Countertops are quickly becoming the new high-end upgrade. Laminates still top the list for popularity, with solid surface a close second, but natural surfaces such as stone, granite, and quartz are rapidly gaining ground. The selections for all materials run the gamut from rustic to glamorous.

Formica.Terrazzo solid surface has an opaque tinted base with translucent brown and clear chips, accented with pearl. Created from an acrylic/polyester copolymer, the solid surface offers stain resistance and deep color clarity. Shown is Blanco Terrazzo, one of several new shade offerings from the company. 800.367.6422. www.formica.com.

Cambria. With a look similar to that of granite, the Quarry Collection has a natural-cut look in a variety of styles and palettes. Six colors are offered, including Windsor (shown).

From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy CambriaThe quartz surfaces are easy to care for and are two times stronger than granite, as well as virtually non-absorbent, according to the maker. 866.226.2742. www.cambriausa.com.

From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy Samsung Samsung. A 100% acrylic solid surface, Staron offers a variety of particulate sizes and colors in its seven color categories. Nine new colors, including Pebble Cedar, Sanded Ginger, and Breccia Stoneware, add more sparkle to the collection. The surface is nonporous and easy to maintain, according to the company. 800.795.7177. www.getstaron .com.

From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy Avonite Surfaces Avonite Surfaces. New eye-catching colors join the Studio Collection series, including New Caldron, a deep red embedded with translucent chips, and Tiger Eye, an earthy, bold green. The acrylic solid surfacing can be made in 1/8-inch, ¼-inch, and ½-inch thicknesses. 800.428.6648. www.avonitesurfaces.com.

From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "120_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy Green Mountain Soapstone Green Mountain Soapstone. Soapstone is made up of mineral deposits created by nature that are quarried from the earth. It won't burn or stain and requires only minor maintenance. The company's countertops are complemented by soapstone sinks and tiles. All are available in two natural shades — soft charcoal with fine crystals, and dark green with pale veins. 802.468.5636. www.greenmountainsoapstone.com.

From file "122_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "122_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy DuPont DuPont. Corian's six new colors, inspired by Japanese design, offer a range of muted, neutral hues. Two grays — Green Tea, with a touch of sage, and Dove —are joined by Canvas and Raffia, subtle yellows. Rice Paper and White Jasmine, two soft whites, complete the array. The surface's non-porous nature helps it resist stains and makes it easy to clean, according to the company. 800.426.7426. www .corian.com.

From file "122_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01
From file "122_rms" entitled "K+BSpec3.qxd" page 01

Courtesy CaesarStone CaesarStone. Embedded with semi-precious stones, Concetto quartz surfaces are a unique choice for high-end countertops. Seven different shades and patterns are offered, each with its own distinctive look. Shown here are two choices: Camaieu, a mélange of blue lace agate, and Fresco, made up of swirls of flint. The surfaces are resistant to heat, scratches, and stains, the maker says. 877.978.2789. www.caesarstone.com. For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, or www.ebuild.com.