What's the Difference: Stone countertops
Even stone is susceptible to scratches, staining, chipping, and heat damage
It’s a common misconception that applying sealer to a stone countertop is all that’s needed to protect it from damage. Unfortunately, even after sealer is applied, stone is susceptible to scratches, staining, chipping, and heat damage. Knowing the compositional qualities of each stone is the best way to choose a countertop that can handle the wear and tear of a busy kitchen or bathroom.
Profile: Certain types of limestone, such as the popular Jerusalem gold, are very dense and very durable. However, most other limestone is soft and easily damaged, even more so than marble.
Surface notes: Limestone that is not dense isn’t recommended for use in busy kitchens. Its high porosity and susceptibility to damage can show after only a couple of years of heavy use.
Finishes: Honed or polished
Profile: Marble is a very soft stone, so it cannot withstand high heat, and it is easily etched by acidic substances such as orange juice.
Surface notes: Marble is known for its natural ability to stay cool and is often preferred by professional chefs for rolling dough and making pastries. The patina of polished or aged marble is prized for its traditional, old-world appeal. When selecting marble counters, remember that a polished finish makes surface imperfections more noticeable, whereas a honed or brushed finish helps to mask any scratches.
Finishes: Polished, honed, or brushed
Profile: High-quality, dense slate is less absorbent and more durable than many countertop materials, so it doesn’t require sealing like other types of stone countertops.
Surface notes: Due to its low porosity, slate is less likely to harbor bacteria. However, its uneven surface makes slate counters difficult to clean. Slate should be periodically treated with mineral oil to reduce its chalky appearance and to enhance its color tone.
Finishes: Honed, polished,…