4 Options for Stone Countertops

Large kitchen with white counter tops, and a big island.

Large kitchen with white counter tops, and a big island.

Which natural stone is the best for your stone countertops? That’s like asking which car is best for you, which dog best suits your family or which restaurant is best for a special event. There’s not one definitive answer for everybody. It depends on your style, your preferences, what you plan to do in your kitchen and bathroom (gourmet master chef at home, or takeout royalty?) and how much you want to spend. However, no matter what type of stone you choose, it’s going to drastically improve the value of your home and aesthetics, compared to manmade materials.
Most people know granite. It’s the most in-demand countertop in the kitchen, but is it automatically the superior choice for you? Maybe and maybe not. Granite is naturally formed from magma deep in the earth, which rises naturally to the surface over thousands of years. It’s then cut into slabs of various thicknesses before being made available to you. It’s gorgeous and relatively durable, but also porous and not quite as strong as other materials.

There’s more to countertops than granite, although it remains a great choice for many. However, here are a few more options that are showstoppers:

1. Quartz: This is the unsung hero of natural stone countertops, but not for long. Made from the toughest materials on earth, quartz is the most durable of all stone countertops, making it ideal for heavy usage (or home chefs who have a tendency to drop hot pans where they wish). These slabs are made from 100 percent natural materials, but are created in a factory. However, this also means they’re virtually maintenance-free, unlike every other type of natural stone countertop. They cost more upfront, but that evens out quickly once you consider the routine maintenance other materials require.

2. Marble: Often thought of as white, marble can actually feature an array of lighter colors, although many prefer a near-pure white and/or gray. Surprisingly, marble is one of the least expensive natural stones, even though its name evokes luxury. It’s cool (great for pastry work) and readily available. However, it’s also more prone to scratching and staining, which makes it often better suited for bathrooms than kitchens.

3. Limestone: Incredibly durable, limestone comes in a variety of designs and colors to suit all tastes. However, its origin is what really makes it unique. It’s formed over time from fossils and shells. However, compared to granite, it’s somewhat fragile. It’s especially prone to scratching, although a good sealant can greatly help. It’s also less expensive than granite, which ultimately makes the pros trump the cons for many homeowners.

4. Onyx: This stone is breathtakingly gorgeous and unique. For homeowners who want onyx, it’s the only stone that will do. However, it’s costly, soft and fragile. Due to its rarity, it can be tough on your budget.

Don’t forget about travertine, soapstone, quartzite and slate, too. Connect with the professionals at Intermountain Stone & Marble today for expert recommendations about the highest quality stone countertop options in Utah.