What's replacing granite countertops? These are the materials interior designers want to see more of

Quartz, marble and natural stone are being favored more than granite as of late. This is why, according to interior designers

Three kitchens with striking countertops
(Image credit: Mike Chajecki / Shaunn Lipsey + Co.; Future; Andrea West Design)

Picking out a countertop material for your kitchen that's both aesthetically pleasing and functional is no simple task – with plenty of options but little clarity on what's best, it's easy to get overwhelmed. And while granite has been a reliable standby for years, making a durable and sturdy choice, it's slowly on its way out as one of countertops' most popular makeups.

To get a better sense for the countertop materials replacing granite, we spoke with interior designers – and they brought so many sleek and stylish choices to choose from. Whether you prefer the organic look of natural stone or wood, or want to go bold with patterned porcelain, these are the seven kitchen countertop ideas replacing granite, according to interior designers.

Are granite countertops out of style?

While granite countertops will never go out of style on the whole, clients and designers are beginning to turn to more durable, long-lasting materials. Getting experimental and branching out with fresh colors and patterns, many are looking to quartz, marble, porcelain, and other natural stone countertops to bridge the gap. Others are opting for tile, wood or blended materials – countertop design opportunities have become truly endless.

These seven materials have the potential to replace the long-loved granite countertop, say interior designers. From bold, daring tile designs to pared-back natural stone, there's a bit of countertop trend inspiration for every style of home.

1. Quartz

A quartz countertop in a white, wood kitchen with black light fixtures and windowpanes

(Image credit: Andrea West Design)

While completely natural countertops have always been a stylish, organic option for a variety of interior design styles, man-made quartz countertops are gaining popularity. The relatively new material is taking the place of granite due to its practicality and easily personalized look.

'Quartz offers a wider range of colors and patterns, giving homeowners more flexibility in achieving their desired aesthetic. Additionally, quartz countertops are non-porous, making them highly resistant to stains and scratches, which is particularly appealing for family-oriented households,' says Audrey Scheck, interior designer and founder of Audrey Scheck Design.

Designers agree that quartz and quartzites are a good substitute for granite, keeping kitchen upkeep to a minimum while still delivering on style. And this material's customizable nature means that it can quickly take on the pattern or look of a more natural, veined marble or granite.

'Our preference as designers is always to use a natural stone where applicable, and quartzites are a great way to keep the authenticity of having a natural material while keeping the maintenance to a minimum. Fabricated countertops such as quartz and porcelain slabs are also a great option when still wanting a more "marble-like" look that offers a beautiful veining look that offers an easier maintenance and lifestyle,' adds Andrea West, interior designer and owner of Andrea West Design.

Richard Davonport – managing director at Davonport, a bespoke luxury kitchen company based in the UK – agrees, calling quartz 'extremely hard-wearing.' The material makes up some of the most low-maintenance kitchen countertops on the market. He suggests quartz for those 'after plenty of color and pattern choices' at a lower price point, and says its natural look makes it come out on top time and time again.

'All of these reasons combined is why it is winning the worktop battle over granite. It looks fabulous on kitchen islands as they can be wrapped in it, though one word of caution is that it can be damaged by heat, so always use a trivet,' says Richard.

2. Marble

A white kitchen with marble countertops

(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking to make a bold statement with your kitchen countertops, marble is likely the way to go. Offering a variety of organically stunning veining options, marble gives any kitchen a natural elevation. Rushda Hakim, interior designer and founder of Rushda Hakim Design, is resoundingly in favor of marble as a granite countertop substitute.

'Think deeply veined, organic patterned marble that is the focal point of your kitchen. While it may be pricier and require maintenance, our clients embrace its natural character, embracing the development of stains as part of its charm over time,' she says.

Marble has earned its reputation as a coveted, elegant material that brings charm to any space – and the kitchen countertop is no exception. Experiment with different colors and levels of veining to make marble kitchen ideas work perfectly in your own space.

3. Porcelain

A porcelain countertop and backsplash with a marbled pattern

(Image credit: Mike Chajecki / Shaunn Lipsey + Co.)

If you're in the mood for marble, but can't keep up with the extra maintenance it often requires, porcelain slab is another stunning option that's slowly replacing well-loved granite. Jessica Cinnamon, interior designer and founder of Jessica Cinnamon Design, says she's seeing a move toward porcelain – and she says she's completely on board with this shift.

'We see many clients are opting for porcelain countertops today due to being both extremely durable and offering a variety of size and color hues as well easier, lighter weight for the fabricators to work with,' says Jessica.

