6 Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design for 2018

Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design - Sebring Services

The countertop is an essential component of the kitchen. It is where all the  action takes place. But more than that, the countertop is the foundation of kitchen décor when doing a kitchen renovation. It bares the burden of setting the tone and feel of the space.

Seeing its importance in kitchen décor, it matters a lot what material, finish and design you choose for your countertop. We have put together the hottest countertop trends for 2018 that will give you ideas for your own kitchen. As you would expect, these trends focus heavily on color and material choices. Spoiler alert: quartz is still king of kitchen countertops.

1. Quartz is Here to Stay

Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design

Quartz was introduced as a high-end alternative to granite, check out our granite vs quartz article.  Granite a natural rock, has for years dominated the countertop scene especially for homeowners who want something strong, durable and good looking. But it has a downside–it is porous. This means that liquids like water, wine, and oils can seep through the surface causing staining. Even worse, it encourages the breeding of dangerous bacteria that could leave your countertop unsanitary.

The porous issue can be resolved by sealing the granite surface with a non-porous sealant. But the sealant wears off with time & wear, so the countertop has to be resealed throughout its lifetime.

Quartz, on the other hand, is non-porous and does not have to go through regular re-sealing. This means it is highly resistant against staining and is one of the most hygienic countertop options for homeowners. Add to that the fact that quartz is extremely strong, making it super durable and you can see why this low maintenance material is not going anywhere soon as the countertop material of choice for many homeowners.

Quartz now comes in many colors, patterns, and finishing techniques that mimic’s the look of natural stone.  In 2018, Quartz manufacturers will continue to impress us with manufacturing improvements to keep this countertops option king. Not just for this year, but for quite some time to come.

Related: Cambria Quartz Countertops Pros & Cons

2. Textured Finishes vs. Polished

Since we have been experiencing a design movement using more textured and tactile surfaces, why not consider it in countertops too. Honed and leather surfaces are the most common and can be applied to many different materials, such as granite, marble, and quartz.  Even though polished is still the most popular, there are advantages to these two others.

Honed finish is a matte finish with little to no shine.  The overall look will vary depending on the stone type, but it should have a low sheen and a smooth surface.  Honed finishes work well with marble, since it’s lack of shine conceals any flaws or scratch marks more readily.

Leathered finish is a newer style of treatment that has become more popular in recent years.  It has a soft sheen, that is less glossy from a polished slab, and to the touch has a different feel.  The leather finish retains the stone’s natural color giving it a more sophisticated look than honed. It also hides fingerprints and water spots remarkable well, which is very appealing to many.

These are just a few finishes to consider when choosing a countertop in 2018.

3. Countertops With Character – Veining and Patterns Get Popular

Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design - Sebring Services

Homeowners are seeking a bit more character in their countertops. Thankfully, technology is there to offer creative solutions. Today, countertops come in a wide variety of patterns unlike the plain styles of years past.  Say goodbye to the round particulates of countertops past and hello to realistic veining.

Materials like quartz are being designed to resemble slabs of natural stone, like granite & marble. This involves creating veins in interesting patterns swirled into the countertop slabs. This added boost to your creative personality in your kitchen will wow.  Want something even more realistic; then no need for a polished piece–honed and leathered finishes have the durability needed for the kitchen but have a drastically different look in the space.

These varied finishes make for an interesting matchup with other kitchen elements including the flooring, walls, cabinetry, and backsplash. It also adds a twist to your cooking, creating a nice visual background for the multitude of kitchen activities.

4. Integrated Kitchen Sinks

The countertop is getting the modern treatment and the sinks are not being left behind. The favorite look for homeowners is a sleek continuous style from the countertop and down into the sink. The integrated sink with countertop has become another trend in kitchen countertops for 2018.

Integrated sinks are made from the same material as the countertop. So the two blend seamlessly between the countertop and the sink. What you have is a smooth flow from your working surface to your sink, resulting in a chic modern style, take a look at Houzz for more ideas.

Away from the style, this new style makes maintenance a breeze. The lack of a break allows a smooth and proper wipe down of your work area. You do not have to worry about dirty water and food bits getting stuck in the space between the countertop and the sink. A quick wipe is enough to eliminate any marks and stains on the countertop.  Integrated kitchen sinks work for any kitchen style. They fit in perfectly in a modern home and work as a wonderful complement to more traditional elements in a country or farmhouse kitchen.  Also, an adaptation to this is different material sinks–like stainless steel, vitreous china, and quartz that have a flange made of the same countertop material giving it that seamless integration from sink to surface.  The possibilities are endless.

