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2016 Kitchen Countertop Trends

By Katie Carlson on Aug 21, 2020
2016 Kitchen Countertop Trends

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The kitchen is one room in your home that you can guarantee will get foot traffic. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious meals with the family and entertain guests. It only makes sense that you’d want one of the most central rooms in your house looking sharp.

An important part of updating or remodeling your kitchen is selecting what type of countertops to install. We realize this can be a challenging task for many homeowners, so we want to help. See the 2016 kitchen countertop trends and get up-to-speed with the latest materials, styles, colors and designs.

Once you're ready to update your kitchen counters, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four kitchen countertop contractors near you!


Natural Stone 

Natural stones are making their way into kitchens everywhere and they’re gorgeous. Marble, granite, soapstone and slate are a few of the most common kitchen countertop stones that are trending. Of course with any home upgrade, there’s personal preference and pros and cons to take into account before making a decision.

Marble: Marble is specifically being installed to bring polished elegance to kitchens. The surface is smooth and cool which is ideal for baking and rolling dough. The downside is that marble does stain and scratch more easily than granite.

Granite: The only natural stones harder than granite are diamonds, rubies and sapphires. This should tell you how durable and functional granite is in a kitchen. It’s by far one of the most common natural stone countertop materials used amongst homeowners. While it’s not exclusively for high-end kitchens anymore, it’s still pricey.

Soapstone & Slate: Timeless soapstone and slate are beautiful options, but they’re two stones where you’re going to have less colors and designs to choose from. Soapstone is incredibly durable, but still needs some regular care and cleaning to look it's best. Overall, soapstone and slate are both pretty much maintenance free.  

Durable Engineered Stone Countertops

Quartz counters are a man-made engineered stone that are going to continue to be a popular kitchen countertop option for 2016. While there are different choices of engineered stone countertops out there, they’re actually composed of 93% quartz particles.

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Quartz is definitely a trend that’s catching up with the ever popular granite. Homeowners love engineered stone countertops because they’re durable, which also means that they’re resilient against scratches, stains and heat. An added bonus is that they require very little maintenance. I’ve outlined a few of the specific quartz stone brands you’ll be seeing a lot more of in 2016.

Silestone: Silestone quartz comes out on top as one of the most durable of the group. They’re extremely non-porous and pretty much resist all spills and stains. While it won’t hold the same natural look of granite, Silestone comes in many fashionable and eye-catching styles.

Caesarstone: While Caesarstone comes in many different colors, there aren’t as many options to choose from compared to Silestone. Depending on who you are, this could be a good or bad thing. You’ll be paying a bit more than you would for Silestone, but that’s because you also have a wider variety of edge profiling and edging selection.

IceStone: Founded in 2003, IceStone has an advantage above the competition. They’re a company that has taken and redirected 13 million pounds of waste glass from landfills and developed an uncompromising balance of design and sustainability. And their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Their product, QuartzStone, is a beautiful option for any kitchen. The countertop is known for its low environmental impact, safe manufacturing process and product consistency.

Classic Butcher Block & Wood

Wood and countertops with earthy elements are trending right behind Quartz these days. Designers and kitchen remodelers are incorporating wood beyond the floors to places like the countertops, in both transitional and modern kitchens.

Wood is easy on the eyes and brings a sentimental and homey feeling to your kitchen, which is sometimes what’s missing in a modern design. Consider installing a benchtop with a natural grain or pattern.

Butcher block countertops are recommended for cutting and chopping. It’s a beautiful countertop selection that looks great blended with other materials and designs.  Another benefit of this wood is that, if it chips or burns, you can lightly sand out the scratch or burn and apply mineral oil for an easy fix

Upscale Laminate

Believe it or not, laminate is still making its way into kitchens everywhere, but this time with an upgraded and polished look. Upscale laminate allows you to get the appearance of an expensive material at a lower-cost.

Get creative with laminate and you can recreate modern, butcher block or luxurious countertops. While laminate countertops are very low maintenance, remember that they’re not heat-resistant and are more vulnerable to scratches and chips. Regardless if you like it or not, one thing we do know for sure, is that they’re trending.


Concrete may not be for everyone, but those who embrace it are designing beautiful kitchen countertops for their homes. This material closely resembles slabs of natural stone. While concrete counters can be custom-designed, they do require regular sealing. Precast counters come fully smoothed and polished, so don’t worry about them looking messy. As you may have guessed, cracking is a major concern for homeowners with concrete countertops. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is best known for its ability to spruce up appliances. Well, now the material is also gaining popularity in the kitchen countertop department. It may not surprise you to hear that stainless steel is durable and resilient to just about everything, even bacteria.

These custom-made countertops play nicely with hot pans, are cool in the summer and work well in modern and contemporary settings. The best part is that they’ll make your kitchen look bigger because of their reflective properties! They’re pretty, but not a good fit for everyone. Some homeowners think they look cold, and they’re not the best option for people who are rough and careless when cooking and working in the kitchen.

Tile & Backsplashes

Tile can be installed as a kitchen countertop, a section of the wall or as a backsplash. This man-made material is versatile which makes it easy and fun to get creative with colors and patterns. Mosaics and recycled or hand-painted tiles will brighten and liven up your kitchen.

Tile is easy on the wallet and has the possibility of becoming a DIY project. Glazed ceramic is resistant to heat stains, scratches and moisture. The frustrating part about tile is that it can chip or crack pretty easily, and as many of you know, the grout needs to be routinely cleaned in order to avoid stains and mildew. 

Design & Style Trends

  • The thinner the countertop, the better.
  • Textures are in.
  • The strongest kitchen design trend is an open floor plan (a clean look with few curves).
  • It’s becoming more common to install two sinks in separate areas of your kitchen for the purpose of dual work zones.
  • Transitional kitchens win because they allow easy flow from one area to another (think somewhere between traditional and contemporary/modern). A kitchen island is a must with this design.
  • Color palettes feature a lot of neutrals—grays, blacks, and whites—with a white kitchen still the most popular.
  • A bold color for your range hood, interesting hardware, a unique backsplash, painted cabinets and trendy materials and textures are in.


There are not only tasteful kitchen countertop options trending in 2016, but also reasonably priced ones. Installing new countertops or remodeling your kitchen is a big project. We want to make sure you’re fully informed of the latest developments in kitchen counters before making any big decisions. So, what do you think of the 2016 kitchen countertop trends? We’d love to hear your comments and reactions below!

Ready for a new look in your kitchen? Consult with one of our expert kitchen and countertop contractors so they can help you stay on trend!

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