Five Countertop Options that Aren’t Granite

Five Countertop Options that Aren’t Granite

Are you remodeling your kitchen and want to know the different countertop options available? Do you like the look of natural stone countertops but want something other than granite? There are several high-end countertops available that will help you build your dream kitchen.

For many years, the only high-end countertop choice for homeowners was granite. New countertop materials have been developed over the years that provide you with a beautiful and easy to maintain countertops that will provide you with many years of enjoyment and beauty. Check out these top five countertop options that are not granite.



 Is your overall interior design traditional? Do you love classic, old world interior design? One of the top countertop materials for traditional homes is marble. Marble is a natural stone that provides you with a unique countertop. No two slabs of marble are identical. The minerals around the stone create the unique patterns and veining found in the marble slab.

Marble is highly prized and creates a luxurious look. When used as a countertop, it is quite beautiful. Marble is available in a number of finishes, including polished, tumbled, and honed, which allows you to create the perfect kitchen or bathroom for your home.


  • Heat Resistant – Marble is a stone that can withstand the heat in a kitchen. Although not recommended, you can set hot pots and pans directly on the marble without worrying about damaging the stone.
  • Increased Home Value – Marble is highly sought after and will immediately add value to your home. Marble countertops offer an excellent return on your investment.
  • Luxurious Look – Marble is considered a luxury item; however, it can be quite affordable. You can expect to spend between $40 and $250 per square foot, depending on the type of marble countertop chosen.
  • Coordinates with Interior Design – The most common color for marble is white; however, you can find other colors, including black, gray, blue, pink, and yellow.
  • Patina – Over time, marble will develop a beautiful patina that is reminiscent of ancient Greece and Rome.


  • Price – Although there are some affordable marble countertops on the market, there are also some expensive ones. There are several different types of marble on the market, including Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario.
  • Professional Installation Only – Unlike other countertops, a DIY installation is almost impossible.
  • Porous – Unless marble is treated with a sealant, it is quite porous, which can lead to an increased risk of staining. Spills must be wiped up immediately, and only pH neutral cleaners should be used.
  • Scratches – Marble is made up of calcium carbonate. When an acid comes in contact with calcium carbonate, the surface develops dull spots. These dull spots are microscopic scratches and pits, known as etching. Etching is due to acids eroding the surface of the marble. You can minimize the risk of etching by using a high quality sealer.



Quartz is an engineered stone that provides discriminating homeowners with a virtually maintenance free countertop. Several companies offer quartz countertops, including Cambria, Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, and LG Viatera. Quartz countertops are comprised of approximately 90 to 95 percent quartz bound with resins and pigments to create a beautiful countertop slab.

Quartz countertops offer a larger range of color choices than granite and other natural stone countertops. Today’s quartz countertop manufacturers can create countertops that mimic marble and other natural stones. You will find quartz countertops with veining and flecks similar to marble, granite, and gemstone countertops.


  • Low Maintenance – Unlike natural stone and wood countertops, quartz countertops do not require routine sealing.
  • Uniformity – Slabs are created in a factory, which means all of the quartz slabs are uniform in appearance. Furthermore, quartz countertops can be custom fabricated to your exact specifications.
  • Stain Resistant – The resin used to create quartz countertops make the countertop impervious to liquids. If you spill something on the countertop, it cannot soak into the quartz countertop and cause a stain.



  • Cost – Quartz countertops are one of the more expensive countertops. You can expect to spend between $50 and $150 per square foot for quartz countertops.
  • Weight – Quartz countertops are heavy.
  • Heat Intolerance – If a hot pot or a hot pan is set on a quartz countertop, the resin can scorch, burn or melt.


Are you looking for a countertop that visually warms up your space? Wood countertops are a great choice for kitchens that want to embrace the timeless beauty of wood. Furthermore, wood countertops are constructed using renewable materials, and the top wood countertop manufacturers only use wood from suppliers who embrace sustainable practices.

Wood countertops are available in a number of wood types, including maple, cherry, teak, and oak. In addition to this, there are several cuts, including butcher block countertops, end grain countertops, wide plank countertops, and edge grain countertops.


