Varying countertop preferences Designers agree that granite is the overwhelming favorite in countertops in the Chicago area. "Quartz is also very popular," says Liz Bruckner, designer at Atria Kitchen Design, located in the River North area of Chicago. "People like the quartz for maintenance." Other materials, such as glass and wood, are used for island tops for a distinctive difference, she says.
Claudia Martin, interior designer at studio m interiors inc. in downtown Chicago, says that with the price of granite going down, it's a product getting more affordable to more people. People are finding more exotic colors within their price range, instead of just black, says Martin. The move now is to lighter and more natural colors in granite and other products.
A lot of people are asking about marble and soapstone countertops, says Martin. "I'm designing more kitchens with painted cabinets and the soapstone and honed granite complement it nicely." Martin says that concrete countertops are growing in popularity.
Marble is sometimes used for specialized work areas in granite counters, she says. Whether a designer deals in traditional or more contemporary kitchens, one thing is certain in New York - the use of granite is waning. Evelyn Benatar, of New York Interior Design Inc.
, says that granite is losing favor, primarily because it's been so overused. Builders on the West Coast are playing it safe when it comes to the countertops they offer to new homebuyers: granite is still king. Centex Homes, one of the top 10 U.S. homebuilders, offers granite countertops as a key upgrade in many of its models, says Patty Boggs, design center manager in Valencia, Calif. When looking at trends in countertops, it's not just about color.
"For the last few years, the texture, the materiality has become as important, if not more, than color," says Ginguei Ebnesajjad, DuPont Surfaces director of product styling and development. Although consumers in Europe often prefer a honed or brushed finish, in this country people tend towards the matte finish, says Ebnesajjad. Initially people sometimes want a highly textured surface but soon abandon that goal and opt for clean and smooth.
Too much texture is just not practical. In the end, it all goes back to appearances. A recent U.S. countertop demand study states that demand for residential and kitchen bathroom countertops is forecast to increase 1.
3 percent annually to 540 million square feet in 2011. With people ready to spend more and the need to look into finer details having seen a steady increase, more and more people are looking at spending on countertops. This is a noticeable trend and as such, the variations in actual purchases are already evident. This growth is going to be steady and the increase dominant. One interesting truth is that because of the possibility of introduction of economic alternative countertops materials and the steady increase n demand, prices will not shoot up in comparison to increase in demand. This is justifiable because with an increase in demand, competitors are going to attempt at offering fvorble prices so that they can attract more and more potential customers.
The writers at CounterTop Business Magazine focus exclusively and entirely on the $7 billion countertop industry. Our digital magazine and companion website are for anyone involved in the specification, sale, fabrication, and installation of countertops. To learn more, visit http://countertopbusiness.com