Best tips for choosing the right kitchen countertop
There are many standards for choosing a kitchen countertop. Combine them all and you will find the essential two: the practical and aesthetic one. Hence the concept that a kitchen countertop should look fine and be durable. Of all countertop materials, natural stone complies both standards with optimum results. Every natural stone is durable against mechanical shocks and abrasive factors and every stone has a beautiful and soft look.
1. Granite Countertop
2. Marble Countertop
3. Slate Countertop
4. Limestone Countertop
5. Travertine Countertop
Therefore choosing a natural stone kitchen countertop seems natural as it complies with every condition for optimum use, plus it benefits of tens of years of lifetime. By comparing the features, you will get to choose the best countertop for you. Here are essentials you should consider before ordering your countertop:
• durability against mechanical shocks – behavior to scratches and kicks. All natural stones handle well mechanical shocks by tapping and majority also by scratching. However, granite and specific types of marble, handle better scratching compared to slate, limestone and travertine. The abrasive factors, influencing the friction on the surface, will not influence residential kitchen countertops, but will influence the countertop’s surfaces in restaurants or cafeterias.
• porosity – parameter associated with water absorption rate, depending on density. Travertine, limestone and some types of marble have medium porosity. Slate and different marbles have low porosity and absorption rate, while granite is virtually waterproof. The type of finish is important when considering the porosity. It was established that glossy finish is less porous than honed, which in turn is less porous compared to brushed, polished or flamed. Requirements for a kitchen countertop are: glossy/honed finish.
• durability against corrosive factors – such as commercial detergents and food acids, which result in staining and later honing the glossy surfaces. Corrosive stains are hard to remove, therefore you should rather prevent. Granite and slate are less susceptible to the attack of corrosive agents compared to marble, limestone and travertine. Durability aganst freeze-thaw cycles or tear strentgh are other elements to consider, however, not so important.
Analyzing all this information, you will be able to choose the best countertop. Here are the options:
1. Granite Countertop – is the easiest choice since granite meets most features of a countertop. Whether from a slab or obtained by tile cladding, granite countertop is very durable (value of 6-7 on Mohs hardness scale), virtually waterproof and perfectly withstands corrosive agents. Glossy versions are best for kitchen countertops, in terms of durability against external factors.
photo source: lumberjacks.com
2. Marble Countertop – has different features, not so durable against external factors. A 3-4 level level on the Mohs scale and a medium porosity (0.08% – 0.8%), with a medium durability against corrosive agents, the marble countertop is preferred compared to other kitchen countertops due to its look and color. If properly waterproofed, you will have stylish, beautiful and durable marble countertops.
photo source: greatleakesgm.com
3. Slate Countertop – features similar with granite, yet more sensible to scratching. Otherwise, materials have similar parameters, therefore choosing slate as material for kitchen countertop is preferred, both in terms of cladding and monolithic countertops.
photo source: myidealhome.us
4. Limestone Countertop – has standard calcareous stone parameters. Having a 3-4 level on the Mohs scale and sensitivity to corrosive agents, limestone requires treatment. It is a medium porosity rock with a good color stability, which presents only small variations. Its look and increased lifetime turn limestone a suitable choice for kitchen countertop.
photo source: pinterest.com
5. Travertine Countertop – has limestone features, medium absorption coefficient and average durability against corrosive factors. Travertine has a special color variation, a rustic and obsolete look, better highlighted compared to other stones. Therefore and also because of lower prices, choosing travertine as kitchen countertop will come natural.
PIATRAONLINE recommends natural stone countertops for your decoration project. We invite you to discover our entire product range, by visiting our website.
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