5. Neutral Tones the New Norm as Bright Colors Fall Out of Favor

Top Trends in Kitchen Countertop Design - Sebring Services

Preference for soft neutral tones is a common theme running throughout the home in upcoming décor trends. The bright bold hues of Art Deco and mid-century styles are gradually losing place in the kitchen in favor of more laid back tones.

Instead of a bright blue or jet black countertop; you are more likely to find soft grey, white and beige tones in kitchens in 2018. There is more focus on highlighting captivating individual components using neutral backgrounds. So you might find a beige (or the new greige – grey + beige) countertop, with a ceiling-high mosaic pattern backsplash standing out against it.

Homeowners might also experiment with other tones, though still maintaining the overall neutral style. Some of these slightly different quartz colors include dull browns and light blues (almost gray). Other than that, more and more homeowners are opting to stick to off-whites, ashy grays, and neutral beige.

Interestingly, this shift to neutral tones comes at a time when kitchens are opening up to natural lighting. Super large windows, skylights and folding glass door wall systems are getting more common in kitchens. The result is an enhanced bright and airy feel that shouts modern. At a time when small spaces are getting popular, the combined effect of natural light and neutral tones really helps in expanding perceived space.

6. Backsplash Tiles are Becoming the New Backsplash

When installing a backsplash, homeowners typically used a 4″ high slab of countertop material on the wall with paint or tile above. Now we are seeing the disappearance of that 4″piece to make way for decorative tiles only.  It seems to be the go-to style in recent years. In 2018, we expect backsplash tiles to remain the most popular choice as homeowners seek a backsplash style that stands out more.

It is a sort of a parting of ways between the countertop and the backsplash. As the countertop goes low-profile with neutral tones and thin slabs, the backsplash has become a canvas to try out bold and captivating styles. With the tendency for homeowners to extend the backsplash to the ceiling (instead of just below the wall cabinetry), the backsplash has become something of an accent wall, forming the visual focal point for the kitchen.

A variety of backsplash tile styles have come up to satisfy the need for more attention-capturing backsplashes. The traditional subway tile backsplash kitchen is still popular though with a few twists such as multi-colored tiles or larger size subway tiles. Tiles with exotic finishes resembling wood, marble, brick or natural stone have also gotten popular as homeowners look for something different from the ordinary.

The difference in style between the countertop and the backsplash has a surprisingly harmonious result. The countertop tones down to highlight the backsplash, with both complementing each other perfectly.

Conclusion

The countertop has always been a big part of kitchen décor. Through the generations, we have gone from style to style as homeowners seek the perfect look for their main cooking space. In modern times, variety is the theme of the day. Homeowners have an almost endless selection of materials, styles, sizes, and finishes to choose from.

For now, laid back countertops seem to be winning. The modern kitchen in 2018 will feature neutral colored countertops with thin “delicate” slabs and sleek integrated sinks. By all indications, it seems these trends will extend even beyond 2018.

Check Out Our Other Great Articles:

Kitchen Cabinets 101 - Sebring Services

About the Author:

" We are very passionate about educating homeowners. From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this blog helps you in the process of remodeling your home. " ~ Bryan Sebring

40 Comments

  1. Shreejon Mubarak February 7, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

    It’s helpful tips for Kitchen cabinets. step by step clear kitchen countertop design.

  2. Kaiyden Tyler April 5, 2017 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Wow! Top 6 trends in kitchen countertop design for 2017. The countertop is an essential component of the kitchen. But more than that, the countertop is the bedrock of kitchen décor when doing a kitchen renovation. It bears the burden of setting the tone and feel of the space. Thanks for sharing.

  3. George April 28, 2017 at 12:14 am - Reply

    These designs are great. I love the wooden like design.

  4. Leo Garcia June 17, 2017 at 4:23 am - Reply

    You have given very good information about kitchen countertops design. We can use them according to our needs. Please also post some information for granite countertops and marble countertops. Keep up the great work.

  5. Kristin Mosman July 26, 2017 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Thank you! I’ve been searching all over and finally found what i was looking for in your article!