  • Warmth – Wood countertops create a warm and inviting kitchen.
  • Easy to Clean – Once wood countertops are sealed, they are easy to clean. All that is needed is a mild detergent and warm water.
  • Long Lasting – If properly cared for, wood countertops can last a lifetime. As the countertop ages, it will develop a patina that tells the story of your family’s time in the kitchen.
  • Refinishing is Easy – If you want your wood countertop to remain in perfect condition, they can be sanded and resealed as needed.


  • Cost – Depending on the type of wood chosen for your wood countertops, you can expect to spend between $35 and $200 per square foot.
  • Scratches – Wood can develop scratches, dents, and cuts. If a heavy item is dropped, it can dent the countertop. Furthermore, wood countertops can be scratched or cut if you use a knife directly on the countertop.
  • Water Damage – If water or other liquids are left to sit on a wood countertop, water damage and staining can occur. In addition to this, if wood countertops are not properly cleaned, bacteria can live on your wood countertops.

Stainless Steel

If you are looking for a countertop that will create a modern kitchen, look no further than stainless steel countertops. Stainless steel countertops are often used in commercial kitchens because they do not allow bacteria to grow on the surface. The metal is sleek and provides amazing light refraction back into your kitchen.

Stainless steel countertops are extremely low maintenance. Furthermore, they are heat resistant, which means hot pots and pans can be set directly on the countertop. It is important to note that stainless steel countertops will scratch over time, and the homeowner must learn to love the patina that naturally develops.


  • Easy to Clean – Stainless steel countertops are extremely easy to clean. All that is needed is a warm, wet cloth and a little detergent.
  • Nonporous – Stainless steel countertops are nonporous and do not stain.
  • Lifespan – Stainless steel countertops can last more than 200 years.
  • Maintenance Free – Stainless steel countertops require no maintenance.


  • Cost – Stainless steel is one of the more expensive countertops on the market. You can expect to spend $75 to $250 per square foot.
  • Dents and Scratches – Stainless steel can dent if a heavy item is dropped on the surface. Furthermore, if you cut directly on the countertop, scratches can form.


Soapstone is a natural stone comprised of high concentrations of talc. Soapstone is dark gray to black and features varying amounts of white veins across the surface of the countertop. This absolutely stunning stone countertop has a silky, smooth feel.

Soapstone looks amazing in modern as well as traditional homes. Unlike other natural stones, soapstone becomes better with age. The patina that develops over time increases the natural beauty of the stone. Soapstone is a soft stone; however, thanks to the density of the stone, it is stain resistant and heat resistant.


  • Durable – Soapstone is a very durable surface. The scratches and scrapes that will develop increase the stone’s patina for a warm, worn look.
  • Heat Resistant – Soapstone is extremely dense and can withstand high temperatures.
  • Low Maintenance – Minimal maintenance is required for soapstone.
  • Life Span – You can expect soapstone countertops to last for more than 100 years.


  • Cost – Soapstone varies in price. You can expect to spend between $70 and $120 per square foot.
  • Scratches, Chips – Because of the high talc level, scrapes, scratches, cuts, and chips can occur in high traffic areas.
  • Needs to be Sealed – Soapstone requires routine sealing with mineral oil.



Are you ready for new countertops? Do you want a durable, long lasting countertop, but do not want standard granite countertops installed? There are numerous other countertop options available, including marble, soapstone, quartz, wood, and stainless steel. Each of these countertops has a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider.

When deciding on a countertop material, you should consider how you will be using your countertop. Will the countertops be exposed to a lot of spills or high heat? Will they be installed in a high traffic area? Another thing to consider is your home’s overall interior design. You want to choose a countertop material that will work great with your home’s and your family’s unique personalities. Any of the above options will provide you with years of enjoyment and durability.

Best Bar Stools for Your Kitchen or Bar [Explained]

Best Bar Stools for Your Kitchen or Bar [Explained]

Open concept homes are perfect for those who love to entertain. In the kitchen area, open concept homes often have a large island. Islands that have bar stools allow your family and friends to congregate together in the kitchen while you are preparing dinner.

When you are considering a bar stool for your kitchen, you shouldn’t just purchase any type of stool. Much like the rest of the furniture in your home, you want a bar stool that enhances your home’s overall design and décor.

