Choosing the right stone for your kitchen features
The kitchen: For some it’s the centerpiece of the home, the area around which the rest of the home decor and layout revolves. For others, it’s simply one room among many, but one vital to a home’s daily functioning.
No matter which way you cut it, the kitchen is an important part of the house. And just as important as having a well-equipped, attractive kitchen is choosing the right natural stone material to kit it out with. In fact, one leads directly into the other.
But with so many to choose from – do you go with granite, luxuriate with limestone, or slide along to slate? – which do you pick? Consider this a helpful guide to making sense of it all.
One of the most important features of a kitchen countertop is that it should be hard. You’re going to be doing all kinds of things in the kitchen, from moving around large, bulky kitchen appliances to chopping fruit, vegetables and meat. You want a surface that can handle that kind of punishment.
Well, you don’t get much tougher than granite. It’s an incredibly hard surface to damage, let alone scratch, so you don’t need to worry about that kitchen knife. It’s also an attractive material, with its flecks of minerals creating a pretty speckled look.
Another classic, marble is the pinnacle in creating an air of elegance and glamor. If you’re the kind of homeowner who sees their kitchen as not merely a functional area for doing what’s necessary, but rather a room that ties your entire home design together, then marble might be the way to go.
Marble is not as tough as granite – in fact, it’s relatively susceptible to scratches, chipping and other damage – so it may not be as well suited for a kitchen countertop. Also unlike granite, marble is more vulnerable to stains, especially devastating if you’re dealing with a pristine white marble.
Unless you want to constantly damage your countertop or be constantly carrying out stain removal, the wisest option is to use marble in just a few small places.
You’re probably so used to seeing concrete in driveways and roads that you couldn’t stomach the thought of having it around your food. But in fact, concrete can be a great choice for kitchen countertops and other features.
Much like granite, it’s a tough surface that can withstand a lot of punishment. It also holds up well against heat, an important consideration if you’re going to spend a lot of time placing scalding hot pots and pans around the place. Finally, it can also be shaped, cut, textured and colored according to your specifications, making it ideal for incorporating into an existing design and matching with different materials.
You can think of limestone as marble’s cousin. Unlike marble, however, limestone is a soft rock and is particularly porous. This should already hint to you that it’s not exactly ideal material for a countertop.
Instead, you might consider making use of tiled limestone for a kitchen floor. Like its cousin, limestone can give your kitchen a beautiful, elegant sheen – and depending on the style of your kitchen, you can extend that sheen into the rest of the house by making the entire floor a limestone one.
The key thing to remember about all of these materials is their porosity. Each of them – no matter how tough – is susceptible to water and other liquids penetrating their surfaces, causing staining and possible damage. Some, like limestone and concrete, are particularly sensitive, but even granite, as tough as it is, can be penetrated.
That’s why, if you’re planning to use stone in your kitchen, you’ll need Dry-Treat’s META CREME™ or STAIN-PROOF Original™ to seal your stone surface and keep it protected from stains. Whether oil, water or any other liquid you’re likely to find in the kitchen gets on your stone, these products will keep it safe.
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