Pick out the Right Stone Kitchen Countertop

Written by Posted On Thursday, 24 October 2019 00:19

Selecting the right kitchen countertop for your lifestyle is one of the most important design decisions you will make when renovating the space or designing it from scratch. Factors like appearance and durability are likely to influence your choice. Certain materials are virtually maintenance free; others require extra care. There are also variants that develop a beautiful patina as they age, making them appear even more stunning. Does style matter most to you? Are you concerned about stain resistance? Or are you looking for an easy-to-maintain option? When picking out a kitchen countertop, remember that many kitchens incorporate more than one material. So, if you think a certain one goes well with your design scheme, consider that one too.

Choosing the Best Material for Your Kitchen Countertop

  • Granite

Granite is a naturally occurring stone cut into slabs when quarried. Since it is mined all over the world, every piece is uniquely coloured and veined. It is generally available in two finishes: a polished one, which darkens the surface to give it a shiny look, whereas honing is matte and soft. How much a slab costs depends on many variables such as the origin, finish and colour.

Granite is great at handling everyday wear and tear but risks suffering chips and cracks if impacted by a heavy object with force. Also, it is not completely heat resistant, meaning it may not perform well when subjected to rapid temperature changes; it is recommended that you use hot pads and trivets when dealing with heated pots and pans. Being porous, it may absorb liquids from spills if not sealed properly. Additionally, the countertop will need sealing at least once a year; otherwise the material risks harbouring bacteria.

  • Marble

Marble is another natural stone alternative offering an elegant and sophisticated look, whether it has a honed or polished finish. It is mainly a composite of minerals like graphite and calcite, among others. Its colours range from black to soft white and are usually subtle.

Since the material stays naturally cold, it is perfect for bakers and homeowners who love to make their own pasta as they can work on the surface itself. Marble can be more expensive than quartz and granite and is more porous than other natural stones, making it prone to staining, cracking and chipping. Though strong, it isn’t the most durable option and can break if a heavy object were to fall on it. Also, when not sealed properly and regularly, marble countertops can absorb and harbour bacteria.

  • Quartz

Quartz is an artificial stone created by fusing natural quartz with resin by applying heat and pressure to form slabs. Traditionally, it has more consistent colouring than its natural stone counterparts but comes in a wide range of styles and colours. It can also be made to mimic colours and veining patterns as seen on natural stone. Many homeowners prefer it as it looks like natural stone but doesn’t require as much maintenance. Quartz is durable, doesn’t need to be sealed and is completely non-porous since it is fabricated. It offers the same impact resistance as most natural stone and is partly heat resistant. Like granite, it is advisable to use hot pads and trivets instead of placing heated pans directly on a quartz surface.

  • Onyx

Onyx originates from limestone caves and is a form of marble comprised mostly of calcite. It has a translucent and iridescent appearance and can be lit from behind to highlight its beauty. It is formed by dripping water to create unique and stunning vein patterns, is soft to touch and can be found in vibrant colours like orange, green and pink. The material requires regular sealing and must be cleaned with a special stone cleaner to keep it from scratching and staining. Onyx is a rare stone so is perfect for someone who likes standing out in a crowd.

Picking a new kitchen countertop can be an exciting project, only if you invest smartly. While budget is important, consider your lifestyle and needs before you decide on the look, material and finish of the countertop. Hopefully, this blog post will help you better understand stone countertops and decide on what you want to install in your kitchen.

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