Check out these alternatives to granite countertops for your kitchen.

Granite is known for its beauty and durability, but in the past 20 years, it’s become one of the most commonly used countertop materials. Everyone recognizes the signature flecks and natural patterns of granite, but as home design trends shift, new countertop selections are beginning to chip away at the popularity of this familiar natural stone.

If you’re searching for something new and different for your kitchen, consider one of these five alternatives to granite countertops:

1. Quartz

Quartz countertops are one of the best alternatives to granite. Described as engineered stone countertops, the synthetic materials added to quartz during the manufacturing process result in a wider range of colors compared to granite’s natural limitations.

The patterns and colors in quartz can also be more uniformly displaced, and the benefits of quartz include a nonporous surface and high stain resistance without the aid of a sealer.

2. Porcelain

Most countertop shoppers think of ceramic and porcelain as materials for tile floors or a backsplash. While porcelain tiles have been used for countertops, the grout lines tend to make the surface too uneven for daily meal prep. However, porcelain products have come a long way in recent years.

Now, you can find porcelain slabs in larger sizes to fit specific countertops. The flat porcelain surface provides an excellent countertop material, because it’s durable, heat- and moisture-resistant and available in a wide range of colors and designs.

3. Wood

Wood countertops are another popular alternative for kitchens with country style or mid-century flair. Serious chefs love the butcher block surface for chopping, slicing and dicing. For a more innovative, stylish appearance, you can use live wood, reclaimed wood or any other finished variety that pairs well with your cabinetry.

Designers love the natural appearance of wood, because it adds warmth and texture to kitchen designs. In terms of practicality, caring for wood countertops is relatively simple, but there is maintenance involved, according to This Old House. Scratches can be sanded out, and the surface can be refinished. Treating the countertops with oil is also recommended to properly maintain the wood surface.

4. Stainless steel

The metallic gleam of stainless steel countertops infuses a contemporary vibe with your kitchen’s style. Often used in commercial settings, stainless steel has carried over to residential kitchen appliances and countertops.

The material also handles the prep work of cooking. You don’t need to worry about liquids penetrating the steel surface. However, stainless steel may scratch easily, and it can be difficult to keep free of fingerprints and smudges.

5. Concrete

Although concrete may not be the first material that comes to mind when thinking about countertops, it’s actually quite versatile and functional. Concrete can be easily molded into unique applications and tinted to achieve a range of colors.

Also, decorative items, like shells or colored glass, can be added to create a unique countertop design. Because concrete is a hard material, it must be properly sealed and requires consistent maintenance. If you’re searching for a different countertop solution, consider the possibility of concrete countertops in your kitchen.

In addition to these five alternatives to granite countertops, don’t forget to check out other natural stone alternatives to granite. For example, there’s the elegant look of marble, with its signature gray veining. Although marble must be sealed and isn’t as scratch and heat resistant as granite, this smooth natural stone is a long-time favorite of bakers.

Each countertop alternative comes with a different set of pros and cons. If you love the look of wood, but aren’t ready to commit to placing it everywhere in your kitchen, consider using different materials on your island versus the rest of your countertops. You can also try building a small work area with a butcher block for chopping and dicing food. Tailoring countertops to your specific wants, needs and personal style is one of the most fun parts of designing your home’s kitchen.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.