A Beginner Guide to Choosing Natural Stone Countertops

If you’re here, that means you’re probably considering replacing the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom. Maybe you’re building a new house, or replacing old countertops that are worn, damaged, or just unappealing. Or maybe you’re doing a whole kitchen or bathroom remodel, of which countertops are just a part. Regardless, natural stone is a popular and versatile choice for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.

When people talk about natural stone countertops, they’re usually referring to granite or marble. Those are the most common and among the most popular. Granite is an incredibly durable stone that’s cool to the touch and can bring an element of taste and refinement to almost any décor. Marble is a stone of great warmth, beauty, and character. For generations, great works of art and architecture have been hewn from marble, and marble countertops are an investment that will last you a lifetime, if they’re properly cared for. Granite and marble are both great choices for kitchen countertops or bathroom vanities, but they’re not the only natural stone countertop options out there.

Soapstone is a smooth stone that comes in a range of hues from heather gray to charcoal. It has a number of advantages for kitchen countertops, as it is heat resistant, almost impossible to crack, and mostly immune to acids, which means that coffee or juice won’t damage or stain it. Soapstone still needs to be cleaned, though, and mineral oils can be added to enhance its natural appearance. Soapstone is also softer than many other countertop options, so while it won’t crack, it can dent if it gets struck hard enough. Some people find that the dented look that soapstone countertops can acquire over time gives them greater character than other countertop options.

Jerusalem stone is becoming increasingly popular, especially in bathroom vanities. A naturally-occurring dolomite-limestone that actually comes from Jerusalem and is quarried from areas around the Jordan River, Galilee, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas, Jerusalem stone looks a lot like typical limestone, but is almost as durable as granite.

While it’s still technically possible to get a countertop made from a slab of quarried quartz, you’re much more likely to get an engineered quartz composite. These can range widely in quartz content, color, design, and appearance. At its best, quartz can be more durable even than granite, but it requires careful shopping to find the right quartz for you. Still, with more and more manufacturers producing quartz options, it’s becoming ever more popular in home remodels.

Regardless of what option you settle on for your natural stone countertop, you’ll want to keep it clean and well taken care of. Natural stone countertops are an investment that can transform your home and last a lifetime, and so they’re well worth treating with care. Fortunately, Rock Doctor can provide you with everything you’ll need to keep your natural stone countertops looking and performing their best, from our granite cleaner to our granite sealer and granite polish. Don’t let the names fool you, they’ll work just as well on any natural stone surface, and even a few others, like stainless steel!