You're on a mission to freshen up your kitchen. You decide that brand-new stone countertops are the way to go. There are six typical stones used for counters. Should you select a natural stone like granite, marble, limestone, slate, or soapstone? You also like the looks of quartz which is man-made. Comparing each stone's properties can help you make your decision.
Consider how sturdy you need your counters to be and how much residential preventative stone maintenance Manhattan NY you want to use to keep them looking tip-top. If you are rough when you cook, have kids, or are just plain clumsy, you might prefer a hard stone. Hard stones are less susceptible to scratches and breaks. While marble is gorgeous, it is the softest option. Look to granite, slate, or quartz if you want durability. You should note that slate is tough from above, but it can chip around the edges. Slate counters should have rounded edges to help reduce breakage.
Natural and engineered stones have different levels of heat resistance. If you frequently forget the hot pad, quartz may not be your best option. High heat can discolor, scorch, or crack it. The ability to withstand higher temperatures is generally better in natural stones.
Some stones are more porous than others. A higher porosity means more susceptibility to stains. Porous stones, such as limestone, marble, and granite, should be sealed to protect them. You must be cautious with sealants because the acid in certain cleaners and foods can break them down. Nonporous counters don't need to be sealed to repel stains, germs, and mold. Quartz was made to be nonporous.
Selecting countertop material should go beyond aesthetics. The characteristics of different stones will affect the durability, so be honest about who uses your kitchen and how careful they are.