Doing a home renovation and want to include new stone countertops?
Stone is a simple way to modify your space, adding sophistication and class and certainly upping the resale value of your home. Not only does the material look great, but its durable as well, making it worth the investment when it comes to longevity.
But with several different types of stone out there, how do you know which one to select? Not to worry, we’ve broken down the 6 best and most common types of stone countertops.
Granite has become popular over the past few decades because of its durability and its sleek look. It really is the best of both worlds when it comes to aesthetic and practicality.
Granite comes out of the earth and has organic, one-of-a-kind coloring. Because of this, you won’t be able to select the exact color or pattern you want in your home. You’ll be able to work toward a general color or pattern, but it will never be precise.
This is part of the appeal of a granite countertop. No two kitchens or bathrooms will look the same and you’ll have an item in your home that is unique to you.
When granite is installed, it will need to be sealed, otherwise, moisture, stains, and heat can seep into the porous stone. Once it’s sealed, however, it’s basically indestructible. The seal is something you’ll have to maintain over time, redoing it every couple years to ensure your stone remains protected from the elements.
Granite is extremely durable and can withstand serious heat and does not chip or break easily. If you want to maintain the integrity of the stone, it’s important to not abuse it, but you can certainly go about your day without being precious with your countertops.
Keep in mind granite is a very heavy stone and will need to be installed by a team of professionals. It’s also important to remember that because no two pieces of granite are the same, the sample you received will not look exactly like the slab that’s installed.
If you don’t love the flecks and granular appearance of granite, marble might be the right choice for you. Typically, marble slabs appear more vein-like, almost like streaks of color smeared across a blank canvas.
Marble has a very sophisticated and classy appearance, immediately upping the aesthetic of your space. Similarly to granite, marble is a naturally occurring material and will available to you as-is. You won’t have the opportunity to get specific about the pattern, grains or streaks in the stone.
While marble and granite have similarities, their main difference is that marble is less durable than granite. It’s slightly more porous, making it susceptible to stains, heat damage and scratches.
Because marble is more porous, it will need to be sealed more regularly in order to prevent damage. Marble can be easily chipped so while it’s a durable material, it may start to show signs of wear and tear earlier than granite.
Want more control over the pattern and colors of your stone? You may want to go with quartz. Quartz is mixed with resin to create a manufactured stone that can be made to look a variety of ways.
Quartz is just as strong and durable as granite and what’s more, you don’t need to seal the surface because it’s not a porous stone like some of its competitors. The stone is stain-resistant and will withstand extreme cold and heat. It is also difficult to chip so you will definitely get longevity out of this stone.
Keep in mind that quartz can fade or become discolored if exposed to long-term sunlight. If you plan to cover an area that will be in direct sun, consider putting a shade up to prevent fading.
Quartz is a slightly more flexible stone than others which makes installation easier and the stone more malleable altogether. It will still need to be installed by professionals because while it’s flexible, it is still extremely heavy and should only be handled by those with experience.
With slate stone comes a tougher material with less likelihood of damage from heat, cold, stains or chipping. However, with slate, you’re going to be limited with the color range and patterns.
While it can have some patterning or grain-like appearance, you’re mostly going to see solid colors in neutral tones like grey, green and black.
Slate is very easy to maintain. You won’t have to worry about resealing the surface to prevent damage. You can simply rub an oil onto the top of the stone to allow its original brilliance to shine. It’s also easy to remove scratches and small scuffs from the stone.
With slate, you’re getting a sleek look and a material that will last a while without any significant repair or maintenance that would cost you additional money and stress.
Soapstone is a popular choice that is available in mostly darker hues. It’s a nice mix if you like the color of granite but the veiny, streaked look of a marble countertop. The finish has an antique looking quality to it that reminds you of a classic old home.
Soapstone has less of a shiny polish that you’ll find on granite and marble. It’s relatively matte-looking. The material is non-porous so it won’t stain however it is a softer stone, making it more susceptible to scratches, chips and other damage.
The good news is, any marks can easily be buffed out with sandpaper to make it look like new. Over time, soapstone will become darker in color and the material isn’t available in light hues. You can expect to see greens, greys, blacks, and blues when considering this stone.
In terms of price, it’s less expensive than marble, which clocks in at number one on the price meter, and slightly more expensive than granite.
Which of These Types of Stone Countertops Is Right for You?
Now that you’ve learned about 6 of the most popular types of stone countertops, it’s time to decide which is best for you and your space.
We suggest deciding on a budget and considering your lifestyle and needs. How will the countertop be used and how long will it need to last? Also, keep in mind the amount of maintenance you’re willing to put into keeping the integrity of the stone.
We’d love to help you create your dream space. Contact us to inquire about pricing and options for tiles and countertops and don’t forget to check out our blog for more tips.