Many types of stone countertops are used in home kitchens and different homeowners have certainly appreciated the versatility, good looks and durability of each. Most stone countertops rarely require any more maintenance except staining and oiling on a regular basis. The main criteria behind your selection of a stone countertop should however be informed by your individual needs.
1. Granite Countertops—The Most Durable
Of all the different types of stone countertops, those made of granite are certainly the most durable. By virtue of its tough natural qualities, granite makes excellent countertops that are resistant to extreme heat, chipping, and cracking. Granite countertops have extremely hard surfaces and you will be required to place your fragile glasses, plates, and cups on it with extreme care.
You can select from a relatively wide range of countertop colors but all of these will come with a permanent polish. The only maintenance you’ll be required to do is a regular resealing of the countertop surface since granite is naturally porous.
2. Slate Countertops—Durable and Stylish
Slate is a naturally tough material that makes for extremely durable countertops. Unlike granite countertops, you will have a lesser range of tones to select from with the most common being blacks, purples, greens and grays.
Slate countertops are quite low maintenance and can be easily spruced up with a regular rubbing of mineral oils that serve to enhance the beautiful natural looks of slate. Scratches are also quite easy to eliminate. Simple scratches just require to be rubbed off using a slightly wet sponge while steel wool will adequately take care of deeper scratches.
3. Quartz Countertops—Typically Maintenance Free
These countertops are fabricated from natural quartz to which epoxy resin binders have been added. This combination is what gives quartz countertop surfaces their characteristic toughness and durability. In terms of color you will be glad to know that a wide array of choices is available since individual pigments of various hues are added to the binder during fabrication.
Quartz countertops do not absorb any liquid and as such they are very difficult to get stained. To clean them you only require using warm water and a sponge.
4. Marble Countertops—The Baker’s Favorite
Marble countertops are an excellent choice for bakers since they form an excellent surface on which to work with pastries and dough. While they serve bakers well, marble countertops are not that ideal for conventional kitchens, and for good reason. First, marble as a material is quite prone to chipping and with time the surface may look really unsightly. Secondly, marble is porous, more so than granite, and this calls for more regular sealing if stains are to be prevented.
5. Soapstone Countertops—A Popular Option
The largest part of soapstone’s composition is talc, a mineral that is finely grained and soft to the touch. These natural qualities have made soapstone countertops quite popular. The softness allows you to easily sand off any stains on the surface. To maintain this countertop you just need to regularly rub its surface with mineral oil until it shines.