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Kitchen Countertop Trends 2022

Written by Adam Graham

Published on January 21, 2022


Kitchen Countertop Trends 2022

To determine what are going to be the biggest kitchen countertop trends this year, we surveyed top interior design experts. We visualize the results and share their opinions.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

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Kitchen countertops are one of the most important parts of your kitchen - and your kitchen’s design. The countertop is more than just a place to rest your small appliances; it sees a lot of work each day, while also playing a big part in how your kitchen looks and its style. 

To help determine what would be trending and which of these trends will be the most impactful in 2022, we asked top experts in the interior design industry which will be the biggest trends in kitchen design and remodel this year and in this article we broke down everything related to kitchen countertop trends for 2022. 

Quartz countertops remain the most popular countertop trend going into 2022, with 73% of experts responding that it would be the most popular trend for homeowners this year. Quartz countertops are made from roughly 91% to 93% natural quartz - a mineral that scores a 7 on the mohs scale, making it the hardest material used in home construction today - mixed with pigments and resins. These countertops are not only hard and durable, they’re also resistant to everyday wear and tear. They’re stain resistant, scratch resistant, and impervious to heat. Each manufacturer has their own set of colors and patterns, but whether you like the look of white marble or you want a bright, bold color that sparkles, there is a quartz countertop that can match your style.

Quartz countertops are more consistent in price than natural stone countertops - running about $40 to $100 a square foot installed. They’re easier to care for than natural stone, but you won’t find the same natural color variation as you will in stone. For many people, this is a plus, and combined with their natural resistance to everyday wear, this can make quartz a very attractive material. 

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The second most popular trend in countertops for 2022 is the use of quartzite according to 56% of experts. Quartz and quartzite sound very similar to one another, but these are two very different materials.

While quartz is a man made countertop that contains roughly 93% natural material, quartzite is a natural stone. It’s made from metamorphosed sandstone - a material with a very high quartz content itself. The heat and pressure applied to the sandstone transforms it into a very hard, durable, and beautiful natural material.

Quartzite countertops resist staining and scratching better than most other natural stones. They aren’t as impervious as quartz countertops, and do require sealing, but for those that love the natural beauty of real stone, quartzite is one of the best choices you can make from a maintenance standpoint. Quartzite comes in many hues and colors, including some very wild and varied stones that you won’t find in a quartz countertop. And setting quartzite apart from other natural stones - and from quartz - is the rest of its appearance. It has a glittering, almost sugary texture that sparkles in the light when polished. Quartzite countertops cost much more than quartz at $80 to $210 a square foot, but its colors and patterns are unparalleled. 

Another  popular trend for 2022 in kitchen countertops has to do with their style and placement. 41% of the interior design professionals surveyed said using different countertops on the islands from the perimeter cabinets will be a big trend this year. With kitchen islands being one of the most popular layouts for the kitchen, it has become a focal point for the space. 

It is very common for island kitchens to feature an island that is a different color or design than the perimeter cabinets. And with that also comes the possibility of a different countertop as well. Having separate design cabinetry will lend itself to needing better matching countertops for each section too. 

Sometimes this can be subtle. For example, maybe the colors of the perimeter and island will inverse; light cabinets with dark countertop on the perimeter and dark cabinets with light countertop on the island. Other times, the countertop material may change to something very dramatic on the island. For example, by using a sedate granite on the perimeter with a wild and colorful quartzite on the island. 

And for those who love to bake or cook, sometimes the island countertop will reflect this. For example, a baker may choose a marble countertop for the island so they can roll out their pastry dough on the surface. 

As long as the entire design is cohesive in some way, however, there is no wrong way to go about mixing and matching your countertops. 

Another trend that impacts island countertops is the waterfall island countertop, which 38% of experts say will be one of the biggest trends in 2022. Waterfall islands are created by a countertop that makes a 90-degree turn at the edge, and follows the cabinet side to the floor. The countertop material is usually mitered, so that it makes a sharp angle as it turns downward. This creates a very contemporary, sleek look for the island that can become the focus of the kitchen design. 

Any slab material can be used to create a waterfall, but generally you do want to make sure the material is strong enough to handle the change in orientation. Many marbles and light-colored granites may be too thin or too brittle for this style. Quartz, quartzite, soapstone, porcelain, and some dark granites, however, can all be used here to great effect.

Keep in mind that you may need an additional slab to help make this style happen. With natural materials, be sure that the two slabs are from the same “lot” to ensure that they’ll match.

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Extra Thick Looking Countertops Will Be a Trend in Kitchen Design in 2022

28% of experts felt that built up edges - or an extra-thick looking countertop - will be popular in 2022. The thickness of a countertop is usually only visible at its edges. Most countertops tend to fall around 3cm in thickness, although some marbles may only be 2cm, and porcelain slabs can be even thinner. So, if you want a thicker looking countertop, the most common solution is to build up the edge. 

This doesn’t have any benefits in terms of durability, but it can make the countertop seem more substantial. It can also allow you to have more choices for the edge treatments, in terms of how decorative the edge may be. This can make the countertop - and the kitchen by extension - seem more luxurious.

It is achieved by taking an additional piece of countertop material and laminating it onto the edge. The entire edge piece is then carved together into the preferred edge treatment, and while the countertop itself may only be 3cm in thickness, the edge may be 4cm or even 5cm, giving the appearance of a thicker, beefier slab.

Any slab material can be given a built up edge. While it’s more common on thinner slabs, it can be achieved on any material if desired. 

22% of the experts surveyed said that porcelain slabs will be one of the biggest trends this year. Porcelain tile has long been a popular material for surfaces as it’s impervious to scratching, staining, or burning. And now you can find that same material in a gauged slab, which can be up to 10-feet in length, although only about 12mm in thickness. Porcelain slabs can take on the look of marble, concrete, granite, or other materials. But they don’t require the same amount of care. They cost $55 to $120 a square foot, making them fall in line with many other slab countertops. Made of compressed clay dust, they can sometimes include recycled material as well.

You will likely want to include a built-edge on these countertops, as 12mm is very thin when compared with the standard 3cm. Despite their thickness they are extremely durable, and require next to no maintenance to stay looking great long term. 

Butcher block countertops, chosen by 16% of experts as one of the most popular kitchen countertop trends for 2022, are made of wood - and they can come in many different wood species, as well as colors, grain patterns, and styles. Butcher block is made up of different pieces of wood, which are glued together in different ways. Depending on the way that the wood pieces are facing, the countertops can be more or less durable, while also taking on a variety of different looks.

Natural wood and other natural materials are proving to be very big in all areas of interior design for 2022, which makes these countertops a good choice as well. Butcher block countertops can cost from $30 to $280 a square foot, depending on the material and its orientation. Likewise, the type of wood and how it's presented will also impact how it wears. 

Butcher block countertops can be higher in maintenance than some other materials, but they do have the benefit of being able to be refinished fairly easily. They can come in a lot of colors and styles as well, allowing them to complement a lot of designs.

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If you’re remodeling your kitchen in 2022, or just considering a new countertop, make sure you check out these popular trends. Whether you’re a homeowner or an industry professional, checking out expert advice on the upcoming trends can help you make the best possible decisions for your next project and help you stay ahead in design.