Don't feel like reading? Check out the best bar stools we have picked below.

Best Bar Stools for Your Kitchen or Bar on Amazon

Every kitchen has a unique look and style. While we try to recommend the best possible products for you we may not completely win you over with our recommendations. Check out this massive list of bar stools on Amazon here or see our recommended bar stools listed below.

Height Matters

In addition to choosing bar stools that work well with your home’s interior design, the bar stools should fit comfortably with the height of your kitchen countertops. When choosing the proper height bar stool, you should measure from the floor to the bottom of your countertops. The seat of your bar stool should land between 9 and 12 inches from the bottom of your countertop. This height will ensure that there is enough space between you and the countertop to prevent your knees from bumping into the countertop.

There are three types of bar stools on the market. Knowing how tall each kind of stool is, as well as the height of your countertop, will help you choose the best bar stool for your kitchen.

  • Counter Stools – Counter stools are typically between 24 inches and 26 inches high. The standard height of kitchen cabinets and islands is 36 inches. Counter stools work best for kitchen islands of this height.
  • Classic Bar Stools – Classic bar stools are typically 30 inches high. The standard height for a wet bar or a two-tier kitchen island is 42 inches. Classic bar stools are the same height as the bar stools found in restaurants.
  • Extra Tall Bar Stools – Extra tall bar stools are 34 to 36 inches tall and work well with surfaces taller than 48 inches. Extra tall bar stools are the preferred bar stool for viewing parties where people will be standing and sitting while watching sports.

In addition to these standard stool heights, you can also find a short stool that is between 16 and 23 inches high. Short stools can be used at dining tables and other low surfaces for extra seating.


Features Matter

When you are purchasing bar stools for your kitchen, there are two features that you should consider. First, do you want a bar stool that allows you to adjust its height? Secondly, do you want a bar stool that swivels?

  • Adjustable Bar Stools – Adjustable bar stools allow you to adjust the height of your bar stool. An adjustable bar stool is an excellent choice for those who are unsure of their countertop height or do not have a tape measure on hand while shopping. Adjustable height bar stools allow you to raise and lower the bar stool between six and ten inches.
  • Swivel Bar Stools – Barstools that have a swivel feature allows you to spin the stool around. This feature allows you to turn the bar stool towards you and sit down rather than needing to pull out the barstool and then scoot under the countertop.
  • Combination Bar Stools – In addition to adjustable and swivel bar stools, there are combination bar stools. These stools swivel and allow you to adjust the height of the bar stool.
  • Folding Bar Stools – Folding stools allow you to fold up the barstool and store it out of the way when it is not in use. These barstools have a smaller seat, allowing you to place the stool completely under your countertop.


Design Matters

The design of a bar stool refers to the features of the stool. There are numerous options available that should be considered before shopping for new bar stools for your kitchen.

  • Base Design – The base of the barstool can either have a pedestal or legs.
    • Four-Legged Bar Stools – A four-legged bar stool features four slender legs that have crossbars a few inches from the floor for support. Four-legged bar stools are a perfect complement to traditional kitchens.
    • Pedestal Bar Stools – A pedestal bar stool features a single leg that is attached to a large round piece of metal. Pedestal bar stools look great in contemporary kitchens.
    • Three Legged Bar Stools – A three-legged bar stool has three legs with two crossbars to provide support. Three-legged bar stools are often found in industrial-looking homes.


  • Back Design – Barstools offer a variety of back design options. The option chosen should be based on how you will be using the bar stool, your home’s interior design, and the amount of counter space you have for your bar stools.
    • Backless – A backless bar stool is typically the smallest bar stool available. A backless bar stool fits perfectly under the countertop and does not block your view throughout your kitchen.
    • High Back – A high back bar stool provides you with the support you need. High back bar stools work great in traditional kitchens. The back of this bar stool can interfere with sightlines; however, they can add interest to a kitchen island.
    • Low Back – Low back bar stools provide support to your lower back without interfering with your sightlines. A bar stool with a low back typically has a curved back which helps prevent back pain and increase your comfort level.


