We have a lot of custom projects that include stone counter top detail. Before committing to a countertop make sure that it fits with your lifestyle! Below are the best stones used for countertops.
The main minerals in granite are quartz, feldspar, hornblende, and mica. These minerals are extremely hard, making granite one of the hardest materials found in nature, second only to diamond. This is a great material for families because of how hard the stone is. It resists scratching, chipping, and discoloration due to heat. It can be used in virtually any application in your home, including kitchens, baths, bars, and fireplaces.
Granite is a natural product so there is an endless supply of colors and patterning. Some have small crystals evenly placed throughout the slab, some display a movement pattern and others have large crystallization patterns.
Granite now comes in several different finishes, including, polished, honed, leathered, antiqued, flamed, and brushed.
Unlike granite, marble is composed of calcite, making it relatively soft. Pure marble is almost entirely white though it can vary in color from white to black. Impurities such as silica, iron oxide and graphite give it its characteristic rich veining, clouding and color.
Marble is best used in bathrooms and fireplaces. Due to the softness of the stone it usually isn’t used in kitchens. Marble scratches and chips easily. A stone best used for decor purposes. It can be polished to a brilliant shine, or honed for a satin look.
Quartz (Engineered stone)
Engineered stone is 93% quartz material, with the remainder being a mix of resin, glass, dyes, etc. It is a manufactured product that is very hard, and resists scratching, chipping, and staining. Much like granite it’s another good candidate for kitchen work.
Quartz has no outdoor susceptibility to UV light. Because it is engineered the patterning is consistent throughout the slab. Engineered quartz comes in polished and honed finishes.
A popular style of quartz is Silestone, a product by Costentino of Spain. Silestone offers a contemporary color selection, built-in Microban protection for food preparation safety and a 10-year warranty. Silestone is also known for its line of recycled-pigment quartz countertops. (see above picture for example)
Soapstone is comprised of several minerals including talc, chlorite, dolomite and magnetite, giving it a soft feeling to the touch. It has a unique soft color with light flowing veins. When cut, soapstone will oxidize from a light color to a darker one.
Soapstone is a soft stone. Like marble it is susceptible to scratching. Soapstone is valued for its “old world,” image and used mostly in bathrooms, fireplaces and bars and kitchens that are not roughly used.
There are other common stones like limestone, travertine and onyx that carry the same look as the above stones. These however are much softer and are generally unsuitable for countertops. These are better used for accent areas.
If you are interested in design or custom work give us a phone call or come visit.
Crosby Designs for Hugo’s Interiors
4000-4 St. Johns Avenue | Jacksonville, FL 32205
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