Though you might think 'delicate' when you hear the word porcelain, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to the kitchen, porcelain is a reliable, hardy tile countertop idea that'll see you through all your culinary adventures. 

Shaunn Lipsey, principal designer and creative director of Shaunn Lipsey + Co, says granite is slowly but surely being replaced with 'two of the most popular counter materials.' One of the standout materials is, unsurprisingly, porcelain.

'Porcelain slabs are at the forefront, now being printed with very realistic images of marble and quartzite. Not only do both these options look fantastic, but their durability is much better than that of real marble and perfect for busy family households,' says Shaunn.

4. Natural stone

A kitchen with stone countertops

(Image credit: Davonport)

Aside from granite and marble, other natural stone countertop options are rising in popularity, a predictable trend given a recent push toward spaces that seamlessly blend the indoors with the outdoors. Richard says that the tendency toward natural stone gives homes an organic, one-of-a-kind look that's hard to beat.

'Formed naturally in the ground, there are no two pieces the same so you’re guaranteed a unique look. Versatile and durable, it can be cut into any shape and is scratch, heat and stain resistant – but will need sealing,' he says.

Look to limestone, slate or travertine for natural options that'll also make a statement in your culinary space. With organic imperfections, these materials will define your entire kitchen design when styled with care.

'While granite is a natural stone, other options like marble offer distinct veining and a touch of elegance. Each slab is unique, providing a luxurious and bespoke feel to your kitchen,' says Floss Kelly, interior designer and co-founder of TileCloud.

5. Wood

An airy kitchen with open shelving and an island

(Image credit: Future)

'A perennial favorite, wood is currently having a resurgence in popularity across worktops and cabinetry and is fast overtaking granite. Easy on the eye and a material that adds natural warmth visually, wood is naturally antibacterial,' says Richard.

A perfect addition to a modern rustic kitchen, these pared-back, minimalistic countertops make a big statement. Offering natural warmth, texture and character to a space – even one otherwise full of sleek, contemporary finishes – wood is a go-to for sustainable, long-lasting countertops. 

Many wonder whether wood countertops are a good idea, but designers say their many benefits outweigh any additional maintenance tasks the material demands.

'Types to consider are oak, walnut, beech, ash and iroko. The former is perhaps the most popular choice as it comes in a wide variety of natural shades and is the go-to for most of our clients,' Richard adds.

Floss, too, suggests timber to add 'warmth and a natural element' to a kitchen's design scheme: 'It's versatile, fitting well into both modern and traditional designs, and with proper care, timber countertops age beautifully.'

6. Blended materials

A kitchen with wooden cabinetry and white blended countertops

(Image credit: Janis Nicolay / Knight Varga Interiors)

Relatively new, man-made and blended materials are making their way into kitchens across the world as well, offering durable and customizable solutions to the maintenance demanded by more natural materials. Trish Knight, co-founder and designer at Knight Varga Interiors, says her firm's go-to material when designing for a household that expects to be in the kitchen often is Dekton by Cosentino.

'Dekton is a type of ultracompact stone that is made from a blend of raw materials compressed under extreme pressure and high heat to create a dense and durable slab. It is known for its exceptional durability, resistance to heat, scratching, stains and UV light. It is also non-porous and therefore very hygienic and easy to clean. On top of all these amazing qualities, it is also beautiful and available in many colors, patterns and finishes,' says Trish.

In this kitchen, pictured above, Dekton Uyuni provides a simple, clean foundation for a minimalistic design style – and Trish says though it was installed in a 'busy household a year ago,' it still looks 'absolutely perfect today.' But no matter your design style or preferences, the vast array of blended options on the market means your dream countertop likely already exits. All you have to do is seek it out.

7. Tile

Tiled countertops in a neutral-colored kitchen

(Image credit: Mosaic Factory)

Tile layout trends have sparked fresh, exciting design inspiration in 2024, and the kitchen countertops are getting the tile treatment too. With tiles, the opportunities for artistic and creative (or minimalistic, pared-back) style are near endless. Hop on board with this year's kitchen tile trends by opting for handmade, artisan makes, geometric shapes, or slab stone tiles.

'We're seeing a significant interest in using tiles for countertops. Tiles offer unmatched versatility in design, durability, and ease of maintenance. They allow for personal expression through a vast range of colors, patterns, and finishes, making each kitchen uniquely yours,' says Floss.

If your granite countertops are in need of a refresh, these seven designer-approved replacements will upgrade your culinary space in an instant. Experiment with bold veined marble or go a bit rogue with a tile revamp, and your entire space will feel just like new.

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.