Stone Options in Countertops
The look is rich, the feel is luxurious and the material
is heard-wearing. Such is the definition of natural
stone countertop. Whether it comes in the form of a slab
or produced as individual tiles each piece of the
natural stone is unique unto itself.
Always take time and care to choose the one that will
work best for your desires. Most are virtually
maintenance free and some require a bit of tender loving
care to look their best such as regular staining or
oiling. Natural stone countertops come in a variety of
finishes with the most common being polished, high
gloss, honed or matte. Below are some of the variables
of living stone countertops.
Granite is the most durable of the natural stone
countertops. The only harder stone is the diamond. It
will not scratch, crack or chip and can withstand heat.
It can though break dishes or glasses if set down too
hard. Granite is available in rich colors and a polish
that won't wear off. Since granite is porous you need
reseal it about once a year.
Soapstone, which is above all made up of the mineral
talc is popular in both modern or country style
kitchens. The nature of soapstone means acids won't etch
the stone and the stains can be easily sanded out.
Homeowners tend to like the not so perfect soapstone and
view it as character instead of flaws. Mineral oil
brings out its rich, dark color and makes it shine.
The sleek and well-designed marble countertop is
timeless. Usually found in the baker's kitchen, it is
the serious bakers' choice for rolling dough. Marble is
more porous than granite so it requires sealant to be
applied more frequently to prevent stains. Since it is
not nearly as hard as some other stone countertops, it
is best to be used in small sections instead than the
Beautiful slate is available in tones of gray, green,
purple and black. It's absolutely not just for roofs or
floors anymore. Slate is definitely becoming a popular
choice in the kitchen. Its beauty and strength make it a
durable and stylish option. As with soapstone, regular
treatment with mineral oil will bring out the beauty of
this material. Any scratches can usually be removed by
rubbing with a damp sponge. Deeper scratches can be
buffed out by using steel wool.
Limestone consists mainly of calcite, a neutral-toned
mineral. Limestone varies in hardness but is a more
porous stone that stains easily. It requires regular
resealing to prevent stains.
Quartz is an attention-getting stone countertop. Though
often called engineered stone, this material is composed
of natural quartz mixed with epoxy resin binders. Quartz
is an incredibly hard and durable surface. It is
nonabsorbent that makes it more user friendly and stain
resistant. It is basically maintenance free with just a
simple wipe off with warm water. Different pigments are
mixed in the making of the quartz surfacing and because
of this there are beautiful colors to choose from.
Lava stone is a more atypical countertop material that
is often sold under the French brand name Pyrolave. Lava
stone is quarried in France then enameled and fired. It
has a very high gloss finish and colors can be
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