The "Other Guys" of Kitchen Countertops not named Granite or Quartz

In the 2010 Will Ferrell movie “The Other Guys”, Will Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a no frills paper pushing cop who doesn’t get the same glory some of his heroic counterparts get on the force. A minor case turns into a big deal and he finally gets to show his stuff.

When it comes to kitchen countertops, granite and quartz (or engineered stone) are the heroes of the lot. But what about the “other guys” in kitchen countertops? When given the chance, they can perform above and beyond expectations and be an integral part and focal point of the kitchen.

Here are some pros and cons of the “other guys” when it comes to kitchen countertops:

Wood/Butcher Block – a time-tested choice for work surfaces in the kitchen, wood butcher block kitchen countertops offer a warm, beautiful look. From maple’s tight grains to the exotic feel of black walnut, wood butcher block kitchen countertops can be an excellent choice.
Pros: Natural look and feel; can be sanded, sealed and maintained over time; easy to clean
Cons: Must be oiled and sealed regularly for proper wear and appearance; scratches naturally and easily from cutting; can be damaged from stains or water over time

kitchen countertops not named granite or quartz

2 of the "other guys" of kitchen countertops: soapstone and marble.

Soapstone – these rustic stone kitchen countertops are being found in more and more kitchens. Soapstone has a smooth surface that has a feel that is often compared to a dry bar of soap. Its natural darker gray tone is particularly popular, offering a beautiful and striking contrast when used with lighter stains and painted whites and off white finishes.
Pros: Deep, rich color options; smooth, cool feel; offers some stain and heat resistance
Cons: Will darken over time; susceptible to cracking; requires regular maintenance with mineral oil

Concrete – with surprising flexibility, concrete kitchen countertops offer tinted colors and unusual shapes customized to the needs of the client. With options for honed finish and texture variations including tiny pebbles and sand, concrete kitchen countertops can truly personalize your kitchen space.
Pros: Heat and scratch resistance; color can be tinted for variation; offers exotic and unique look
Cons: Susceptible to cracking; is porous and must be sealed 3-4 times a year for best performance (but can be sealed); sometimes is perceived as more “industrial” looking

Stainless Steel – this industrial looking surface works best in more modern and contemporary kitchen design. The silvery-gray of stainless steel kitchen countertops is always custom made and often will not have any visible seams. It could be a little much though if you have your heart set on stainless steel fixtures and appliances.
Pros: Easy to clean; can handle hot pans; rustproof
Cons: Expensive; noisy; susceptible to denting; not a surface to cut on; can be industrial looking; shows fingerprints

Marble – an ideal surface for dough and baking prep, marble kitchen countertops are often the complimentary top in the kitchen, finding its’ way onto an island or specific baking prep area. Price plays a factor as well, as marble kitchen countertops typically carry a higher price tag.
Pros: Striking in appearance; heat resistance; water proof
Cons: Expensive; porous; prone to staining if not professionally sealed; requires periodic maintenance; can scratch

As Will Ferrell’s Allen Gamble said, “This is all the evidence we have, and I, I truly hope you take this seriously.” We hope you take note of some of the “other guys” in kitchen countertops to find the right surface for your own kitchen.

By Jim Grace

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