Natural stone is an excellent choice for homeowners
Marble, granite, quartz, quartzite, soapstone, and dolomite—to name a few—are considered the gold standard for durability and character; every piece is one-of-a-kind and as unique as a work of art.
A natural stone can also be leathered or brushed to create a textured look. Just be aware that they can scratch easier as the surface is more open.
Marble is the classic, high-end favorite for kitchens and baths.. It holds up well against heat and is resistant to cracking, chipping, or breaking but is high maintenance due to its porous nature. It can stain and etch. You must be OK with the patina that accumulates over time. Marble can be polished up, but that does not mean deep stains will come out. If you cannot live with the used look, manufacturers make a man-made quartz surface that mimics marble that is non-porous and easier to maintain. They also come in many colors and patterns.
Calacatta Honed Marble
LAUREN JACOBSEN DESIGN
Granite is the toughest natural stone. Great for cooking, it can stand up to heat, although it is recommended, as with any stone; not to place anything over 350 degrees directly on the surface. Granite is impervious to water, and most stains can be removed using a poultice. Some stones come with a lifetime anti-stain warranty.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that is formed when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure beneath the earth's crust. This natural stone is then mined, cut into slabs, polished, and sealed before being installed on countertops, backsplashes, and more. It has the look of natural stone, but with extra durability and requires less maintenance. Quartzite tops the list of kitchen countertop trends for this year.
Slabs provide a smooth surface that is easy to keep clean and sanitary. I would always have the slab professionally installed and evenly supported to avoid cracking, especially on an island with an overhang for counter seating.
Harder countertops will be more durable, so quartzite is also a good option for your kitchen or bathroom countertop if you want durability.
Engineered stone quartz is ideal as an alternative to natural stone
Manufactured stone can mimic the look of natural stone. Some engineered slabs are impervious to acids and stains but can be more easily damaged than their natural counterparts.
Quartz and Porcelain are harder and stronger than some natural stones. Both are impenetrable, dense, and resilient for long-lasting quality. There is no need for sealing; clean it with soap and water, making it easy to maintain. The surface is highly nonporous and nonabsorbent; it hosts no bacteria, mold, or mildew, remains safe and sanitary for ultimate cleanliness, and is made to be impervious to stains. Just remember, as of this blog, porcelain still cannot be cut with other than a square edge. This means no "ogee edge" or edge detail which can be achieved with a natural stone or quartz.
Easy to template, install and customize, it is suited for indoors and outdoors. Check to see if the material is certified for its durability and low maintenance, as some manufacturers support sustainability and better use of material resources.
One of the most durable surfaces you can have in your home. It is 90 percent quartz mixed with other natural and synthetic materials such as polymers, resins, and pigments, creating a robust and durable product.
"Luxury Portrush" Quartz
There are about five or six viable options in stone, natural or man-made, materials for a kitchen or bathroom. Within these categories, there are hundreds of options to select from. They range in color, pattern, and veining or "movement". If you are enhancing a specific style or adding visual texture to a room, you will have no problem finding the right stone for the job. And, there are new selections that come into the marketplace all the time, which makes trips to the stone showrooms always fun and exciting.