A beautiful bond of crushed stone and resin that's molded into slabs, engineered stone, such as quartz surfacing, offers the natural good looks of stone but with more even patterning (as opposed to the swirling "movement" and variations of granite slabs) plus a wider variety of colors and look-alike stone patterns. Choose carefully, because not all engineered stone can stand up to hot pots and pans, as granite does.
"[Engineered stone] can be visually understated or strong and bold," says Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, and founder of Bornholm Kitchen
. "Right now, I'm loving the new brand, Dekton, for its no-stain, 1,200-degree heat-resistant features."
Designer Sandra Tierney, CMKBD, CID, of Cabinets By Design
is also currently drawn to engineered stone as a substitute for other stone materials. "Marble is too sensitive to stand up to the working kitchen," she says, "but there are quartz (surfacing) finishes that look like marble."
As with granite, you can select engineered stone slabs with polished or honed finishes. Unlike granite, engineered stone resists stains and does not require sealing.