  6. Naila August 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Great article! Please provide of a few beige/grey – neural Countertop quartz names that go well with white cabinets. Thank you

    • Bryan Sebring August 31, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Hi Naila,

      Zodiaq – Valente Pearl
      Caesarstone – Bianco Drift
      Orion – Monte Carlo White

      Hope that helps, let us know if you need anything else!

      Bryan Sebring

  7. Naila September 10, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for response. We really like Summerhill from Cambria for the island (5’3′)
    Any suggestions what we could use for the perimeter countertop? We are apprehensive to use Summerhill for the full kitchen because it may look busy,

    Thank you again

    • Bryan Sebring September 11, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Hi Naila,

      I would suggest pulling a color from the Summerhill slab. There are lots to choose from. If you are leaning towards grey and a subtler color palette, then Greystone or Dunmore would be a nice compliment. If you wanted more of an impact, then the darker Menai would be my pick. If they want something with a pattern, I would make sure that they are different sizes… maybe something smaller. Like Newport or Queen Anne. I even like Brittanicca too.

      Hope this helps!

      Bryan Sebring

  8. Tina September 13, 2017 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Hi What are the top Granite kitchen countertops colors in 2017 that matches mosaic backsplash grey/beige/white..!

    • Bryan Sebring September 15, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Tina,

      Unfortunately because granite choices are so different from each supplier, it would be very difficult to share some names with you. My advice would be bring your tile with you to the granite fabricator you are looking to work with and try to match it.

      Have a good day!

      Bryan Sebring

  9. Naila September 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Bryan I am so grateful for your assistance. Your response is so helpful and you were so detailed.

    Thank you so much !

  10. Edwina September 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I am interested in finding the name of the quartz pictured in your article under #1 Quartz is here to stay.
    Thanks

    • Bryan Sebring September 15, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Hi Edwina,

      That image is actually granite (Silver Stratus) and has been replaced with an image of quartz (Cambria Torquay).

      Sorry for the confusion!

      Bryan Sebring

  11. Kayla October 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this informative article. I wanted to replace our old countertop. I am now looking up some countertops that fit my kitchen design.

  12. Susan October 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I fell in love with Silestone Charcoal Grey Soapstone. But, I have been nervous about using it for our new kitchen with white cabinets and white subway tile. Based on this article it sounds that a white quartz selection may be a better choice.

    • Bryan Sebring October 26, 2017 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Hi Susan,

      I wouldn’t be nervous about using the Silestone Charcoal Soapstone. It’s beautiful and the soapstone pattern & colors are becoming more popular. You will be cutting edge. But the best way to determine the color of your countertops, is to ask yourself what you want the overall feeling of the space to be. Light, airy, & subtle? Or more drama with a bold contrast? That will tell you what countertop to use. Good luck with your kitchen and either way, it’s going to look beautiful.

      Bryan Sebring

  13. Joan October 29, 2017 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I must bookmark it!

  14. Ai Yu Lewis November 16, 2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hi Bryan, Fantastic article. Like Susan above, I just picked out the Silestone Charcoal Soapstone quartz countertops in a polished finish. I have off white cabinets (that are not new) and I’m looking for a backsplash that stands out. I was thinking of a cement tile look with the bold prints and patterns. What’s your opinion on that, any suggestions on patterns or colors? Thank you.

    • Bryan Sebring November 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Ai,

      If you are looking to make an impact, then I think using the cement tiles with patterns is a great way to achieve that. But I wouldn’t rule out some pretty porcelain versions as well. My only cautionary note to you would be to watch the overall pattern size. Some of them can get quite large. Since I don’t know your kitchen layout, I’m assuming you have the standard 18” backsplash space (between countertops & wall cabinets). You don’t want to get a pattern too large that you can’t see the overall design or affect. It’s hard for me to recommend a tile/pattern, since I haven’t seen the space. Cabinetry profiles, styles, and detailing are important to keep in mind when deciding. I wouldn’t want to steer you in the wrong direction since I don’t have enough information. Plus, our tile distributor may have different stock & patterns than what’s available in your area.
      I would just take some samples tiles home to see what they are going to look like in the space. From there, I hope you should see a clear winner. Happy Shopping!

      Bryan Sebring

  15. Angie December 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    What is the modern trend in relation to laminate finishes- shiny or matte?