  • Arm Design – Barstools can have arms or be armless. As a homeowner, you will need to decide which type of bar stool is best for you and your family. Your interior design should also be considered when choosing between a bar stool with arms and a barstool without arms.
    • Bar Stools with Arms – Barstools with arms help prevent young children from falling out of their seats. However, this type of bar stool can feel restricting. If you choose a bar stool with arms, ensure you get one wide enough to fit you and your guests comfortably.
    • Bar Stools without Arms – Barstools without arms are the most common type of bar stool. These stools allow you to slide on and off the bar stool easily. A bar stool without arms may not be appropriate in households with young children due to the increased risk of falling out of a bar stool.


Material Matters

Bar stools are important pieces of furniture. They allow you and your family a place to congregate in the kitchen, a place to enjoy meals, and a place to do homework. Bar stools come in a variety of materials, including wood, rattan/wicker, metal, and upholstered.

  • Metal Bar Stools – Metal bar stools are sleek and pair perfectly in modern and industrial kitchens. Metal bar stools can feel cold, which is why many of these barstools feature a wooden bottom. Metal should never be used outdoors as it can rust quickly.
  • Rattan/Wicker Bar Stools – Rattan or wicker bar stools are great for homes where comfort is key. These casual bar stools work well in other areas of the house, including sunrooms. Rattan and wicker bar stools are lightweight. These bar stools are comfortable thanks to the flexibility of the wicker and rattan used in the construction of these stools.
  • Upholstered Bar Stools – Upholster bar stools are more comfortable than bar stools that are not upholstered. The cushioning in these stools allow you to create an air of formality at your kitchen countertops. Upholstered bar stools are perfect for families who always eat at their kitchen counters.
  • Wooden Bar Stools – Wooden bar stools are solid stools that can be used in almost any design style. Wood bar stools come in a variety of styles, including contemporary and traditional styles. If this bar stool will be used outdoors, you should choose a weather-resistant and insect repellant wood, such as acacia, eucalyptus or teak wood. Wooden bar stools compliment wood countertops and marble countertops really well.


Style Matters

There are many different bar stool styles on the market. Choosing a style should be based on the style of your home and the color and type of countertops located in your kitchen. Let’s take a look at the top ten bar stool styles.

  1. Barrel – Barrel bar stools are reminiscent of an oak barrel. These bar stools often combine wood with metal for a unique, industrial contemporary look. In the kitchen, pair barrel bar stools with black cabinetry and concrete countertops.
  2. Coastal – Coastal bar stools often feature rattan backs and arms. Coastal bar stools typically have a cushioned, upholstered seat and feature an overall rounded look (i.e., rounded arms, rounded back, and a circular base rather than crossbars. Coastal bar stools are often paired with butcher block countertops and white or off white cabinetry.
  3. Country Cottage – Country cottage bar stools have a simplistic, yet refined design. These bar stools are often two-toned with the back and frame painted, and the seat stained hardwood. Country cottage bar stools look great when they are used with solid surface countertops and wood cabinetry.
  4. Mid-Century – Mid-century bar stools a retro bar stool. This design was popular during the 50s and 60s. Mid-century modern design focused on functionality rather than style; however, homeowners absolutely adore this design. When using mid century bar stools, pair them with stainless steel countertops for a modern vibe.
  5. Modern – Modern stools feature a molded seat on a pedestal base. Oftentimes, modern bar stools feature a chrome finish. Modern bar stools pair beautifully with epoxy or lava countertops atop painted cabinetry.
  6. Rustic – Rustic bar stools take a hint from nature and feature hand-hewn wood. Typically, rustic design bar stools are paired with modern cabinetry and reclaimed wood countertops for a beautiful, yet unique statement.
  7. Saddle – Saddle style bar stools are often considered a basic bar stool; however, they pack a design punch in almost any kitchen. Saddle style bar stools typically have four square legs. The seat of the barstool can be wood, or it can be upholstered. Because of its unique design style, a saddle bar stool pairs beautifully with painted cabinetry and granite countertops.
  8. Scandinavian – Scandinavian bar stools are works of art. Their simple yet understated lines pay homage to the natural elements found outdoors. Scandinavian bar stools pair great with white cabinetry topped with white quartz countertops.
  9. Tiki – Tiki inspired bar stools feature wood frames with twine seats. This type of bar stool typically does not have a back, which allows you to store the bar stools underneath the cabinetry. Tiki bar stools are often used with light-colored wood cabinetry and slate countertops.
  10. Traditional – Traditional bar stools often feature ornate legs and upholstered seats and backs. Traditional furnishings create a sense of opulence. This classic design pairs beautifully with honed marble countertops and wood cabinetry.


