Natural stones are just what homeowners today want in their kitchen. It is fortunate that natural stones such as granite and marble are much more affordable today than it was just a few decades ago, but some homeowners hesitate to commit to them. While cost-effective manmade options are still common, natural stone countertops have many benefits that offset their slightly higher price tag. Below are just a few of these benefits to convince homeowners still on the fence on natural stone countertops.
The best thing you can say about natural stones is they are very tough. Granite is more durable than marble, but even marble is quite tough. Experts rate the scratch resistance or hardness of minerals according to the Mohs scale, where a diamond rates a 10. Granite rates anything from 6 to 7, depending on the composition of a granite. Marble ranges from 3 to 5, again depending on its composition. This means that granite is scratch resistant, and marble is relatively soft.
However, natural stones are also durable because of their formation. Granite and marble stones form over a long time under extreme conditions. They can easily handle regular use without sustaining any damage. In fact, you can use granite and marble outdoors, exposed to the sun and rain, and look the better of it over time. You cannot do this with many manmade materials for countertops, including quartz.
Some people have a problem with the fact that granite and marble are porous, believing this makes them difficult to maintain. The porosity of granite differs widely, and some granitoids such as basalt and gabbro are not porous at all. These are not true granite, but close enough for use as kitchen countertops.
For granite with some porosity, a simple sealer solves the problem. Marble requires a little more care because it is much more porous than granite, and more likely to stain or etch. This is simply surface damage, and easily remedied. It will not affect the integrity of the stone itself.
The point is, granite and marble will last for a very long time without special attention outside of a sealer. Some suppliers recommend resealing natural stones every year, but resealing may not actually be necessary at all in some cases. It depends on how a homeowner uses these countertops.
Another benefit of natural stones is that it is highly adaptable. You are most likely to find natural stone countertops that will look great with any kitchen style and suit the personal preferences of many people. Granite is particularly adaptable because it fits in with traditional kitchens as well as ultra-modern ones. It depends on the color and pattern of the granite chosen. Marble tends to be more of a conservative choice, because its greatest appeal is to elegance and subtlety. However, some marble colors such as black marble do lend itself well to the modern styles.
Aside from matching any style and design, natural stones also mix well with different types of materials. It works in juxtaposition to wood, steel, concrete, and even plastic. It brings in sophistication, playfulness, and drama, depending on your choice.
While kitchen countertops are the natural milieu of natural stones, you can also use it for other purposes in the kitchen and other rooms. You can put it in as a backsplash, wall cladding, floors, fire surrounds, vanity tops, and tub surrounds. If you have an outdoor kitchen or barbeque area, you can use natural stones all over those places as well.
Some people may dispute that nothing looks more beautiful than natural stones, but it is quite true. Manmade stones may trump natural stones in terms of breadth of choice and availability, but the discerning eye can always pick out the depth and warmth unique to natural stones.
This is particularly true when it comes to marble countertops. The delicate hues and veining of marble is unique to the stone, especially with high-quality white marble. Some manmade stones may strive to mimic it, but they have yet to achieve the same effect.
Granite is equally difficult to simulate, despite being more robust in colors and patterns than marble. Some manmade stones approach the look of granite but is not yet there. A kitchen with natural stone countertops is still the ideal for many homeowners desiring to increase the value of their home.
A good analogy for the individuality of natural stones is to compare it to fingerprints. Just as no two people, even identical twins, have the same fingerprints, so are no two slabs of natural stone. Nature is unpredictable, and natural stones form in unpredictable ways.
Despite being from the same location with the same composition and forming under the same conditions, natural stone slabs will always have something unique to it. It may be a slightly different color, to clumps of crystals, or unexpected streaks and veins.
This individuality is more noticeable in granite countertops than marble countertops, as granite is a mix of several minerals. Marble is a metamorphic rock originating from limestone and dolomite, so any veins and other features will come from contamination from other minerals during reformation. Nevertheless, closer inspection will show subtle differences from one marble slab to another.
Finally, natural stones gain value over time. Because they are so durable, desirable, and versatile, people treat it as an asset to the home.
Homeowners take care of natural stone countertops because it improves the function and comfort of the kitchen. Homebuyers put a premium on them because they know it will serve them well if they buy it. Having well-maintained natural stone countertops is also a good indication that the homeowners take good care of their homes.
Natural stones have many benefits for the home, especially as kitchen countertops. However, you can only maximize the benefits if you find good quality stones and have them installed by a professional. If you are ready to take the plunge, find a reputable countertop company in your area.
Silver Marble Granite is a ONE-STOP SHOP for home improvement, and we specialize in the best kitchen countertops in Northern Virginia. We service the areas of Washington D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, among others. You can visit our showroom in Sterling, VA to see the products before you buy.
We have a wide range of options for granite and marble countertops, with actual slabs available for your inspection in our showroom. However, we also carry some of the best brands of engineered quartz, including Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone, if you prefer manmade stones. We work only with the best brands in the business, and can offer better prices and faster turnarounds than big box stores.
Check out our website for some of the best deals in kitchen countertops and other products to make your home a better place. We offer free quotes for all your kitchen countertop needs. You will be amazed at the deal we can offer you!