    • Bryan Sebring December 14, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Hi Angie,
      There are advantages and disadvantages to both matte and glossy finishes. Unfortunately we do not use those materials at this time. Best of luck on your project!
      -Bryan

  16. Hassan December 11, 2017 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I love this design. Thanks for sharing this amazing design and information with us.

  17. John December 16, 2017 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I must bookmark it!

  18. Sharon millburn January 1, 2018 at 12:38 am - Reply

    I’m needing advise on what quartz countertops should I pair with my pecan glazed cupboards . What would look timeless but elegant. Please advise.

    • Bryan Sebring January 9, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Hi Sharon,

      Some options would be: Zodiaq quartz: Valente Pearl, Caesarstone quartz: Cosmopolitan White, and Cambria quartz: Torquay.

      Hope that helps, best of luck on your project.

      Bryan Sebring

  19. Nupur January 5, 2018 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Thanks for the valuable information regarding top trend in kitchen countertop design. While randomly browsing through the internet I also came across another website which was given good information like yours, i.e. It is also a helpful website to analyze and check which institute or top trend in kitchen countertop design.

  20. Pauline January 16, 2018 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Am I right in thinking that if a countertop has a glosy finish, the splash back should not and vise versa?

    Thanks
    Pauline

    • Bryan Sebring January 22, 2018 at 11:43 am - Reply

      Hi Pauline,
      You can go either way because technically there are no design rules anymore!
      Bryan Sebring

  21. Jane January 19, 2018 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I must bookmark it!

  22. Nancy January 22, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Thanks for the article:) I have a white quartz countertop that has little tiny specs of silver (I don’t know the name) can I use a Calcutta quartz slab as a backsplash? I was told by I couldn’t but I like the way it looks! I was told that the slab must be the same as the countertop. Please advise

    • Bryan Sebring January 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Nancy,
      Unfortunately without knowing the brand of quartz or a color name, it is really hard for us to give you sound advice. Since color, even whites, can vary from color to color and Brand to Brand. It would not be my first recommendation to use (2) different quartz colors together, unless obviously different in color & or pattern. BUT if the base color of white is the same for both, it is your kitchen, you can always do whatever you would like… If it’s the Calcutta color/ pattern that you like, have you thought about using a tile instead? This could give the overall look, but not have the (2) quartz pieces possibly conflicting. Again, without knowing specifics, it’s kind of a guessing game. Good luck-
      Bryan Sebring

  23. Geoffrey Fox January 22, 2018 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    My wife and I are having a house built in Colorado. Not knowing trends or future potential value, we are having trouble deciding on what color countertop to get (white quartz or grey). We are having white cabinets installed and hard dark wood flooring. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

    • Bryan Sebring January 29, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Hi Geoffrey,
      Countertops with a large veining pattern is all the rage right now. So, I would recommend combining the (2) and get a white quartz with gray veining pattern. Most brands will carry a version of this, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. Otherwise, if you are going to be there a while, then I would get what you like. Although if you are looking for a slight twist, you may want to look at Cambria Queen Anne. This is a reverse of that color combination, which might be just what you are looking for.
      Bryan Sebring

  24. Jill Rotondi January 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    What is the name of the quartz in #3 with the veining?

  25. Matt February 9, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    We are selling a ton of quartz. Our customers are falling in love with what they see in the whites and grays.

  26. Tracie Nabors February 16, 2018 at 12:45 am - Reply

    Bryan,
    We are re-doing an old farm house. I love the Cashmere Carrera due to the white and some veining. I was told the quartz is the way to go now and that it will hold up. We have grandchildren and do not want to worry about spills or oils that I have read about. I am not the type of person to leave spills, everything is cleaned up fairly fast. What is your opinion on the quartz versus another type of countertop? Do you also have another countertop in mind that is just as nice. I have white cabinets with light grey walls. I would also like advice on a backsplash I have struggled with this.
    Thank you so much for your time.
    Tracie

    • Bryan Sebring February 19, 2018 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Hi Tracie,

      Our clients choose quartz more than 9/10 times these days. That said, there are some great white granite’s that are pretty beautiful as well if you are considering other options. The best advice I can give for your backsplash if you choose a countertop with a lot of movement and veining is to get something more simple (not a lot of texture or color) that way they will not overpower eachother.

      Best of luck on your project and have a great day!

      Bryan Sebring

  27. Chris February 18, 2018 at 1:51 am - Reply

    Great design and ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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