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Things you should know about your choice of stone

Make an informed choice through product education

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Also check out our numerous Frequently Asked Question pages where you can get answers to some of the more common issues.

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Categories of Natural Stone

 

Hewn from the earth, cut with diamond saws, polished like glass, and shipped around the planet, stone makes the most international of worktops. It exists everywhere in the planet, yet nowhere is it the same. Even from the same quarry, no two pieces are the same.

Stone is tremendously dense yet also permeable; to prevent stains it must be sealed. Its very durability makes it hard to work and shape, but technological advances have made it achievable to cut and polish stone near quarries around the globe, a money-saving progress that enables unusable pieces to be discovered before they are shipped abroad.

Granite, the most well liked stone for worktops, is a tremendously hard rock formed by volcanic activity. Its shimmering beauty lies in the crystals of quartz, mica, and feldspar trapped within. So-called consistent granite has the same pattern throughout. Variegated granite has veins that vary from piece to piece, which add character but also make it tricky to match sections. Granite is very permeable and should be treated with a penetrating sealer every six months to prevent stains.

Soapstone and slate are much softer than granite but also less permeable. Slate was formed from clay on ancient seabeds and usually has a solid gray, black, or green hue. Soapstone, which is composed primarily of the mineral talc, has a similar colour but often contains light striations of quartz. Both stones scratch and chip without trouble, especially on the edges; the marks can be sanded out or left to add character. Combined with a sink of the same material, slate or soapstone counters can create a traditional farmhouse look or a smooth, refined look. It’s not usually required to seal these stones, but a periodic application of mineral oil will make them glow.

Marble and limestone are warm and soft but less convenient for kitchens because food acids stain them readily. Still, a lot of homeowners do not mind stains that add a patina of age. And marble is a traditional surface for rolling out pastry; serious bakers often include a section of marble worktop in their kitchens for this job. Marble is normally polished like granite; limestone is often honed to a matt finish.

 
 
 
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