It is supplied in an abundance of color choices and there are no two identical slabs. Quartz is an engineered stone that is man-made through the process of bonding together resins and compressed natural stone. It is also one of the hardest materials on earth and sometimes considered the most durable. This stone can be supplied in an abundance of colors as well as granite. The pricing of quartz is dependent on the color choice and also the pricing is competitive with granite if not more expensive.The availability of this material is common, it is normally stocked at our suppliers on a regular basis depending on which color.
All natural stones have a unique origin to them but limestone seems to be in a class of its own. Limestone has some interesting uses such as a white pigment/filler in toothpaste and paints, chemical feedstock, and building material. This stone has a translucency that allows light to be shown through. The availability of colors ranges from reds and browns to greens and whites. Even though this stone is visually appealing, it can etch and stain with acidic foods and liquids.
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Seldom is this material used for kitchen countertops and more so installed as backsplashes, bar tops and walls, accent furniture, and any other surface/area where there is little-to-no traffic. It is nonporous and does not need to be sealed regularly, which means there is little-to-no maintenance. Mineral oil can be applied to darken the stone as well as enhance the veining. This natural stone is becoming more affordable than it has been in the past. It also depends on where the granite was mined and how difficult it was to transport. The slabs are produced in factories unlike granite, which is mined. Quartz is increasing in popularity and it is now considered to be the #2 choice of surface for countertops. However, this material will give a kitchen/bathroom a look of its own. The price of marble ranges from affordable to expensive depending on which color is chosen and how rare the marble. Many would say that limestone gets better with age and is similar to marble. It is formed over time from fossils and seashells and shaped by marine organisms and sand.
There is a little more maintenance that needs to take place for this stone, such as sealing every year and cleaning with a soft rag. Staining and etching can easily occur and it is highly recommended to use a protective sealer on a regular basis as the sealer will withstand stains and fill pores. This stone is normally installed where there is little to no traffic or use, normally they are installed for an aesthetic appearance. Travertine is tricky to fabricate and install due to the natural pits and spaces in the material. Since it is more of a rarer stone, the cost can be expensive. It is mostly installed as bar tops or bar walls with lighting in the cabinets. Since onyx is more fragile, a fiberglass backing is used to help add durability. If a scratch happens, there is not a way to buff/polish the scratch away. This material does not come in many sizes (on average, no longer than 84”) and the seams can be more noticeable than granite or marble. The colors range in many greys with undertones of green and blue and can have a wide range in veining.
Stone by kitchens.comInsist on seeing the stone slabs selected for your kitchen before they arrive (typically you’ll have a chance to do this at the fabricator’s workshop). As you investigate your natural stone options, consider functionality first, then this: do you want a stone that will look brand new 10 years from now, or one that will take on the patina of age?
You can cut, roll dough, and place hot pots directly on granite. But granite absorbs the least and only requires resealing about once a year. However, it lacks the durability of granite and requires sealants to be applied more frequently to prevent stains. It offers a unique weathered look but also stains easily due to its more porous nature, so spills must be addressed immediately. Mineral oil treatment will bring out a darker, richer color. Always avoid products containing abrasives, lemon, vinegar or other acids, as well as scouring pads. Granite countertops consistently top the “most wanted” list, due in part to their durability and rich composition. Other natural stones commonly used for kitchen counters include marble, limestone, slate and soapstone. Because stone is porous, each stone requires special sealants. Befitting of a roofing material, slate is durable, hard and fireproof. Its low absorption rate keeps stains at bay, though you may want to seal regularly to add a further dose of protection.
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Far from a high-maintenance top, soapstone’s inert nature means acids won’t etch the material, and stains can be rubbed out. Make a powerful statement by combining with a soapstone sink.
