Counter top trends come and go, and it seems like there's always a new flavor of the week. How can you find one that you'll love for years to come? The answer is simple: ignore the trends and go for style. Here are three counter top concepts that will go the distance.

Granite

It's durable, classy, and long-lasting — no wonder it's still popular. Forego the bold granite hues that take over the entire kitchen. Now is the time for something more livable: granite in neutral tones. Instead of dominating the design, these serviceable slabs let fine cabinetry move to center stage.

Dark neutrals work best with painted wood cabinets and lighter flooring. Glass doors and carved details on the upper cabinets turn the counter top into a platform to showcase fine woodwork and treasured china.

Lighter neutral tones give natural hardwoods a rustic appeal. The natural grain and texture of the stone brings a more organic feel to stainless steel appliances. An intricate tile design for the back splash brings it all together with a dash of color.

Quartz

Engineered quartz counter tops are attractive and low maintenance. This material comes in many different colors and patterns — some natural looking, others more industrial in tone. Use a solid color to give a strong, modern look to flat panel cabinets — this is the ideal choice for a minimalist kitchen. Light, patterned quartz takes on a country feel when paired with dark cherry cabinets.

Try using quartz to unify the different elements of your kitchen. Select a pattern that has colors to complement your appliances. Add a glass tile back splash that echoes another color in the quartz, and you've got instant color coordination.

Mixed materials

This eclectic choice uses the differences between the materials to create a harmonious collection. Combine highly polished stone counter tops with a rough stone back splash, or black appliances with concrete counters. Use a rustic finish in one area, and a sophisticated choice in another.

Large kitchens can make use of different materials for different functions. Put a wood counter top on a granite-clad island, and top it off with a soapstone sink and bronze faucets. Stainless steel counters make a great landing area for dishes fresh from the oven. And what baking center doesn't need a marble slab for rolling out pastries? Tie it all together with a neutral tile back splash and accents in your favorite colors.

The trick to beating the trend is understanding how to use popular materials in new ways. Build on the traditional rules, and add your own dash of spice. Your kitchen will look fantastic.

For more tips and ideas, work with an experienced remodeling company, like RDI.

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