When it comes to your kitchen, picking the right countertop material is one of the most important decisions you can make. Along with establishing a beautiful space with sleek lines and a clean finish, the right countertop lets you put your culinary skills to good use.
Your best bet is to choose a product that is practical, stylish, and easy to clean – and natural stone fits that bill. There are many choices when it comes to natural stone countertop materials. Here, we explore a few options to help you create a beautiful space that is also functional.
4 Best Natural Stone Kitchen Countertops to Choose from
Here are some top natural stone countertop options you can install in your kitchen.
1. Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are popular for their durability and easy maintenance. Their sturdiness means you don’t have to worry about scratches or chips ruining the surface. (The stone does require sealant to extend its life and resist stains, though.)
Granite is eco-friendly and retains its natural appearance throughout its lifetime. It is available in speckled, marbled, and grained patterns, offering numerous style options.
Additionally, granite comes in a wide range of price points, making it an affordable option for any budget. You can find granite countertops priced between $40 and $200 per square foot. (This generally includes the installation cost.) The final price can vary depending on numerous factors, the primary one being the thickness of the slab. It has a life expectancy of about 30 years, making it a worthwhile investment.
2. Marble Countertops
Marble is likewise durable but requires slightly more maintenance. It’s also strong and beautiful in a way few other natural stone option are.
Marble is favoured by home bakers and professional pastry chefs because it remains cool, making it ideal for rolling out pastry. Additionally, it’s resistant to heat, although it’s best to use hot pads and trivets when placing hot pots and pans on it to protect its finish.
While you might think this marble would be exorbitantly expensive, it actually costs less than other natural stone countertop options. However, the price does tend to vary depending on the thickness and type of marble you choose.
Marble is created from limestone or sedimentary dolomite rock that is naturally put under varying levels of pressure and heat. Those levels are responsible for each slab’s unique appearance, which come in a wide range of colours and hues that help determine its area of origin. Its distinct and beautiful appearance comes from impurities in the limestone reacting to the pressure and heat that transforms it into marble.
3. Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite is not the same as quartz. It is formed when sand comes under extreme heat and pressure within the earth. Quartz is an engineered material made using ground-up quartz mixed with epoxy and resin.
When searching for quartzite countertops, you can choose from a wide range of colours, with the most predominant ones being shades of blue and red. As it’s a natural stone, you may have a limited number of colour options from which to choose. Most slabs have a beige, cream, or white base colour, with hues of blue and red.
Quartzite is among the hardest natural stone countertops available, making it resistant to chips, scratches, and breaks. Plus, it’s non-porous so doesn’t harbour bacteria or etch with use. Maintenance is easy as it doesn’t require special commercial cleaners. Simply wiping the countertop is enough. Avoid harsh and abrasive cleaners as these can damage the sealant.
4. Onyx Countertops
Onyx is available in pastel or light colours ranging from blue and green to yellow and red. You can also find neutral tones such as beige and cream. It has unique patterns and variations, with small specks similar to what you sometimes see in quartz slabs.
Perhaps the most unique benefit of onyx is that it’s translucent, making onyx countertops great for applications with backlighting. Additionally, it has a long lifespan, similar to other natural stones such as marble and granite, when cared for properly. This ensures you won’t have to change your countertop frequently, which saves you money in the long run.
Onyx countertops are easy to clean; simply wipe them down with a soft cloth and warm soapy water to retain their beauty. (Being a delicate stone, commercial cleaners are too harsh and can damage the surface.)
Of course, there are many other natural stone countertop options for your kitchen. While this blog has focused on a few of the most durable and attractive ones, ultimately, it’s up to you to choose a product that fits your needs. So, take your time and consider the choices mentioned before picking the perfect one for your home.