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Best guide to choosing your kitchen countertop – How to choose the best kitchen countertops?

publicat in: Kitchen // Publicata pe 15.10.2018

The worktop is the main element of your kitchen. Choosing a natural stone countertop comes natural if we consider the features of such a material. So, what natural stone is suitable for your kitchen? There are countertops from slate, marble, travertine, limestone or granite, each complying somewhat with your requirements. The standards you should consider for your selection are:

 

1. High temperature durability

2. Water absorption rate

3. Durability against scratches / abrasion

4. Tensile strength

5. Stain resistance

6. Color

 

1. High temperature durability

Every natural stone withstands fine high temperatures, however not repeated thermal shocks. The temperature difference reslted from placing a hot object on a cold stone determines a thermal shock that might lead to cracks over countertop’s surface. Granite and slate best withstand high temperatures, however repeated exposure should be avoided. Marble and travertine are less durable, placing a hot object on the surface can lead to heat shocks followed by minor burns and selective color modification.

 

2. Water absorption rate

A feature of every material, porosity is ranging from waterproof to very porous. Travertine, limestone and marble have medium porosity (0.8%-0.08%).  Slate and some marbles have low porosity (0.3% – 0.04%). And granite is almost waterproof (0.01%). The least absorbent type of finishes is the glossy one, the honed finish is more absorbent. The absorption rate can be altered by treatments applied to natural stone claddings.

 

3. Durability against scratches / abrasion

Since a countertop is used for preparing food, there is a high chance of scratching it with your kitchen tools. Granite and slate (level 6-7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness) are durable and you can cut virtually anything on their surface, while marble, limestone and travertine are less durable (level 3-4 on the Mohs scale). Abrasion does not greatly influence the countertops of residential kitchens, since surface rubbing is not large. The countertops from restaurants / cafeterias kitchens can be affected by scratching. Granite has the highest abrasion resistance, followed by marble, slate, travertine and limestone.

 

4. Tensile strength

Cutouts are required for kitchen sink or other kitchen appliances. Countertops are made of slabs with 2 or 3 cm thickness, sizes and cutout templates are important due to the risk of cracking or breaking the countertop. Edge areas, with thin surface following the cutout, could develop fractures. Slate supports up 5 kg/sqmm pressure until breakage, the value for granite is up to 3 kg/sqmm and marble, travertine and limestone have up to 2 kg/sqmm. Therefore, granite and slate countertops need to have at least 2 cm thickness, while marble, limestone and travertine need to have at least 3 cm thickness for countertops.

 

5. Stain resistance

All countertops can be stained by water, greases or food acids. The glossy finish (polish) countertops can turn to honed while used as worktops. Granite and slate, due to their low porosity, are more durable against stains compared to marble, limestone and travertine. Regular aftercare improves stain resistance. 

 

6. Color

Color is an important element of aesthetics. Marble is available in soft colors, with the light color marble taking advantage of its translucent feature, while travertine has quiet colors and Mediterranean accents, granite is classic and slate is exotic. Granite displays a wide color variation, similar with marble, while travertine and limestone are somewhat more stable. Slate might include mica, resulting in a specific glow for those particular areas.

 

These standards are only some that you should consider when choosing the stone for your countertop. Visit our website for more details on our full product range, or get in touch with us at +40318.222.333 or email: export@piatraonline.com

Best guide to choosing your kitchen countertop – How to choose the best kitchen countertops?
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