Natural stone constitutes the most distinctive, character-rich option for countertops, boasting a rich history as a building material spanning thousands of years. This material owes its existence to the cyclical heating and cooling processes of the Earth's crust over time, resulting in stunning, subterranean stone formations. These are then extracted and crafted into the unique countertops you encounter today. Such is the natural process, no two slabs are ever identical. Our expertise primarily lies with four types of natural stone: Granite, Quartzite, Marble, and Soapstone. Each of these possesses a unique array of attributes, which we will delve into in the subsequent sections.
Granite has emerged as a highly popular choice for countertops, thanks to its diverse range of colors and patterns, as well as its inherent unpredictability. This igneous rock primarily comprises feldspar, quartz, and mica, along with numerous other minerals that contribute to its distinct appearance. As a top-tier option for stone countertops, granite offers unmatched elegance and remarkable durability, with exceptional resistance to heat, stains, and scratches. While granite countertops have surged in popularity over the past decade, their use dates back hundreds of years, previously reserved exclusively for royalty. Today, advances in quarrying technology and transportation have made this luxury widely accessible.
It is crucial to understand that, as a natural material, granite may present certain imperfections. One such imperfection is fissures, which are small fault lines within the stone that may resemble cracks but are entirely natural. Fissures are a common feature in granite slabs and most other natural stones.
Another imperfection to be mindful of is pitting. Similar to fissures, pits are a natural occurrence in granite countertops and are influenced by the stone's hardness and composition.
Quartzite shares many similarities with granite, including its remarkable durability, resistance to stains and heat. However, its composition largely consists of natural quartz, making it denser than granite, yet still porous, necessitating the use of a sealant. This high quartz content lends the stone a smoother, marble-like aesthetic, available in a broad spectrum of colors and patterns. While fissures and pitting may occur, much like in granite, quartzite generally exhibits these imperfections to a lesser degree. The image on the right showcases a popular variety of quartzite known as Sea Pearl.
Marble is another widely favored natural stone that we provide. Characterized by its gentle whites and grays, adorned with sweeping patterns and veins, marble imparts a unique style that has charmed many. However, it's important to note that marble is significantly softer and more porous than other natural stones, such as quartzite or granite. As a result, it is more susceptible to etching, chipping, and staining. Despite these traits, the allure of its beauty might draw you to incorporate marble in your kitchen or bathroom. Just bear in mind that marble necessitates a higher degree of care and maintenance.
Soapstone is yet another popular stone, boasting intriguing characteristics. In comparison to granites, quartzites, and marbles, soapstone is considerably more pliable, which renders it less brittle and more resistant to cracking or chipping. Furthermore, its nonporous nature sets it apart from other stones; however, its softness makes it prone to scratches, so it is advisable to avoid cutting on it directly. To maintain the surface's optimal appearance, it is recommended that you periodically oil soapstone countertops.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Because granite is so durable, it’s easy to think you can use anything on it. However, this is not true if you really want to keep your counters in good condition. Avoid products with ingredients that include lemon, vinegar or other acids. In fact, it’s a good idea to use coasters to protect your counter under glasses containing acidic drinks like alcohol or citrus juices. Using harsher chemicals to clean your counter may dull or even etch the counter’s finish. Instead, stick with milder solutions like simple soap and water to retain the natural beauty you fell in love with. As far as heat, natural stones hold up much better than quartz or other manmade surfaces; however, we still highly recommend using protection under hot pots and pans.