Countertop Materials Guide by bensonstone.comIt is important to find the countertop material that will fit your specific needs. Below is a list of the different natural and engineered stone options and their advantages and disadvantages. This material meets most everyone’s needs because of its durability and the large variety of style/color choices it provides. One of the unique qualities of granite is that no two slabs are the same. It is perfectly acceptable to take dishes out of the oven or pots and pans off the stove and set them directly onto a granite countertop without fear of damaging the countertops. With granite countertops the only reason to use a cutting board is to protect knives from dulling. To prevent anything from penetrating the surface of granite, an impregnating sealer can be easily applied once every few years. Marble is breathtaking in appearance but is not meant for high traffic areas because it is susceptible to scratching and staining. Spills of this sort should be wiped up immediately, to avoid altering the finish of the stone. It is mostly comprised of shades of gray to black and occasionally beautiful white veining. This process can be aided by periodically applying mineral oil to darken the stone and bring out the natural veining. This is handy for taking dishes out of the oven or pots and pans off of the stovetop. It is popularly used as table tops for chemistry classrooms for its neutralizing properties and resistance to bacterial growth. The accumulation of mild scratching over the years can also add to the patina and achieve a beautifully rustic look. If by chance it does look as if a stain has set in, it will only be on the very surface, and in most cases, it can be easily polished out. However, if the goal is to find a countertop that will never change, scratch, or darken then granite would be a better option.The result is a very beautiful and durable stone that makes great countertops. In many cases there is beautiful veining, which can give the quartzite a marble look while being more durable. This means that certain areas of the stone may not be as resilient as others. Because it is metamorphosed from sandstone, which is a softer and more porous stone, it may still retain certain characteristics of that stone. This means that these areas may be more susceptible to scratching, staining, or etching. Using an impregnating sealer is a good idea with quartzite because it will help shield any less resilient areas of the stone.This is because they are mainly composed of quartz, which is a natural mineral. These countertops are about 93% quartz and 7% resin, which means that these countertops are composed mainly of natural stone but the manufacturing process gives them a much more uniform look. Because of this, heat pads or trivets are recommended to protect the finish. Overall, any of these materials will make beautiful and functional surfaces, but it is important to consider your priorities to make the appropriate decision. The right counters can take a kitchen from mediocre to amazing. Consider your practical day to day needs but also factor in your decorating style and aesthetic requirements. Because of the way granite forms there are always variations in the “movement” or graining of slabs even when they come from the same quarry. If a consistent, uniform look is desired, engineered stone may be a more appropriate choice. Even a razor blade will not scratch the surface of a polished granite countertop. There is no need to worry about spilling orange juice, lemon juice or any other acidic food or drink on these countertops. All that is required is soapy water and rag to wipe it down. However, it is true that oily substances can sometimes soak into granite if allowed to puddle on the surface for an extended amount of time. Granite sealers are applied with an easy wipe on-wipe off process that takes very little time.However, experienced granite fabricators and installers are very skilled at making seams inconspicuous through placement and the gluing process. Because of this, marble is more frequently used for accent tables, bathroom vanities, or desktops. There are very few stones that can surpass the timeless and impressive look of marble. It can also be chipped if something heavy or metal is dropped on the top. Because of this it is important to keep marble sealed and quickly wipe up any spills that might occur. If not cleaned immediately etching may occur, causing the polish to be dulled and the texture to be slightly rougher in the area of the spill. It does not have as wide a variety of colors as granite but it is definitely a unique and beautiful stone. Over the years soapstone countertops will darken and develop a beautiful patina. It also does not require sealing because of its extreme density. Usually scratches can be hidden through the application of mineral oil. Most soapstone ranges from light gray to black with some white or gray veining. For some people the aging of soapstone is a big advantage because it adds to the rustic look. A majority of quartzite is in the white to gray range, however, other colors do exist. Although quartzite is more durable than marble, it still has marble and limestone properties. The best way to know is to get a small representative sample and perform scratch, stain, and etching tests on the stone you are interested in. When sandstone changes into quartzite it becomes harder and less porous but certain areas of the stone, like veining or other characteristics, may or may not have metamorphosed to the extent of the rest of the stone. Some quartzite may be just as strong and durable as granite throughout the entire slab but it is hard to know without actually testing the stone itself. In the manufacturing process the quartz is crushed, combined with a resin that binds it together and is formed into a slab. They could be scratched if someone was trying to intentionally scratch them, however, normal use will not result in scratches. Taking something out of the oven and setting it directly onto engineered stone could discolor the resin and cause permanent damage. However, most engineered stone does not look like natural stone because it lacks variation. Visit our showroom and slab warehouse and explore the wonderful world of natural and engineered stone countertops.
