What types of natural stone can be used in the kitchen?
They are durable, long lasting and available in many styles to bring luxury and luscious appeal to your kitchen. There are several natural stones used in kitchen countertop construction and each one has unique characteristics.
We will discuss Slate, Soapstone, Enameled Lava Stone and Limestone kitchen countertop options in depth, but we haven’t forgotten about the three natural stone favorites though, Marble kitchen countertops, Granite kitchen countertops and Engineered Quartz Stone countertops information is also available.
There is lots of choice when it comes to selecting a natural stone kitchen countertop, they all make for beautiful surfaces and if you find your having trouble making a decision as to which countertop you may prefer, feel free to write down your pro’s and con’s for each product, keep your budget in mind and think about which one would best make your kitchen space the sexiest. Good luck and have fun!
Slate kitchen Countertops
Slate is a definitely unique product for use as a kitchen countertop. For years it was thought of only as a flooring option but has picked up steam as a countertop option. It is beautiful and sexy and can lend some great appeal to any kitchen space. Slate is derived from clay drawn from ancient sea beds. Slate can be polished or matte textured.
Cost of Slate stone kitchen countertops
Slate is less expensive than other natural stone countertops .Prices start around US$45- $65 sq ft uninstalled and can be as high as US $150 sq ft. depending on quality and selection
Color choices of slate kitchen countertops
Slate is usually available limited palettes of gray’s, black, maroon, rusts, or green. If polished, Slate can look very sleek, creating a very refined look. When left unpolished slate will present a very rustic appearance.
Durability of slate countertops
Slate has a tendency to chip and break, especially around its edges. It can be brittle and scratches easily but is relatively durable when treated with care. It is quite heat resistant and does not stain easily. Slate is not particularly porous so it does not necessarily need sealant. Use a mineral oil periodically to bring out a nice glow in the stone.
Installing Slate countertops in your kitchen
We recommend installation by professionalsonly as Slate can be Brittle and chip easily. Visit a sanctioned installer to get the best results. Ensure they are well known for quality work. Examine their portfolio before moving forward with any install..
Environmental & Health Impact of Slate Countertops
Slate is not as harmful as other quarried stones in that it is mined from the surface. Try to use local suppliers and fair trade merchants to ensure best environmental practices.
Slate as a kitchen countertop is by nature a very sexy stone surface. Its industrial coloring can lend well too many design styles. Treat it well and your kitchen will thank you for years to come!
The Martini Factor
Slate, like all natural stones, can destroy glassware by merely placing it down too hard. It will repel stains better than others but requires diligence in keeping it safe long term. Avoid dropping anything hard on the surface as it can easily damage and chip the stone.
Soapstone Kitchen Countertops
Soapstone is a smooth soft stone that is made up primarily of magnesite, dolomite, chlorite & talc. Soapstone is quite old in fact 300 to 400 million years old! It can be brittle, very soft to the touch and have a “soapy” texture to it hence its name. The texture is derived from the talc in the stone. Soapstone is inert and is highly resistant to alkalis and acids. It is extremely durable and can lend a beautiful touch to your new kitchen. It is used widely in wash basins, sinks, laboratories, countertops and is easily shaped with stone cutting tools.
the Cost of soapstone kitchen countertops
Like all natural stone, soapstone is also quite expensive as a countertop is usually over US $75 sq ft and can reach as high as US $150 sq ft depending on thickness and prefabricated inlaid design.
Soapstone Colors & Designs
Soapstone is generally dark gray in color and has limited color variations. Left untreated it will take on a natural patina and develop a rich, dark hue over time.
Soapstone is available in varying thickness’ from ¾” to 2 ¾” slabs. It is easily shaped to any design you are looking for and can have drain boards installed. It can be used or designed for fireplaces, sinks, basins, wood burning forno ovens and quite often in masonry because of its ability to retain heat.
Durability of soapstone kitchen counter tops
Soapstone is extremely durable and heat resistant. Since Soapstone is inert, it does not retain stains as easily as other natural stone countertops. Soapstone is very soft though and will scratch. Scratches are easily removed with another coat of mineral oil and deeper cuts can be sanded away! With a regular treatment of mineral oil or a sealer, your soapstone kitchen countertop can live a long life; a classic countertop that will hold up to the test of time. Soapstone is great for a bustling kitchen.
Construction & Installation of Soapstone Countertops
We recommend that the installation of a soapstone countertop be done by professionals only. Visit a sanctioned installer to get the best results. Ensure that these people are professional by reviewing their portfolio before hiring anyone. Most suppliers will suggest some reputable installers for you. Manufacturers can work with your designs to custom make any Soapstone countertop you desire. If you are handy, Soapstone can be installed by the do it yourself er. Because it is easily shaped with stone cutting tools, it is possible to install on your own. Be sure to visit www.soapstones.com for detailed instructions.
Environmental & Health impact of Soapstone in the kitchen
Soapstone is not as harmful as other quarried stones in that it is mined from the surface. Try to find local suppliers and fair trade merchants to ensure best environmental practices.
Since soapstone is non-porous it is an excellent hygienic material for the kitchen and very easy to clean with simple soap and water.
