The Stones Of San Diego Granite Countertops
Natural stone - the most aesthetic, eco friendly construction material known to human kind. There are many types of natural stone, each with their own properties and benefits. Some are more ideally suited for aesthetically highlighting areas of your home than other. So what's best for what you have in mind? To help you decide, San Diego Granite Countertops list all these for your ease and convenience.
Know Your Countertops - An Educated Consumer
Stone of all types is in increasing demand for residential countertops in the U.S., because of its durability, beauty, and resale value. For many first-time stone purchasers, making a selection can be a daunting task. There are many basic stone types, and hundreds of colors within each stone type. Choosing a stone for your countertop application is like choosing a piece of artwork, in that it has a lot to do with personal taste, but there is also a technical aspect to what is right for you, and it is a lot easier to make your decision if you have knowledge about the product you’re about to purchase.
There are many stone types, each having its advantages and disadvantages in different countertop applications. The following are the common stone types used for countertops:
This is the most common type of natural stone used for countertops in today’s market. Granite is a dense stone based on silica, quartz, mica and other minerals. It is a very hard and durable surface, offering high levels of resistance to abrasion, scratching, heat, and staining. You can prepare food directly on a granite countertop, if you don’t mind dulling your knives. With normal use and proper cleaning, stains and bacteria are not a concern. Granites properties make it an excellent choice for kitchen and other heavily used countertops.
Marble is a traditional stone used for centuries to evoke the feeling of opulence. Marble is a calcium carbonate based stone, so it is a softer and more porous stone, and therefore more susceptible to scratching and staining than granite. The calcium also reacts with acids, so it is susceptible to etching when exposed to acidic items like lemon juice, tomatoes, vinegar, etc. The use of inappropriate cleaning products may also cause etching. Whilst sealing a marble surface lessens its absorbency, it does not stop all absorbency, but merely slows the process, giving time to clean spills without ill effect. Due to these properties, Marble is less appropriate for use in kitchens, although in some parts of the world, a worn/stained top is view to have character. With proper care and maintenance, Marble is an excellent choice for vanities, credenzas, dressers, etc, that see less harsh use.
Limestone and Travertine
Limestone and Travertine are softer, porous stones like Marble, and should be considered in the same way when selecting them for countertop applications.
Soapstone is highly compressed talc. Although dense and resistant to staining, soapstone countertops are softer than granite or marble, therefore prone to nicks and scratches.
This is one of the most misunderstood/misrepresented types of stone in the countertop industry. Many class it as a Marble, but based on its geological makeup, it is not. It consisting of magnesium, iron, silicate, chromium, cobalt and nickel (amongst other minerals). Serpentinite can be slightly softer than granite, but a lot harder than marble, and some are equally as dense as granite, making it more than acceptable for high use areas like kitchens.
The main drawback of this type of stone for countertop use is the fact it does not weather well if directly exposed to the elements for extended periods, so it is not appropriate for summer kitchens and BBQ’s that are not under cover.
Quartzite is a natural stone that started out as sandstone, but due to tremendous heat and pressure crystallized into a harder, less porous material. There are many types of Quartzite, including Agate, Amethyst, Jasper, Onyx, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Tiger-eye (to mention a few). These materials can exhibit translucent or opaque qualities, and some are considered semi-precious stones.
Quartz is a constituent of Granite. Because of its dense crystalline structure, these materials have lower absorbency than Marbles, and tend to weather well.
Onyx is a type of quartzite. Its rich colors, patterns, and in many cases opaqueness and translucency, make it sought after for focal point applications like bars, vanities, dresses, etc.
This translucency makes it ideal for back-lighting, to add to the “wow” factor of your countertop.
Whilst there are several manufactures, there are two basic types of Man-made Quartz products. Those made of artificially grown quartz, and those using Natural Quartz.
In both cases the quartz is broken into small pieces and mixed into a polymer resign, with coloring agents, and in some cases, post consumer material (recycled stone products). This mixture is then baked at high pressures and temperatures, to form a hard non-porous surface. This is idea material for all internal countertop surfaces, offering zero absorbency, and a consistent look. It is not recommended for external use.