Remodelling your kitchen countertop is hard when you don’t know which material is best. There are many different kinds of engineered and natural stones, each with its own properties, look, and advantages.

Natural stones, like marble and granite, have impurities which give them their unique appearance. Engineered stones, on the other hand, are manufactured with the help of resins, pressure, and heat. This means that the manufacturer can decide on the colour and patterns, like swirls and spots, when creating engineered stones.

MaxSpace Stone Works has one of the largest collections of both engineered and natural stones for kitchen countertops in Toronto homes. Our inventory includes marble, granite, quartzite, onyx, and quartz slabs. Here we look at these five types of stones in relation to kitchen countertops.

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Best Stones for Kitchen Countertops in Toronto-Area Homes

Best Stones for Kitchen Countertops

Kitchen countertops need to be hard, durable, and attractive. Here are five suitable options.

Granite

Granite is an igneous rock formed by the slow crystallization of magma below the earth’s surface. It ranks 6 on the Mohs scale, which measures mineral hardness. This quality makes granite a great stone for kitchen countertops as it is scratch, dent, and chip-resistant. This means that knives, forks, and other sharp and hard objects will not damage it.

Granite is also heat resistant, meaning you can place hot pots or pans directly onto a granite countertop without worrying that it will crack.

Granite does however have pores so can absorb spilled liquids. (These may also leave stains if not wiped up promptly.) Moreover, porous rocks like granite can house bacteria. However, you can use a sealant to prevent these problems.

Granite comes in warm tones and grainy textures. Its colours include red, black, beige, grey, purple, green, and pink.

Quartzite

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from pure quartz sandstone. It ranks 7 on the Mohs scale, and this durability makes quartzite one of the most used stones for kitchen countertops. Like granite, quartzite resists scratches, chips, and dents.

Additionally, it will not fade or discolour under ultraviolet rays. Thus, you can use it for outdoor kitchen countertops. You can also cook without worry with a quartzite countertop because of its heat-resistant properties. It is, however, porous and so, it needs to be sealed to prevent moisture absorption.

Most quartzite stones have light to heavy patches of grey and look like marble. This means they possess the hardness of granite and the beauty of marble. Quartzite stones come in shades of yellow, black, green, brown, pink, red, and blue.

Marble

Marble is another metamorphic rock made under extreme heat and pressure inside the Earth’s crust. It is softer than other natural stones, ranking 4 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale, and is porous, meaning a sealant is important to increase your countertop’s lifespan.

But, because of its unique and beautiful veined designs, marble is commonly used for kitchen countertops. Marble also has antibacterial properties that prevent mould; it is also waterproof and heat resistant. Additionally, marble remains naturally cool so this kind of countertop is perfect for baking as the cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough.

Marble is mostly found in white, or white with black and grey veins. Colour options include black and yellow.

Onyx

Onyx is a banded (or layered) form of chalcedony (a form of silica) that is rare. It ranks 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, making onyx a hard and durable material. Indeed, with proper maintenance, you won’t need to change this natural stone countertop in your Toronto-area home in your lifetime.

Additionally, onyx is lightweight, meaning it is easy to fabricate, so you can get creative with shapes and designs. You can also add wood and glass accents to onyx countertops; however, you will need to seal them to prevent scratches, dents, and chips. The sealant will also make it spill-proof and stain-resistant.

With its unique, dark veins, onyx is a semi-precious stone. It is also the only translucent natural stone, meaning light can pass through it. The benefit of a translucent countertop is that you can add a backlight to enhance its beauty.

Onyx comes in multiple colours like blue, green, yellow, red, beige, cream, and black.

Quartz

Quartz is made from 93% crushed quartz and 7% synthetic resin pressed under heat. This engineered stone ranks 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Besides being durable enough to be scratch and chip-resistant, quartz is also non-porous, meaning it will not stain by absorbing moisture. Thus, a sealant is not required for quartz countertops.

Quartz can, however, get discoloured with prolonged exposure to heat from sunlight or hot pots and pans. Therefore, it is best to use a trivet while cooking. Otherwise, it is a low-maintenance stone, and you only have to wipe it off to remove stains or dirt.

Quartz can also mimic the look of marble or granite. You can find quartz countertops in Toronto that are white with charcoal veins. Black quartz with white veins or freckles and brown quartz with gold veins are also common.

 
With so many choices, it can be difficult to pick the right stone for your kitchen countertop. But now that you know more about granite, quartzite, marble, onyx and quartz, you can make a more informed decision. However, countertop installation in Toronto is difficult to do on your own. Fortunately, MaxSpace can both create and install kitchen countertops in Toronto-area homes. Contact us to learn more.