Soapstone’s dark, rich color and ability to be extremely versatile when used in design, sets this product apart from the rest. A soapstone kitchen countertop can definitely bring a lot of sexiness to your kitchen space. Soapstone is not for everyone though, but who wants to be like everyone anyway?
The Martini Factor
Soapstone will not be affected by wine stains or juice stains as easily as other natural stones. Spills are easily cleaned and with proper care, your soapstone countertop can last for many cocktail parties to come.
Enameled Lava Stone Countertops
Enameled lava stone is a highly luxurious natural stone product extracted from volcanic lava stone and glazed with enamel. This product is fired in a kiln at 1300 degrees to create a beautiful, smooth crackled finish. It is a relatively new product to market and is quite durable, is highly resistant to stains and scratching.
Enameled Lava Stone kitchen countertops are definitely sexy and are a fresh face on the natural stone surfaces we’ve grown accustomed to.
Cost of Enameled Lava Stone
Enameled lava stone is mostly produced in France by a limited amount of suppliers and due to this lack of manufacturers involved in glazing this stone, it is a very expensive product, well over US$225 sq. ft installed. If you can afford it, consider Enameled Lava stone countertops because they can be extremely opulent.
Enameled Lava stone colors and design options
As this stone is enameled, it is be available in a range of colors. Some draw backs to Enameled Lava stone is its glossy finish. If you are not looking for that shiny, glossy look, Enameled Lava Stone is available in matte finishes however the selections are limited. Because it can look very similar to glass,Enameled Lava stone will reflect light beautifully over large surface areas. Many wash basins, bathroom countertops and sinks are being designed from an enameled lava stone perspective.
Durability of enameled lava stone countertops
Enameled lava stone is a highly durable and low maintenance product. It is extremely stain and heat resistant and does not require a sealant. It has also been known to be used in outdoor areas because of its resistance to extremely cold temperatures. Its glossy finish can lead to some scratching on the surface, but, with proper use of cutting boards and some diligence on your part, you can enjoy an enameled lava stone kitchen countertop for a life time.
Construction & Installation of Enameled Lava stone kitchen countertops
We always recommend that installation be done by professionals especially when working with this stone. Enameled Lava stone countertops are pre-fabricated and shipped pre-cut by a laser saw. Manufacturers can work with your personal kitchen designs to custom make any Enameled Lava Stone countertop you desire. Visit a sanctioned installer to get the best results. One of the primary manufacturers of enameled lava stone is www.pyrolave.com visit their site if you are interested in learning more about this fantastic product.
Environmental & Health impact of Enameled lava stone countertops
Enameled Lava stone is obviously created using enamels and therefore does have an impact on the environment due to waste by products. It is not particularly recyclable, but pre-fabricated pieces or designs can be re-used in other homes or kitchens if you have a good salvage source and are not restricted by color.
Since this product is enameled it becomes a wonderfully hygienic material for the kitchen.
Ooh La La! Magnifique! Tres Belles!! Enameled Lava stone is sexy to look at, wicked to the touch and a beauty to use in any sexy room. It works great as a bar top, sink, bathroom countertop and of course as a kitchen countertop. Since it resembles glass with its glossy finish, it reflects light beautifully naturally bringing your kitchen to life! If you can afford it, do it!!
The Martini Factor
Outstanding!! Enameled lava stone is very durable, shiny and stain repellant, you can use it as a bar surface, throw a cocktail party without silly napkins and place hot hors d’oeuvres or ice sculptures on it with little to no protection! Wow!
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of mostly calcite. Like marble, Limestone is also very soft. Limestone has an exclusive, natural look.
If considering limestone for use as a kitchen countertop then you should also consider Jerusalem stone as it is more durable than other quarried rocks like marble and limestone.
Cost of Limestone Kitchen Countertops
Limestone is similar in price to Marble. Depending on quality and grade, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$250 per sq ft installed.
Limestone Colors & Designs
Limestone has a very natural appearance. Generally limestone is available in earth hues of brown, beige, yellow, gray, and black. Color may vary depending on its origins so be sure to see several stones before making any decisions.
Durability of Limestone kitchen countertops
Limestone is very soft and porous. It will retain moisture easily and can stain irreparably. Limestone can also scratch easily and is not particularly recommended for high traffic areas. Check out Jerusalem Stone if you are insistent on using this variety of natural stone in your home.
Construction & Installation of limestone countertops
We recommend installation by professionals only as limestone can be damaged or broken easily if installed poorly. Visit a sanctioned installer to get the best results. Most suppliers will have installers available for you and inquire about their portfolio to ensure quality work.
Environmental & Health impact of limestone countertops
Limestone is not particularly a green product as it needs to be mined from the earth and is seldom recycled. If you are going to use any natural stone, be sure to get it from a supplier within 500 miles to reduce its transportation impact on the environment. This won’t apply to Jerusalem Stone as this stone comes from the Middle East.
Limestone’s naturally luscious looking hues make it a very sexy product! Limestone kitchen countertops are definitely “High maintenance”, but they are obviously beautiful and in that case taking good care of should be easy!
The Martini Factor
Glassware rings, wine stains and its general porous ness do not make limestone a great choice for a kitchen where entertaining is a constant!