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If you have natural stone surfaces for either your kitchen or bathroom countertops, you have impeccable taste as a homeowner. If you don’t, we’re here to steer you in the right direction.
Follow along on our journey to everything you need-to-know about different natural stone countertops – including how durable they are – with this guide. By the end, you’ll be a genius on such matters, so much so that you’ll be capable of picking the best natural stone surface for your home, with minimal help from the professionals.
First things first, the basics.
Every natural stone option is different, which means that every pattern and color you lay your eyes on will be one of a kind.
All-natural stone options are extremely durable, and practically unaffected by any type of heat.
Heat resistant and unique? What else can natural stone offer you?
The slabs created in the earth are virtually seamless; the smooth surface allows you to be stress-free when it comes to grout lines – because there are none. No grout lines equals no crumbs getting into the cracks of the countertop, unlike ceramic tile options.
Yes, you may have to reapply sealant every so often, but generally speaking, these countertops require a low maintenance upkeep. Just be sure to wipe up spills as soon as you can.
Cracks, chips, and scratches are bound to happen from time to time – but the good news is that all of these mishaps can be fixed on-site, in your home. A craftsman can come on over to your home and get the job done in as little as a day.
On the downside, natural stone options can be pretty pricey, depending on the selection you go with.
The stone is also susceptible to cracking if it’s not evenly supported, which means that leaving heavy objects on the surface at all times is a bad idea.
And, you can’t install surfaces like granite, marble, limestone, and soapstone on your own; you need to hire a pro to carry out the job.
Some options, like travertine, limestone, and marble do blemish easily, so sealing them more often than not is highly recommended.
Lastly, some natural stone countertop options don’t mix well with acidic foods and liquids. For instance, citrus fruits, vinegar, and certain cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia may harm surfaces like marble, limestone, and travertine – so be careful.
Now that you know the general basics, let us lay out a couple of the more popular natural stone countertop options for you to take a look at. We’ll briefly give you a few sentences on each, and then you can do some independent research on the few that caught your eye.
Granite is a hard, igneous rock that forms inside the earth over a stretched-out period. Its impressive strength upholds the surfaces reputation as one of the most durable options on the market today; wear and tear is nothing for this stone.
Granite doesn’t stop there, though. Luckily, the igneous rock is formed into a variety of colors, making it perfect for those of you that want to add a little bit of style to your kitchen or bathroom.
It may not be the most affordable option, but you can cut your costs and stay in range with your budget if you select the right slab, which Marble can help you with. This nonabsorbent, stain resistant surface won’t let you down.
Marble takes years to mature in the earths surface, and it has to have the right amount of intense heat and pressure to reach perfection.
What’s great about this countertop option is that its past proves it has an outstandingly high durability factor – especially considering the metamorphic stone has been used to construct architectural buildings in Ancient Greece and Rome in centuries long, long ago.
The veining patterns in the surface are breathtaking and rather remarkable. If you’re looking for a pure and elegant look, you’ve come to the right stone.
Limestone is great for outdoor and indoor surfaces – so if you happen to have an outdoor kitchen or island area, this is the magical option.
What’s another plus? Just like marble, limestone has been used to create several pieces of ancient architecture in the past, too.
The range of unique colors that this natural stone surface offers is incredible – and they’ve gained popularity over the years due to their odd, yet amazing transfigurations.
As limestone is good for indoor and outdoor use, so is slate. Luckily, this dense rock created in the earth is also slightly metamorphic, meaning you can add a little bit of shape to the countertop if need be.
Natural stones are typically hard surfaces, but soapstone happens to be on the softer side of the spectrum – that doesn’t mean it’s no good. Imagine you are rubbing a bit of dry soap. That is what you’ll get as a countertop if you go with this option!
However, this is the most popular choice for homeowners that are trying to achieve either an old fashioned or rustic look – it just fits the bill so well.
The generally gray stone does tend to darken over time, so if you like different shades of gray, you’ll be intrigued by soapstone.
And, it is unaffected by both heat and acidic foods, liquids, and cleaners.
Quartzite is naturally a strong stone material, and its super resistant to heat – and hard to stain.
There are two types:
Hard Quartzite & Soft Quartzite
Hard quartzite needs to be sealed – but it’s a very trustworthy surface, especially when it comes to durability.
If you’re looking for an alternative that’s not related to marble or granite, this is the way to go.
Soft quartzite, on the other hand, contains veining and gives the homeowner the opportunity to pick from a complex color pattern; basically, the surfaces resemble marble to a tee.
The soft version is definitely hard to scratch, and pretty dense, which makes it well suited for those of you that own busy kitchens and bathrooms.