, but they’ll also have experienced installers that will ensure the island is installed exactly to your standards.
Kitchen Countertop Design: Mitered Built Up Edges
In most cases, the stone used for kitchen countertops is 3 centimeters thick, or about 1 1/4 inches. One of the latest trends, however, is the installation of countertops that are between 2 1/5 inches and 3 inches thick. Since granite or quartz slabs don’t come in these thicknesses, you’ll need an experienced fabricator that can produce what is known as a “mitered built up edge.”
What is a mitered built up edge? It is achieved by joining two 1 1/4-inch slabs together, gluing the stone so that you have a solid looking slab that is 2 ½ or 3” inches thick. The fabricator makes perfect miter cuts at 45-degree angles at both edges of the slabs. If you look at an unfinished built-up slab, the edge profile will have a 45 degree cut at the edges. The two pieces of stone are glued together with a strong epoxy material, so that they are intact as one piece. Next comes polishing, which smooths the stone without rounding its corners. When complete, slabs with a built up mitered edge look like one solid piece of stone rather than two slabs glued together. Take a look at the image below to see a counter with a mitered built up edge and you’ll see exactly what we mean!
Simple Edge Details are Trending
One of the biggest design trends of recent years is minimalism or sleek, contemporary interior décor styles. For modern kitchen countertops, this means that simple edge details are in high demand. Many homeowners choose simple straight edges for their countertops or they go with pencil edges.
Both edge profiles come with several advantages. They give a counter a sleek, minimalist look, and because these edge designs are simplistic, there is no risk that they’ll ever go out of style. Not only that, but these edge designs don’t require an upgrade fee as opposed to more complex edge profiles, which are more expensive to produce.
Double Thick Built Up Ornamental Edges for Islands
This is a trend that has been growing for a long time. It starts with a double-thick countertop that is then cut to have an intricate edge profile. If you’d like an ornamental double-thick edge profile, you’ll need a fabricator that uses a state of the art CNC cutting machine because it simply isn’t possible to create certain ornamental edges by hand. The highest level of stone craftsmanship and precision is needed to produce these counters.
These edges come with a lot of customization. Normally, the homeowner chooses two edges to make a combination edge. For instance, you might choose to do an Ogee over Ogee (or double Ogee) cut, or you could do an Ogee cut over a full bullnose cut. Because the stone is stacked to double thickness, the finished counter is 2 1/2 inches rather than 1 1/4 inches thick. This option costs more than simpler edge cuts but the result is a kitchen island that stands out as a beautiful focal point.
Another design trend that has come back in fashion is the clean, white kitchen — and by extension, white marble countertops to match. In Europe, this is a trend that never fades. In the U.S., counters made with Vermont Danby and Carrara marble are a major trend. Part of this is because of the availability of effective marble sealants like Dry-Treat, which makes homeowners more comfortable with using more porous stone.
Light Gray and White Countertops
If you’re looking for the most popular countertop colors of 2018, look into shades of gray and white. This trend also explores off-whites, and it continues in large part because of the trend of white, off-white and gray cabinet colors. Some of the most popular stone choices include Super White quartzite, Grey Nuevo, Nevasca Mist granite and London Grey quartz.
Marble-Like Quartz Colors
Quartz is becoming trendy in large part because people are seeking a more durable, less maintenance intensive stone that replicates the look of marble — and many quartz brands are coming out with slabs that accomplish this beautifully. Calcatta Classique from Q-Quartz (shown below) is one such example.
Kitchen Counters Designed with Quartzite
Quartzite is another stone that is gaining in popularity. Unlike quartz, which is a manufactured stone produced in an industrial environment, quartzite is found naturally in the Earth’s crust, quarried just like natural stones such as granite and marble. Another big advantage to quartzite is that it comes with the look of marble and the durability of granite. This stone is harder than marble and much less susceptible to cracks or chips. This is why so many homeowners are choosing quartzite despite the higher cost compared to other types of stones.
If you’re shopping for kitchen countertops in St. Louis, Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. has the modern stone cutting technology to do waterfall islands and intricate double-stacked edge profiles. We also stock hand-picked stones in the latest styles of granite and quartz, and Quartzite.
At our shop, we stock more than 110 colors of granite, quartz, quartzite and soapstone full slabs, which gives homeowners the ability to choose the perfect slab from our inventory. Home owners do not have to make selections based on small samples. You can hand pick the exact slabs that go into your kitchen. This differentiates Arch City Granite in St. Louis from Big Box stores where you do not have the opportunity to see the full slabs of stone. From there, we handle the rest, measuring, fabricating and completing the installation, all with our experienced in-house crews.