Kitchen Throw Down: Cool Countertop Finishes Set To Dethrone Granite

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When it launched in July 2012, Whirlpool’s Ice Collection rode into the kitchen design scene like a futuristic knight in shining white (or black) armor (actually mirrored-glass), rescuing kitchen renovators and home buyers from the propaganda that’s painfully drilled into viewers heads by almost every HGTV show participant… that “stainless steel appliances” are the end-all-be-all.

Now “granite countertops”, the long-time companion to “stainless steel appliances” and HGTV’s other ubiquitous kitchen darling, are on their way to déclassé status compliments of some really cool materials.

In her recent Fix-It Friday column, our DIY Contributor, home improvement pro Norma “Toolbelt Diva” Vally, helped a confused reader make sense of the dizzying array of kitchen countertop options out there now… from innovations like wood and bamboo, recycled materials, concrete, and porcelain tile, to old standards like marble, laminate, and granite, of course.

“We’ve seen the future of your kitchen, and it’s not granite.”

To add to Norma’s list, we turned to our friends from to see what new finishes are on the horizon that are set to send granite, the greybeard of kitchen countertops, to its grave. Here’s what their team discovered at EuroCucina 2014, as reported by Ben Keough.

Nanotech Materials

“The most unusual alternative countertop we saw at EuroCucina came from Italian designer Arrital, courtesy of Arpa Industriale. Referred to as a ‘nanotech matte material,’ the Fenix NTM countertop is anti-reflective, anti-fingerprint, self-healing, and soft to the touch without being… well, soft. It felt great under our hands, and looked great in Arrital’s modern kitchens.”


Tempered Glass

“German design house Leicht showed off a lovely tempered glass countertop in a number of its model kitchens. The thick, translucent material is tough and has a pleasant tactility, while still remaining easy to clean. According to company reps, it’s also available in a huge variety of colors.”



“Leicht also made use of ceramic counters, which one representative described as the ‘closest thing you can get to indestructible.’ The material is scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and cool but not cold to the touch. And the dark gray finish we saw paired beautifully with the wooden surround.”