There is no denying that when most people think of stone countertops, they are thinking of quartz and granite. After all, these are some of the most popular stone types commonly used for counter tops. However, there are a number of other options. In today’s article, we will discuss various types of stone countertops and some important things you need to know before choosing a stone countertop.
Some of the most common choices for stone countertops include granite, marble, quartz, soapstone, limestone and travertine. These are available in a wide range of natural colors and patterns. Here is a list of some of the important things you need to know before choosing a stone countertop.
First and foremost, you need to know your stones. Marble and granite are the most popular options but are also the most expensive. Natural stones allow you much less control over the colors and pattern where you can get more customized colors and patterns with engineered quartz and it comes at a lower price point. Since you are choosing a stone to use as a countertop, you would want to choose a stone that is heat resistant.
Natural stones are all heat resistant including limestone, granite, marble as well as soapstone among others. However, quartz might crack under extreme heat which means you should never put any hot pots and pans onto a quartz surface directly. It is also important for you to understand that while natural stones are resistant to heat, it does not mean that you should be placing hot things directly on the surface. It is better to use pads or trivets to preserve the surface.
When it comes to quartz, one of its biggest advantages is that it is non-porous which means you do not need a sealant to prevent absorption of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. It is also resistant to stains. Some of the other non-porous options include soapstone and slate. On the other hand, marble, limestone and granite are porous which means they are likely to stain easily without a sealant. This is why, sealant is important for countertops made of granite, limestone or marble in order to preserve their looks. It is also important that you keep acidic foods and cleaners away from countertops made of marble, granite and limestone.
When it comes to marble, you should know that it is a soft stone which makes it perfect for baking and other such things but it can also be easily scratched and nicked. This is why, you should always use a cutting board on a marble countertop. In comparison, quartz and granite are tougher which makes them more resistant to scratches and chips. Similarly, Slate is a tough stone but it is brittle in nature. This is why, the edges of a slate countertop should always be rounded in order to avoid chipping.
When it comes to cost, the natural stones are obviously the most expensive. However, it would be right to say that granite has become ubiquitous. Almost every kitchen has it. If you want your kitchen to stand out, you might want to use some other type of stone.
As far as countertop installation is concerned, it is recommended to hire the services of a professional installer for a clean finish. Do not DIY a stone countertop installation if you do not have the necessary training and tools. Installing laminate countertops is relatively easy as you can usually cut them at home with the help of commonly available tools but cutting and filing stone slabs is a whole different ballgame. This is why, it is always better to hire the services of a specialist countertop installer to get that perfect finish.