Kitchen Remodeling Alternatives To Granite

by Kevin Gilday & Tom Gilday

The End of Granite In Kitchen Remodeling

kitchen remodeling and granite countertops

Are we sick of the slab yet?  Starting about four years ago there were remodeling industry predictions of an end to the great granite countertop obsession that swept Metro Washington DC homeowners off their feet.  Well, four years later rock is still tops in the DC kitchen.

The day will surely come in the fickle and trendy world of kitchen remodeling when the timeless look of granite will lose its looks and appeal. Whether that time comes soon or later doesn't matter because, if you don't want granite, you have many options.

Alternative countertop materials that our kitchen designers have used successfully are:


Concrete countertops give a wide range for creativity.  They can tinted any color and spiced up by adding mica flecks or stone chips into the mix.

kitchen remodleing with concrete countertop


The butcher block center island countertop is an an oldy but goody work surface solution.

kitchen remodeling with butcher block  countertop

This built-in buffet features a solid wood countertop with stainless steel bar sink.

kitchen remodeling with solid wood countertop

Quartz Composites

This American University Park kitchen has Silestone countertops on the perimeter cabinets and a solid wood countertop at the center island.  Generally, we are using a wood countertop on a surface that takes a lighter workload such as a seating area or sideboard.

kitchen remodeling with wood and silestone countertops

Stainless Steel

The industrial sheen and utility of stainless steel is a choice for serious amateur chefs.

kitchen remodeling with stainless steel countertop


The silky smooth surface of marble is a bit of a diva.  Like all exceptional beauties it tends to be high maintenance--but worth the trouble if you love it.

kitchen remodeling with marble countertop

Tempered Glass

This contemporary kitchen in  McLean features a split level kitchen island that employs granite for the prep area (lower) and a tempered glass bar counter.

kitchen remodeling with tempered glass countertop

Kitchen Remodeling With or Without Granite

Another trick Gilday designers have used successfully--when granite is specified--is to use two types of granite for their kitchen designs.  This kitchen island has a split surface.  It uses a black polished granite at the seating bar portion and another type for the prep area.

It is now quite common to see two and sometimes three different types of countertop surfaces in a remodeled kitchen.  Kitchen designers are typically using one type of material at the center island and another for the perimeter cabinets.  Sometimes there will be a third type of counter top material applied to a sideboard or banquette (built-in seating and table top).

So, even though granite countertops continue to be the top choice for our kitchen remodeling clients, the stone can be used more creatively than you might think.  And don't forget there are (and have always been) at least half a dozen other types of surfaces to choose from.