The Best, Newest Counter Surface is Beautiful AND More Durable Than Quartz

I’m scheming a couple of long-term kitchen projects right now, so over the last number of months I’ve been gobbling up all the information I can on counter surfaces. For my own kitchen — I live in a 1790 house — I will probably go with classic marble and soapstone and just live with their foibles. (My house leans 2.5 inches to the south, so who cares if my counter is etched or chipped, right?) But some of my clients don’t want any hassle at all, and I don’t blame then,

All across the web, you’ll find various reviews of different quartz or granite surfaces that mimic marble and soapstone. They come in a variety of price points — with the price usually going up the closer they look to the real thing.

Neolith Pin

But recently, I spotted a Texas project by Marie Flanigan Interiors in Architectural Digest that used a surface I hadn’t heard of before.

The Best New Thing for Counters Since Sliced Bread

 (Next 3 images from Architectural Digest.)

These aren’t cement counters (with all of cement’s water-staining problems), but they look like it!

marie-flanigan-bath 1

marie-flanigan-bath 2
And this ain’t calacatta, though I bet it might even fool Michaelangelo.

This project is awesome, and you should check out the link. But for now, let’s just talk about the material on those solid surfaces. It’s called Neolith, and according to Marie, “virtually nothing short of a hurricane could damage this material!”

“My Name is Neo[lith]”

Neolith is a sintered stone that comes in large format for walls and floors and in tile sizes. It sounds like something from The Matrix, and its characteristics are just as futuristic.

  • Heat resistant up to 1,000 °F (quartz is heat resistant to about 350º)
  • Non-porous
  • Doesn’t scratch or etch!!!! (Dreaming about polished marble counters? Here you go, baby!)
  • Easy to clean with regular chemical cleaners or other with a liquid absorption rate near zero
  • Super light weight, making it great for wall and even furniture applications
  • Amazing digital imaging with lots of fizzles and incredible depth
Haha! I couldn’t help myself. Unlike the “real” Neo, I don’t think Neolith is bulletproof. But almost!

Neolith comes in 6 finishes…

(Next 5 images from Neolith.com.)

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…and 4 thicknesses. The table below shows the application for each thickness.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 12.37.04 PM Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 12.36.49 PM

I love the thin pieces for wall applications, like doing an entire bath wall (like Marie’s vanity wall) or a fireplace surround.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 12.39.09 PM

Take a look at the depth in that counter veining above. Gorgeous!

Marble & Granite, my local supplier, sent me a bunch of samples, including my favorites — the honed and polished Estatuario (left) and Calacatta (right) surfaces.


Installed in the Christopher Peacock showroom in the Boston Design Center (photo taken and used by permission).
Installed in the Christopher Peacock showroom in the Boston Design Center (photo taken and used by permission).

Some of the grays are really beautiful, too. A few I particularly like:

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.36.04 PM
Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.36.30 PM
Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.36.50 PM
Basalt Grey

This sounds too good to be true… so what’s the catch?

Neolith ain’t cheap. Pricing depends upon the color, but everything typically falls between $40-$50 sf. But since it’s indestructible, it’s an investment that will last the lifetime of your kitchen, right? (So choose your color wisely. 😉 You have to like it until you die.)

Also, Neolith only comes in a maximum 3/4 inch thickness. So, if you want a deluxe, thick counter like this…

Neolith counters via Houzz
Neolith counters via Houzz

… your fabricator will need to use a miter joint at the edge of the countertop to add a thicker face to create an almost seamless appearance.

You can find your nearest Neolith distributor here. Still far? (Mine is.) The nearest distributor can send your slab to a fabricator near you.

I have to say, I’m definitely smitten, even if I do still want the real marble and soapstone in my own kitchen. After all, I used to sometimes imagine I was Trinity.


But that didn’t have anything to do with Neo, who was just another cog in the machine and luckily didn’t require much emoting from Keanu Reeves. I just wanted to be able to kick a** while wearing leather — and not break a sweat.

What do you think? Sound interesting? Need to remember this page for future reference? Pin this *little* graphic so you don’t forget!Neolith Pin



Until next Saturday!


2 thoughts on “The Best, Newest Counter Surface is Beautiful AND More Durable Than Quartz”

    1. Glad you liked, Eileen! I wonder, with all these maintenance free lookalike options on the market now, whether the demand for marble and soapstone will go down.

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