A custom color or stain may be the easiest way to make a countertop your own. Fabricators and manufacturers can often create shades to match or complement your kitchen's existing palette. Engineered stone is a great material to use if you're looking for a bold and bright hue.
Related: Top 12 Names in Engineered Stone
Fossils, colored glass, mementos, metal flakes, and semiprecious stones are finding their way into custom-fabricated kitchen countertops. Once the objects are embedded, the surfaces are finely ground to reveal hints of the treasures within. Ready-made embedded countertops are also available, like this Brown Agate variety from Caesarstone Concetto.
Nearly every surface material offers both basic and custom finishes. For stainless steel, options include embossed, patterned, and hammered treatments. Finish options for concrete and solid surfaces include high polish, gloss, matte, and satin.
Related: How To: Clean Stainless Steel
Edge treatments can be traditional or modern. For a sleek look, go with a minimalist round-over or square edge; for intricate styling, opt for layered edges, like concave, wave, or cove and bead. With wood countertops, an unusual edge treatment can showcase the grain.
Inlays can be anything from lettering in concrete to deer tracks, jalapeno peppers, or flowers scattered across solid-surface tops. Properly done, a countertop with inlays is one homogenous surface. For solid surfaces, an inlay is typically cut into the material by a CNC machine programmed with the design.
Fit a translucent countertop with rope lighting or back lighting and the whole surface will light up! Alternatively, check out a material called Lumistone, an acrylic solid surface with long-lasting photoluminescence that is charged by natural daylight or artificial lighting. When the lights go out, the neutral white surface lights up a cool blue. No electricity, wiring, or bulbs required!
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