Looking for a countertop material that can withstand the hustle and bustle of your busy kitchen without breaking the bank? Look no further than natural stone.
As a hub for meal prep, your kitchen countertops are subject to all kinds of wear and tear, from scratches to spills. That’s why it is crucial to choose a material that can handle all these challenges while still looking great for years to come.
Natural stone countertops are a great option for many reasons. Compared to engineered materials, natural stone offers unparalleled beauty and durability. And depending on the type of stone you choose, you can get a wide range of colours and patterns to complement your kitchen’s existing design and give it a touch of elegance and sophistication.
Of course, with so many different types of natural stone countertops available, it can be difficult to know which is best for your kitchen.
That’s where our guide comes in.
Here, we walk you through the most popular and durable natural stone countertop materials to help you make an informed decision.
Types of Natural Stone Countertops for Busy Kitchens
Take a look at some hard-wearing natural stone countertop options to ensure you make the right choice for your space.
This is perhaps the most loved natural stone countertop material owing to its durability. Granite countertops also require little to no maintenance. You can also find a wide selection of unique patterns and colours to ensure you find something that matches your existing decor and personal preferences.
Being a natural stone, it needs to be sealed annually to prevent staining and ensure it looks beautiful for years to come. Fortunately, the sealant does not affect the look and feel of the material. Note: it is still recommended to wipe up spills as soon as they happen to protect your worktop. Moreover, granite countertops are affordable, and yield numerous benefits compared to engineered varieties.
A delicate and elegant material, marble is another natural stone that is used in kitchens. Marble countertops are heat-resistant and remain cool to the touch, despite the proximity of hot ovens and cooking surfaces. This makes it a suitable material for those who may love to bake or make chocolates or pastries. It is available in different veining patterns and shades to give your space a timeless and bright appeal.
However, due to its porous nature, marble may stain if spilled food or liquids are left standing on the surface for a long time. Like other natural stones, marble countertops also need to be sealed with an appropriate finish to prevent long-lasting stains. If you prefer a worn-down look and don’t like stark, sterile worktops, marble is the perfect choice for you.
One of the most ornate natural stone varieties for countertops, quartzite features tiny quartz crystals that can catch natural and artificial light to give it a sparkling effect. The crystals come from sand grains that have undergone years of compression and heat underground. While a lengthy process, it is what creates the sparkling effect and dense quartzite countertops.
Quartzite is one of the harder natural stones, but it is more susceptible to staining than granite. To protect your worktop, you may have to invest time in periodic resealing, depending on how much wear and tear the material is subjected to. Quartzite is UV-resistant as well, which makes it great for outdoor kitchens and bars. And you don’t have to worry about its appearance fading with sun exposure.
For kitchens that may have modern accents, soapstone countertops are a great option. They elevate the look and feel of your space, and you can choose from dark colours with light veining, which is the opposite of what is seen with marble countertops. Over the years, the material darkens, which only adds to its appearance.
Soapstone can resist heat damage, and small scratches and dents can be repaired by sanding. Over time, the material develops a beautiful patina. However, homeowners need to apply mineral oil to its surface to help the oxidation process. Besides that, soapstone countertops are just a few notches lower than granite in terms of their hardness and are great at resisting moisture and heat.
Compared to other varieties of natural stone, onyx is rarely used in kitchens but is a great choice. When properly cared for, onyx countertops can last up to 100 years. They can be a unique addition to your space as they come in colourful veining patterns that resemble swirls.
Soapstone’s most unique feature is its translucency. This makes it great for backlighting, which highlights its colours and patterns. However, acidic substances can cause etching because it is a calcium-based natural stone. So, be careful not to spill vinegar, lemon juice, or wine, among other acidic substances. Also, steer clear of abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the surface beyond repair.
Maintaining a soapstone is fairly easy. All you need is a bit of mild dish soap and warm water. For long-term care and maintenance, onyx countertops need to be sealed regularly for protection against staining and other damages.
If durability, ease of maintenance, and beauty are your top desires in terms of your kitchen countertop, natural stone is the way to go. With so many options and so many benefits, you are bound to find a natural stone countertop that fits perfectly in your space. With a durable and long-lasting product, you can rest assured knowing you have made a great investment.