Surface Material Types by thestonecollection.comThis group of stones, in a commercial sense, includes many stone materials that are not true granites by geological definition. These are some of the hardest dimensional stones, offering high levels of resistance to abrasion and scratching. Marble has also become a very popular choice for countertops. Exposure to acidic solutions such as lemon juice, tomatoes, red wine and vinegar should be avoided. Although impregnating sealers do an excellent job of preventing stains, they do little to reduce vulnerability to acid attack. When compared to true marbles, onyx tends to have lower levels of resistance to both chemical and abrasion exposure. Many slabs are semi-translucent and can be backlit to create a luxe ambiance, completely transforming the look and feel of any room. Soapstone is typically top treated with food grade mineral oil to retain it’s luster and aid in masking the small scratches common with softer materials. Neolith is suitable for countertops, cladding, large format flooring and facades. Dolomites can be suited for countertop, flooring and wall applications. While durable, these slabs are still glass, meaning they must be treated with great care. At times, certain materials may exhibit characteristics some clients may find unfavorable and others find acceptable for specific applications. Granites are an excellent choice for kitchen countertops, floors and other heavily used surfaces because of its hardness, low absorption rates and resistance to high temperatures. They are commercially sold as granite due to similar working and performance properties. Marble is ideal for bathrooms, foyers, floors, wall cladding and hearths. Due to their mineralogical makeup, marbles are vulnerable to either abrasion or chemical attack. Acidic solutions can permanently etch the surface of marble. Being of calcium-based makeup, limestones and travertines will have use and care characteristics similar to marble. The decorative appeal of onyx is unsurpassed by any other material. Semi-precious can be installed as a countertop, backsplash, wall application and flooring. Soapstone is not very hard and therefore vulnerable to scratching and abrasive attack. Neolith is a product with superior physical and mechanical properties that meet and exceed every industry specification or standard.Neolith is very resistant to scratches, harsh chemicals, abrasive attack and staining making it ideal for exterior applications. They are slightly harder than marble but much softer than granite and therefore can scratch. Not only beautiful, quartzite can be of exceptional strength, density and hardness.
DAMO Variable Speed Stone Polisher Concrete Polisher Grinder 4 Inch Wet Polishing by amazon.comThe electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load. Water valve in closed position when it’s perpendicular to the power tool. I have used it 3 times on fused glass about 8 hours and works like a charm so far. The motor has 5 or 6 hours on it now and still going strong. The splash guard works well keeping water from spraying out on the tool side of the pads. Purchased this kit because was led to believe that wet application is more effective than a dry polish. The nut that holds on the water flow handle could use some modification because it can and does vibrate loose. The splash guard to prevent water and dust from going inside the tool. Center water feed with 3-hole at top of the spindle ensures even water flow to wet the polishing surface continuously. Turn it counter-clockwise to open until there is only a small stream of water comes out. Side handle can be used left or right handed for general purpose polishing and grinding. Water shroud (splash guard) must be used to prevent water and dust from getting inside the power tool. It is messy it just can’t really get a slow drip with the water its like yes water or no water. The unit comes with an extra set of motor brushes but haven’t had to use them yet. The water is delivered to the center of the pads and evenly dispersed outward from there. Overall the tool itself was low quality, more of a single job application. Initially stuck to flooding the surface but later just switched to a water bottle spray to finish the job. Damo instructed me to use 3, 000 rpm throughout the entire job, from the 50 pad to 3, 000. I would end up with the same result but also would have a tool that would serve me afterwards in many other jobs. Did a stellar job and a lot easier to use than a normal angle grinder.
- Calacatta Luccia Quartz Countertops – midwestmarbleandgranite.com
- Source – kitchens.com
- Source – bensonstone.com
- Source – thestonecollection.com
- DAMO Variable Speed Stone Polisher Concrete Polisher Grinder Inch Wet Polishing Kit – amazon.com
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