Cost Matters

Bar stools come in a variety of price points. You can find a bar stool for less than $50, or you could spend more than $1000 on a bar stool. How much you spend on a bar stool should be based on your budget, your design style, and which room you will be placing your bar stools in. For example, if you have a luxury kitchen, you will not want to put cheap stools around your countertops.


Size Matters

When you are deciding on the number of bar stools that you should place around your kitchen island or peninsula, you should allow one bar stool for every two to two and a half feet of countertop. For example, if your kitchen island is 10 feet long, you should purchase four bar stools. Using any more barstools than this will crowd the area and not provide adequate elbow room for eating.


Best Bar Stools

We have spent some time looking at reviews and testing bar stools. Below are the best of the best bar stools on the market.


Combination Bar Stool

  • Adjustable Height – Adjusting the bar stool is a breeze thanks to its conveniently located level located directly under the right-hand side of the seat. The bar stool can be adjusted from 23.6 inches high to 32.2 inches high, allowing you to fit under a kitchen island, peninsula, or bar comfortably.
  • Beautiful – The unique retro design features upgraded fabric that looks great in almost any setting. Available in chocolate brown and camel brown, the hot-stamped fabric covered bar stool features a beautiful, high-quality stitching.
  • Comfortable – SuperJare Adjustable Bar Stool [ Amazon link – ] is an ergonomic bar stool that conforms to and supports your body. With its unique back design, the bar stool relieves pressure on your lumbar spine for a comfortable seat. The footrest located near the bottom of the pedestal allows you to prop your feet up and relax.
  • Durable – SuperJare Adjustable Bar stools feature a wear-resistant upgraded fabric. The stainless steel mechanism can hold up to 265 pounds.
  • Swivel Feature – The sturdy pedestal base is 16.3 inches in diameter, which allows you to enjoy the 360-degree swivel feature without worrying about tipping over the bar stool. The bottom of the pedestal features a rubber ring, which prevents scratching your floor.

Bar Stool with Arms

  • Beautiful – The Powell Big and Tall Copper Stamped Back Swivel Bar Stool with Arms [ Amazon link – ] is perfectly proportioned for you and your guests. The bronze metal frame and stamped copper back with floral accents will look beautiful around your kitchen island. The curled arms and legs with flower accents blend seamlessly in the overall design of the bar stool.
  • Comfortable – The bar stool is designed for people of all sizes. The width of the seat is 19 inches, and the back of the seat is 21 inches, which means your back is fully supported.
  • Durability – The Powell Big and Tall Copper Stamped Back Swivel Bar Stool with Arms has an easy to clean brown vinyl seat. The metal base gives the bar stool a weight capacity rating of 400 pounds.
  • Height – The Powell Big and Tall bar stool works great at your kitchen island or home bar. The seat height of the bar stool is 30 inches, and the overall height of the bar stool is 51 inches.
  • Swivel Feature – The swivel seat allows for easy entry at your bar or kitchen peninsula. The circular crossbar offers a perfect footrest for a comfortable bar stool.


  • Beautiful – The sleek lines of the OFM 161 Collection’s Mid Century Modern 26 inch Low Back Bentwood Frame, Swivel Seat, Vinyl Upholstered Bar Stool [ Amazon link – ] coupled with the padded vinyl seat, waterfall bent walnut wood legs, chrome footrest and curved seat back create a mid-century modern marvel. The bar stool is available in gorgeous ivory and satin black vinyl. The contrasting vinyl and walnut work perfectly in contemporary kitchens.
  • Comfortable – The ergonomic stool features a curved seat back the sits around the midback. The cushions on the mid-century modern seat and back provide comfortable support.
  • Durability – The sturdy walnut frame on the Mid-Century Modern barstool in OFM’s 161 Collection has a weight capacity rating of 250 pounds. The vinyl covering on the back, arms, and seat provide you with an easy to clean surface, which means the bar stool will look great for many years to come.
  • Height – OFM 161 Collection Mid Century Bar Stool with Swivel Seat is a 26-inch high bar stool, allowing for a perfect fit at your kitchen countertops or island. The seat is 23.43 inches wide and 19.69 inches deep.
  • Swivel Feature – The bar stool features a swivel feature for improved functionality. The waterfall legs are connected with a beautiful, circular footrest. Each leg has a felt floor protector to prevent scratching.

