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Which stone should I choose for my kitchen countertop?

There are so many types of stone out there - but which is right for your countertop?

Natural stone is a versatile material. It can, and typically is, used for a wide variety of applications around the home, from walls and flooring to roofs and backsplashes.

Perhaps the most common way natural stone features in a home, however, is in the form of a kitchen countertop. It’s not hard to see why – stone is tough, durable and beautiful, making it ideal for both practical and aesthetic purposes.

But with so many different types of stone to choose from, which is the one for your countertop? There are many options – here are the facts about each.

Slate

Compared to other stones, slate has low porosity and, according to the Marble Institute of America, is so highly resistant to chemicals that it’s traditionally been the surface material of choice for laboratory countertops. If it’s good enough to withstand oddly colored chemicals overflowing from test tubes, then it should be able to survive lemon juice or olive oil. It also tends to be heat resistant.

At the same time, while slate is tough, it’s not as hardy as other stones on this list, so can be vulnerable to scratches. It also doesn’t have a smooth surface, which you may not find ideal.

Marble

Perhaps marble’s greatest strength is its visual appeal. You hardly need to be reminded of the beauty of marble, with its rich color and swirling, hypnotic patterns. It’s great for those who want their kitchen to be the showpiece of their home.

However, marble has a number of vulnerabilities. Like slate, it can also be scratched by utensils. But more than this, being a calcite-based stone, it can suffer acid etching due to common kitchen substances like fruit juice, vinegar and more. You’ll want to be especially diligent around sealing it with a sealer like Dry-Treat’s STAIN-PROOF Plus™, which is particularly effective on dense countertops.

Limestone

Limestone is another visually appealing choice for a kitchen countertop, that has the bonus of being relatively heat resistant. However, limestone also tends to be rather absorbent, so even water can end up staining and damaging it – something that’s particularly harmful given its lightness of color.

In addition to this, because its also based in calcite like marble, limestone is also prone to chemical damage. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it, but you’ll certainly have to be more careful in the kitchen.

Granite

Granite may well be the top choice when it comes to kitchen countertop materials. It’s immensely popular due to its hardness, as well as the fact that granite tends to be less absorbent and more chemically resistant than other types of stone. With granite, you don’t have to worry as much about using cutting boards or what kind of substances are dropping onto it.

Make no mistake however – just because its tougher doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Get your granite countertop sealed, and always wipe up spills as soon as possible.

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