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Choosing the Right Stone

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The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and choosing the right materials for countertops, backsplashes and flooring can significantly impact its aesthetic appeal and functionality. In recent years, there have been exciting trends and developments in these areas, driven by advancements in material technology, evolving design preferences and a growing emphasis on sustainability. In this article, we dive into the latest trends with insight from local experts in our area and examine whether granite still reigns supreme, what's popular in colors and patterns, the evolution of backsplash choices and the latest options in kitchen flooring.

Countertops: Is Granite Still King?
For years, granite has been the go-to material for kitchen countertops, valued for its durability, heat resistance and natural beauty. However, recent trends suggest a shift in preferences. While granite remains a popular choice, it is no longer the undisputed king. That crown now goes to quartz, and our local experts agree with the masses.

"Quartz countertops have gained significant traction, offering a non-porous, low-maintenance alternative to natural stone. Unlike granite, which requires periodic sealing, quartz surfaces are highly resistant to stains, scratches and bacteria," shares David Cerami, president of HomeTech Renovations. "It also offers a uniform appearance, which appeals to those homeowners who might be looking for a sleek, modern look."

Another industry expert, Vic Fiore from Magnolia Home Remodeling Group, weighs in on the desirability of quartz. "Quartz's ability to mimic the appearance of natural stone, combined with its practical benefits, has made it a favorite among homeowners for many different kitchen designs and styles."

Backsplashes: Elevating Kitchen Design
Backsplashes have evolved from purely functional elements to key design features in the modern kitchen. They protect walls from spills and splashes, but they also offer a canvas for creativity, allowing homeowners to express their style. With a plethora of materials, colors and patterns available, backsplashes can transform the aesthetic of a kitchen.

Subway tiles have long been a staple in kitchen design, known for their simplicity and versatility. While the classic white subway tile remains popular, new variations are emerging that breathe fresh life into this timeless choice.

"We're still seeing the use of subway tiles, but with more personality in the design," offers Cerami. "Homeowners are selecting colored grouts or opting for more adventurous patterns of installation like herringbone or a staggered design."

Another option to jazz up a standard subway tile is selecting one with a textured surface or embossed patterns, offering a fresh take on this classic look. Cerami elaborates: "Think tiles with a beveled edge, a wavy texture or a patterned surface. These tiles add dimension and visual interest to the backsplash without straying too far from tradition."

Another popular choice for a backsplash is large format tiles and slabs offering homeowners a seamless and sophisticated look. These options provide a sleek, continuous look that enhances the overall aesthetic of the kitchen.

"The larger slabs are particularly appealing in minimalist and modern kitchen designs. Their clean lines and expansive surfaces contribute to a streamlined, uncluttered appearance that emphasizes simplicity and elegance," says Fiore. "And it's also great for those who want easy kitchen cleanup."

Kitchen Flooring: Trends and Considerations
When it comes to kitchen design, flooring plays a crucial role in setting the tone of the space. It's a high-traffic area that demands durability, ease of maintenance and, of course, aesthetic appeal. With myriad of flooring options available, each with its own set of benefits and styles, selecting the right one for your kitchen can be both exciting and overwhelming.

Sophia Amiano, designer with Amiano & Son Design-Build, eagerly shares her insight on the latest trends within the industry.

"As a home remodeling designer, I'm thrilled to share the latest trends shaping our spaces. The design world today is all about embracing organic materials, raw textures and calming palettes," she says. "In kitchens and bathrooms, we're seeing a surge in linen-inspired tiles, basketweave mosaics, and classic black-and-white patterns. The modern farmhouse look has made way for tailored traditional designs with a rustic twist. Think rich wood tones, moody office spaces and playful laundry rooms."

Terrazzo and concrete floors are making a comeback, particularly in modern and industrial-style kitchens. Terrazzo, with its speckled appearance and diverse color options, adds a spirited yet sophisticated touch. Concrete floors, on the other hand, provide a sleek, minimalist look that complements contemporary designs. Both materials are highly durable and can be customized with different finishes and treatments.

Engineered wood flooring is also still popular, combining the beauty of hardwood with improved durability. It consists of a top layer of real wood veneer over a plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF) core, which makes it more stable and less prone to warping than solid wood.

"For kitchen flooring, many homeowners are choosing warm wood to extend the cozy feel throughout their most-used spaces," says Amiano. "Additionally, concrete-inspired, sleek patterned tiles are becoming a highly sought-after look in contemporary kitchens. To add a personal touch or a dash of whimsy, incorporating fun, bold colors in select areas can bring a delightful pop and invigorate the overall design, making each space uniquely yours."

In conclusion, it's safe to say that the world of kitchen design is ever-evolving, with new materials, colors and patterns continually emerging. Quartz is growing in popularity for countertops, offering unique benefits and a universally pleasing aesthetic appeal. In the realm of backsplashes, homeowners are embracing more intricate patterns, unconventional shapes and elevating the classic subway tile. For kitchen flooring, durable and stylish options like terrazzo and concrete are leading the way, with a growing emphasis on larger formats and unique patterns. Whilst, some homeowners take a warmer, more traditional approach by opting for hardwood and engineered hardwoods.

Ultimately, choosing the right stone and flooring for your kitchen depends on your personal style, practical needs and the overall design vision for your space. By staying informed about the latest trends and innovations, you can create a kitchen that is not only functional but also a beautiful reflection of your taste and personality.


Amiano & Son Design-Build
Ship Bottom, N.J.
Southampton, N.J.
(609) 268-5923

HomeTech Renovations
Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa.
(215) 646-7477

Magnolia Home Remodeling Group
Union, N.J.
(855) 624-6655

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 24, Issue 7 (June 2024)
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