Backless Saddle Bar Stool

  • Beautiful – Stone and Beam Elden Nail Head Trim Saddle Kitchen Counter Backless Bar Stool [ Amazon link – ] features brushed brass nailhead trim to create a modern farmhouse feel. Available in beige fabric or black leather, this bar stool features wooden legs.
  • Comfortable – The elastic suspension system, coupled with the foam padding provides a comfortable saddle bar stool. The crossbars located on the stool provide the perfect place to rest your legs while sitting at your kitchen countertop or bar. The color combination of these bar stools will work beautifully with any interior design.
  • Durable – Created with families in mind, the high-performance fabric and leather can withstand the demands placed on the bar stool. The weight capacity for these backless bar stools is between 200 and 300 pounds.
  • Height – The classic bar height bar stool is 30 inches tall. The bar stool can be used at a two-tier kitchen island or a home bar. The seat of the Stone and Beam Saddle bar stool is 20 inches wide and 14 inches deep.
  • Stationary Stool – Although this bar stool does not offer a swivel feature, you can easily sit on and get off of the bar stool. In addition to this, the stool is lightweight, allowing you to slide the bar stool away from your countertop easily.

Upholstered Bar Stool

  • Beautiful – Christopher Knight Home Ogden bar stools [ Amazon link – ] are upholstered in a beige polyester blend fabric. Attention to detail reigns supreme in this Transitional bar stool with nailed trim offers a touch of sophistication while the espresso finished wood legs contrast nicely with the beige upholstery. The button-tufted Ogden bar stools are designed to work with almost any interior design.
  • Comfortable – The pair of Christopher Knight Home Ogden bar stools feature a padded seat and back for added comfort. When you sit down on this bar stool, you will be impressed by the amount of support that these upholstered stools offer.
  • Durable – Each Ogden bar stool is very durable. The weight capacity for these upholstered bar stools is between 200 and 300 pounds. The beautiful material can withstand the demands that you place on it.
  • Height – This classic height bar stool is 31 inches tall, making them perfect for two-tier islands. The seat dimensions are 21.75 inches wide by 21.75 inches deep. The back of the bar stool is 10 inches high, which provides plenty of lower back and mid-back support.
  • Swivel Feature – The Ogden bar stool has a swivel feature for easy maneuverability. The four wood legs provide stability while the crossbars offer an integrated footrest.



There are thousands of bar stools on the market. Finding the right one for your kitchen requires a little bit of research. You should begin by determining the number of bar stools you need for your kitchen. Remember bar stools should be placed between two and two and a half feet apart to ensure each person sitting at the bar or kitchen island has plenty of elbow room.

The features that you want in your bar stools should also be considered. These features include the type of bar stool you want, i.e., stationary or swivel or adjustable bar stools. You should also decide on the material that you would like your bar stools to be made from. Do you want upholstered bar stools, or do you prefer bar stools that are not upholstered?

You must determine the height of the bottom of your countertop. This measurement will show you if you need a short bar stool, a counter bar stool, a classic bar stool, or an extra tall bar stool. Choosing the appropriate height bar stool will prevent your knees from hitting the underside of your countertops.

Finally, you should consider the interior design of your home. Savvy homeowners understand that their décor should be cohesive throughout their homes. When choosing a bar stool for your kitchen, consider the color of your cabinetry and countertops.

Bar stools provide you and your family a place to gather together in your kitchen and enjoy one another’s company in comfort. Whether you are cooking dinner and your children need to do their homework, or you are hosting a dinner party, a bar stool at your kitchen island is the perfect place to relax.

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