When choosing to install a new countertop, you want to make sure
you use material that matches your family's needs and lifestyle.
Granite, Marble, Limestone, and Soap Stone are all quality natural
stone materials that can be used in almost any home -- you simply
have to decide what stone fits your taste and budget.
One of the most popular choices because of its durability and
natural beauty, granite is a sleek and timeless stone choice for
almost any countertop. It is one of the oldest, hardest, and
strongest stones currently available.
Benefits: Granite is one of the most scratch
and heat-resistant countertop materials available. This choice
offers a variety of colorful and unique patterns that guarantee
your counter will be never be exactly duplicated. Due to its
durability, many home owners use it for countertops because they
can cut directly on the surface without fear of scratching or
etching the granite.
Drawbacks: Granite is an expensive option and
due to its porous nature, it can discolor and stain if proper care
and maintenance is not given. It's important to remember when
choosing a color that seams are more evident with granites that
have a strong pattern or grain.
Marble is a sedimentary rock that consists of limestone that has
been exposed to tremendous pressure and heat. The elemental
components that comprise a piece of marble determine its color. It
is one of the oldest architectural materials traditionally used in
statues, buildings, temples, and palaces.
Benefits: Marble has a smooth texture, a
natural graining, and is offered in a wide range of colors. It is
waterproof and heatproof and has a very luxurious look to it.
Despite high susceptibility to etching and staining, marble's
timeless appeal makes it a popular choice.
Drawbacks: Though not as soft as soapstone,
marble is much softer than granite and scratches very easily. This
makes a poor surface for cutting. In addition, it is very porous
and is easily stained and etched by acids such as vinegar, bleach,
ammonia, or other general-purpose cleaners. It is one of the
highest maintenance countertop options available due to its
fragility and lack of resistance to stains.
Limestone is a casual and comfortable stone designed for a
modern or contemporary home. The color options for limestone are
softer, and earthier usually including creams and grays. Limestone
can be easily used for countertops because the stone varies in
density. Jerusalem stone is one of the most popular and desired
Benefits: Limestone has very natural appearance
that is often sought after for its earthy tones and calm look. It
is best suited for bathroom countertops, but the more dense options
that require little maintenance lend themselves well to kitchen
Drawbacks: Since limestone is a calcareous
stone, it reacts negatively with acidic substances like vinegar,
lemons, and ammonia. This can cause etching, dulling, or unsightly
rings. Generally speaking, the hardness, density, and porosity of
limestone vary greatly depending on the type you choose. The more
porous, less dense options require consistent care and
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that varies in color, hardness,
and purity. It is considered one of the softest materials currently
used for countertops. Though it's soft, it is dense. Because of its
chemical durability, soapstone is common in chemistry labs. It is
often desired because of its natural veining and rugged look.
Benefits: Soapstone is completely heat and
stain resistant. Though soapstone is scratch-prone, one of its
biggest benefits is that the scratches can be disguised relatively
easily with mineral oil. In addition, larger scratches often do not
require full replacement of the counter; simply lightly sanding it
down will mask most scratches.
Drawbacks: Because it is a soft stone,
soapstone can accumulate some nicks and scratches over time. While
these scratches are easily removable, they do require you to buy
and coat the counter with mineral oil or sand it down fairly
The countertop material that is best for you, your family, and
your lifestyle will depend on your tastes and budget. If you have
questions or would like some more information about natural stone
countertops, feel free to contact Silver Leaf at
708.398.3222 or at Sales@SilverLeafConsturction.net.