Picking a gorgeous new stone for your kitchen or bathroom is the fun part—what’s not to love about a sparkly new slab to brighten up your space. But, remember, you still have to care for your new find. And just because it looks the part, doesn’t mean it will always fit the lifestyle and needs of your family. The experts at The Stone Collection know the ins and outs of each style. (They are the experts, of course.) Read on for the pros and cons of four types of stone and how to care for each. For more info, or to view slabs upon slabs of every type of stone, drop by The Stone Collection’s 100,000-square-foot showroom. No appointment necessary.
Semi-Precious: Not Just a Pretty Space
Small semi-precious grade agates and crystals are hand-laid to create the perfect architecture in each slab. Some have touches of 14-karat gold, Swarovski crystal, or ammonite inlays. They work in modern, classic, or contemporary spaces for vanities, bars, floors, walls, and countertops. Some slabs are semi-translucent and can even be backlit to create ambiance and mood. The good news about this luxurious choice is that each slab is sealed, so they are resistant to bacteria, scratches, stains, and heat. So even though the inlaid stones are precious, the slab can stand up to wear and tear.
Quartz: Comes on Strong
The engineered version of quartz (The Stone Collection stocks Caesarstone and Diresco brands), provides a clean, versatile look with hundreds of colors and various finishes to choose from. Plus, the engineered process of mixing 90 percent quartz with pigments and polymer resin results in a hard, nonporous material that is resistant to scratches and stains. Usually, a little soap and water are all that is needed to clean the countertop. So if reliability and predictability are what you’re after, it’s a safe bet with quartz.
Quartzite: So Hot Right Now
This is one of the most popular natural stones at the moment. (Move over, granite!) It comes in many different colors and patterns/movement, and it can be applied in a design with one of the many finishes offered, which creates more character. Think leathered, honed, polished, and caressed. Quartzite is a natural stone, so it will still need to be sealed occasionally to ensure the best performance, but it’s a breeze in terms of daily maintenance: wipe up spills with soap and water, and you don’t have to worry about lemon juice or a sharp knife etching the surface.
Marble: Daring Yet Delicate
You can’t deny the bold look of marble, especially those with the various tones of grey veining. It lends a regal and traditional touch, and it tends to gain character through the life of the home due to marble’s softer properties. But marble knows it’s beautiful, so it’s got a high-maintenance personality. Lemons, tomatoes, and vinegar will etch the stone and red wine can stain the surface, so make sure to wipe up spills right away. Coasters and cutting boards are a must, and abrasive cleaners are a big no. Always clean up spills and stains with a damp cloth or sponge to avoid permanent damage. But if you’re the type that finds character in aging, pour a glass of Cabernet and enjoy your new countertop.
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