This sandy stone often captures fossilized plant and animal life, giving it a unique look. Limestone is honed to a matte finish and comes in many colors. It is usually white or cream-colored, but minerals can add some color. Iron, for example, will typically cause limestone to add a red or yellow appearance while carbon can add gray or black.
Limestone is durable and comes in different densities. The softer the stone, the more likely it will scratch or discolor. You must clean and seal the stone at least twice a year.
Polished marble gives a kitchen or bathroom an instant elegant, high-end look and timeless appeal. It comes in many colors, from white to pale pinks and blues to even blacks and browns.
Marble is porous and thus susceptible to stains, perhaps more so than any other stone. However, you can take preventative measures with regular sealing and taking special care with anything acidic to prevent etching or staining.
Onyx is a rare stone that can really set your home apart. Although onyx is expensive, rather impractical, and rarely used for countertops, it is totally unique and amazingly beautiful. It comes in a variety of colors and the veining adds colors to truly make it seem like artwork. It is best to install onyx in an open yet seldom used surface.
Onyx is very soft and fragile. If you move pots and pans around or chop vegetables on it, you’re going to scratch the surface. If you spill any acidic liquid it could etch and dull the surface. Onyx needs to be sealed and cleaned frequently and may also have to be refinished periodically.
Most often slate can be found in solid gray, black or green. Slate is hard, durable and non-porous so it cleans up easily and does not harbor bacteria or absorb liquids. . It won’t easily chip or scratch, and it stands up to heat. Slate countertops are more affordable than granite, quartz or marble.
Slate countertops should be sealed and properly maintained to prevent staining or absorbing liquids.
Travertine countertops have beautiful veining and when polished, it has a reflective quality. It is often used it in a bathroom because of its gorgeous veining. The veining pulls in many other colors and textures from many room. Comparing it to other natural stones, travertine is generally less expensive, so you get more for your money.
The stone may be hard, but it is porous. Travertine is highly reactive to acidic liquids, and can be easily stained. When anything is spilled, it must be wipe it up immediately and you can’t put hot pots directly on the stone.
A popular choice for countertops is quartzite. Quartzite, not to be confused with quartz, is very popular because of its durability and strength as well as for its aesthetic appeal. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that is formed from sandstone and quartz being put under intense heating and pressure. It undergoes a process of transformation similar to marble being formed from limestone.
Soapstone has become a favorite natural stone for countertops because of its remarkable properties. Soapstone is very dense and non-porous. This means that it is very difficult to stain. Chemicals that would stain or harm other materials do not discolor soapstone. Subsequently, many people choose not to seal soapstone. In addition to its stain resistant properties, soapstone is also very heat resistant. You can actually rest hot pans and plates without harming the stone.