What is the best kitchen counter stone and what are its characteristics?

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the best kitchen counter stone

the best kitchen counter stone

kitchen countertops

The kitchen is the heart of every home. Cabinets and counters in kitchens are always exposed to water and moisture. Therefore, the type and quality of materials used for cabinets and counters in the kitchen is of particular importance. Kitchen counters are also subject to a lot of wear from spills, hot objects, as well as scratches from knives and other utensils. Therefore, the use of natural stones in this sensitive place is preferred to other materials such as wood or laminate.

Stone is not only durable and well-suited to the task, but it’s a beautiful design element as well. Large stone slabs are ideal for countertops, and premium quality stone can even increase a home’s value. There are lots of options on the market for kitchen countertops. Choosing the right countertop is one of the most important aspects of kitchen design that goes beyond the aesthetic. It’s an investment you want to last for years to come, but your lifestyle is ultimately more important than your decorating style when it comes to picking the right type of countertop.

The best kitchen countertops


Granite is an igneous rock formed naturally deep in the Earth’s crust, where extreme pressure and temperatures in excess of 2300° F. Historically, granite has been an expensive material. Granite countertops have been the standard for many years because it’s a natural stone with great durability. Granite is available in a range of dark and light colors with all sorts of flecks and variations.


  • Almost impervious to heat
  • Very strong and durable
  • Adds real estate value to home
  • High color variation
  • Nearly maintenance-free when treated with newer sealers


  • Very expensive material
  • Can crack if stressed or improperly installed
  • Knives are quickly dulled by cutting on granite
  • Stone is porous and requires sealing to avoid stains


Like granite, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that offers both beauty and substantial durability to countertop surfaces. Quartzite (not to be confused with quartz, below) is a metamorphic rock formed naturally when quartz sandstone is subjected to the same extreme pressure and temperatures as granite.


  • It has a higher density than granite.
  • Resistant to scratches and stains.
  • It is very similar to marble.


  • Expensive
  • quartzite countertops also require regular sealing


Another natural stone commonly used in kitchen countertops is marble. Marble is actually a metamorphic rock that’s naturally formed by subjecting limestone or dolomite to extreme pressure in the Earth’s crust. Because of its extremely high price tag, marble is not often seen on the countertops of whole kitchens.


  • Waterproof and heatproof
  • Adds to real estate value of a home
  • Exceptionally beautiful stone, with unique veining


  • Expensive
  • Can be scratched; repairs are difficult
  • Stone is porous and stains easily unless sealed

Quartz (Engineered Stone)

The countertop material known as “quartz” is actually an engineered stone product that contains as much as 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals. Sold by companies such as DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera, Cambria, and Silestone, quartz was created as a more adaptable and better-performing alternative to granite and marble.


  • Easy to maintain, no sealing required
  • Slabs are uniform, with no imperfections
  • Can be custom-fabricated in any size and shape
  • Resists stains and is impervious to heat and acid


  • Expensive
  • Countertops are very heavy


Soapstone is a natural stone that is domestically sourced from the Appalachian Mountains, or often imported from Finland and Brazil.  It also has a unique look to it and is available in a variety of gray shades with blue or green undertones. Soapstone is often seen in historic homes but is also used in modern homes as both a countertop and sink material. Contrary to expectations, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually quite hard and resistant to stain.


  • Fairly impervious to heat
  • Somewhat stain resistant
  • Offers antique, historic look to a kitchen


  • May darken over time
  • Must be treated with mineral oil
  • Surface can scratch and dent

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