If you were going to define or describe a natural stone countertop you would start with the durability of the material. The fact that there is a rich and luxurious feel to the material would be an added bonus. The great thing about stone countertops is that each piece or slab is unique unto itself.
If you decide to use natural stone for your countertop you will need to consider several factors. You must first decide on the material that will work for you or fit your taste the best. There are a number of different materials that are available. Each one of the materials are almost maintenance free, they will require some TLC to maintain their good looks. This will require a regular oiling and staining to keep up the rich look and feel.
It is possible for stone countertops to come in a wide variety of finishes including polished high gloss. This is the most common finish but it is also possible to get a countertop with a matte or honed finish.
Listed below are a few options for countertop materials.
The most durable of all of the natural stone countertops are granite. The only stone that has a harder composition is a diamond. Granite will not chip or crack, can withstand high heat, and will not scratch. Granite is hard enough to damage glasses or dishes if they are not handled properly. Granite is also a good choice for a countertop because it is available in a variety of colors and the surface polish will last a while. A major disadvantage of granite is it is susceptible to staining since it tends to be a porous material. It will require additional sealing annually to prevent water damage.
Soapstone is another popular choice for use as a countertop. This stone is comprised of mineral talc and is normally found in country style or modern kitchens. Several advantages of soapstone counters are they are not harmed by acidic foods and any stains can be easily sanded and removed. If you want to bring out the character and rich deep colors you can use mineral oil to treat and condition the soapstone material. Homeowners seem to appreciate the imperfections of soapstone and often regards these counters as having character.
Marble counters seem to have an elegant and sleek appearance. These countertops simply look expensive and elegant. You will find a large number of these countertops in bakeries. They are an excellent choice for anyone rolling dough or working with any type of baking products. Marble is a porous type of stone so it is important for a sealant to be applied at regular intervals in order to prevent staining. Marble is not a particularly hard material so it is wise to use it in a small section of counters rather than it large slabs
Slate is a gorgeous material that is available in different color tones such as purple, green, gray and even black. Since this material has a wide variety of colors available it is not just used for floors and roofing as it was in the past. With the numerous color choices, slate has gained significant popularity with homeowners as a kitchen counter favorite. Slate has a beauty that is appreciated but it must be cared for like any other counter material. The appearance can be restored and maintained with regular applications of mineral oil. It is possible to control scratches with a damp cloth. Deeper scratches can be buffed out with steel wool.
Limestone is another relatively new material being used for countertops. It is comprised of calcite which is a stone that has a neutral tone color. Limestone can vary a little in hardness but the overall composition of limestone suggests a porous material that could be damaged by staining. It will be necessary to schedule regular maintenance for the proper care of limestone counters.
Quartz is a material that has gained some recent popularity. It is sometimes referred to as the “engineered stone”. Quartz is made with natural quartz powder being mixed with an epoxy resin to form a quartz slab. When this mixture is formed into a slab it becomes a very durable and extremely hard product. Quartz is nonabsorbent and therefore makes an excellent choice for counters that may be exposed to water. It is very resistant to staining and can be maintained by wiping or cleaning the surface with a rag. Since quartz must be created, it is entirely possible to introduce a wide range of pigments to achieve any number of colors for the counters.
Lava stone is a unique stone to be used for countertops. This stone is quarried in France, covered with enamel and is then fired in a kiln. It has an extremely high gloss finish and a number of colors are available. Lava stone is not widely used in countertops for the home.
These are some basic choices of stone material that can be used for home kitchen countertops. Do your research and make sure you get a material that will fit nicely with your house.
Originally posted 2018-05-07 19:41:24.