From painting to replacing the cabinetry and installing stainless steel appliances, sellers have numerous options when it comes to updating their kitchen before placing their home on the market. But real estate professionals across the board agree that if a kitchen upgrade is on the horizon, you can't afford to overlook the countertops.

Typically occupying a large surface area in any given kitchen, countertops are an important part of the room's overall look—whether they're used to anchor the room or cause it to pop. And changing up the countertops is one cosmetic change that can go a long way toward creating an entirely different look and feel within the space.

For those considering a counter update, there are many new trends to take advantage of if you truly want your kitchen to appeal to the masses. One such trend is the gravitation away from granite toward calm surfaces such as quartz.

Not only is quartz composed of crushed stone and a bonding agent, the material mimics many of the qualities that people like in granite. These qualities include being impervious to water and staining, as well as being heat resistant. One key difference between granite and quartz is the fact that the movement of quartz is predictable. In addition, it can be made to look like certain forms of marble, or it can be completely uniform in its look.

If quartz isn't your style, there are plenty of other options to choose from, including wood, steel and stone. Some people even enjoy the sophisticated look that marble incorporates into a space.

You can also take some inspiration from HGTV's list of top kitchen materials, including granite—for being timeless, durable and easy to clean—and stainless steel. Not only are stainless steel countertops nonporous, they don't have to be sealed and they resist bacterial growth.

Wood is another big trend that's gaining steam in the kitchen, especially in finishes that represent its natural form, rather than high-gloss or smooth finishes. Some people also like the idea of using concrete, although this type of material is prone to cracking and chipping, even with the modern-day use of fiberglass.

With plenty of options to choose from, it's important to stay away from materials that prospective buyers aren't gravitating toward anymore. These include Corian, laminates and tile.

If you're looking to make a splash in your kitchen, changing the countertops is a great way to alter the style of your kitchen from traditional to transitional. Not only will this increase the value of your kitchen, it'll also increase the value of your home.

Contact our office today for more information about updating your kitchen countertops.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.