Natural & Engineered Stone Countertops Offer Beauty, Durability & Personalization Options

At the high end of the market where beauty and personalization remain high priorities, granite and quartz products continue to be among the most sought-after countertop options. Nature-inspired looks remain popular in the kitchen, and the strength and durability of these products add functional appeal as well.

Granite, marble and other natural stone choices have long been "status symbols" in the kitchen, though the lower maintenance, wider variety of colors and greater color consistency make engineered stone a better option for many consumers.

Below are some of the hottest trends in natural and engineered stone countertops:

--Consumers continue to prize granite for its beauty, strength and durability, as well as the unique aspects of each slab, which allow for greater personalization in the kitchen.
--In natural stone, rich, warm tones remain popular, while greys and whites are also seeing more interest to complement today's more contemporary designs.
--For those who want an expanded color palette and greater color consistency, engineered stone, with its nearly endless array of color and pattern choices, offers the ability to enjoy the look, feel and strength of stone in colors not found in nature.
--Consumer trends continue to lean toward products that require minimal maintenance, which has further spurred on the growth of engineered stone products.
--Matte finishes and lighter tones are increasingly popular in the quartz category, with colors inspired by the rich, natural movement of exotic granite often combined with a detailed edging for maximum aesthetic appeal.
--The ecological impact of product choices continues to be a concern to homeowners, which has led to increased popularity of quartz products with a high recycled content. Homeowners are also choosing natural stone from local quarries to reduce their carbon footprint.
--In addition to countertops, quartz products are being used in a greater number of applications, including shelving in the kitchen, where their strength, durability and myriad color choices provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.

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