From the Greek word for “gleaming” marble is, without a doubt, one of the most timeless and stylish stones on earth. Marble's stately appearance and strength has made it a classic architectural stone, in historical, ancient and modern structures alike. Marble is a metamorphic stone, which means it turned into marble from another type of rock. It is usually formed when limestone is compressed for longer periods of time. It is typically found in the roots of mountains, and is composed of up to 95% calcite. While marble is forming, impurities get into the mix, causing its signature streaks of color. Graphite is the mineral that causes gray or bluish streaks, while iron oxides such as goethite and hematite are responsible for pink or reddish streaks. Marble rich in epidote takes on a green hue. Because of its strength and ageless beauty, marble can be used in both interior and exterior capacities. Marble is ideal for walls, fireplace surrounds and mantels, bathroom vanity tops, and some floors. It is more porous than granite that makes it easier to stain. The beauty of a marble surface will last many lifetimes if it is not abused (using it for a purpose to which it is ill-suited, choosing the wrong surface finish for the intended use, or subjecting it to acids and inappropriate cleaning agents).
Limestone is a unique natural material that can be used both inside and outside the home. A great many people love the look of this stone in general, it has a muted quality and it's naturally rather muted and earthy tones allow it to blend seamlessly with other décor elements around it, wherever it is used. Opting for limestone counters allows homeowners a great deal of leeway when it comes to the overall visual make up of their décor as lime stone compliments the modern stainless steel appliances and minimalist décor of a contemporary kitchen or bathroom every bit as well as it does more traditional choices. Limestone comes in a fairly wide range of colors and textures. It can also easily be cut into a variety of different sizes to accommodate different sized living spaces. It ages very well and has a unique natural ability to withstand damage from humidity, making it a good choice for the sometimes steamy environments of both the average kitchen and bathroom. Limestone can be molded and customized when creating counters more easily than some other options.
Available in a striking array of colors, granite's durability and longevity make it ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including table tops, bar tops and floors. Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth. The beauty and elegance of granite makes it a most prestigious yet practical countertop. Because no two slabs of granite are exactly alike, yours will be unique. The color of granite depends on the proportion and varieties of the minerals in it. There are two main factors that control what the resulting granite looks like. First, the chemical composition of the magma varies based on what continent or ocean it is under. Second, the speed in which the magma approaches the earth’s surface and how quickly it cools down truly impacts the stone’s appearance. The most decorative granites are ones where the magma cooled slowly and allowed large crystals to grow.
Travertine countertops are emerging very fast as popular and affordable kitchen countertops. It is also called the onyx marble and is available in America from Italy and the Middle East. You can peek into history and find that the beautiful Coliseum in Rome is made up of travertine that is over 2000 years old. Travertine is a natural stone that is similar to marble. Marble is a type of limestone that is formed in nature under extreme heat and pressure.Travertine is available in many earthy colors, as it is a natural stone. You will find many delicious shades of walnut, gold, cream, beige and ivory. These colors are formed due to the mix of iron and other impurities found in earth. They are visually appealing and add an aesthetically pleasing touch in home decor. Therefore, they are favored as flooring tiles, wall covering and countertops since thousands of years in Italy and Turkey. Travertine countertops are available in polished, matte, brushed or tumbled finishes.
Soapstone countertops have become more popular in recent years due to their inherent aesthetic appeal and tremendous durability. In increasing numbers, homeowners have turned to these counters as an alternative to granite and marble counters. Its rustic appeal is compatible with the natural style of kitchen decor that has become prominent in more homes over the last few years. Soapstone countertops offer rich deep colors for countertops. This gives your kitchen an earthy feel, but maintains a beautiful color scheme as well. It starts off a light gray in color, but it darkens significantly as it ages, and if you want to hasten the darkening process, frequent application of mineral oil will do the job. Many stone countertops are rough, and must be sealed with special sealants to feel smooth. Soapstone countertops have a smooth, soapy touch as they are made of mineral talc, quartz, and other minerals. In a kitchen, staining is an important factor to consider. We all work with and cook foods that have the potential to stain, from blueberries, to tomatoes, and the last thing you want is for your countertop to look splotchy and ugly due to stains and discolorations. In nature stones erode, and this can happen in your kitchen as well, from constant use, cutting, washing etc. However, soapstone is very resistant to that. Soapstone makes for a good choice. In fact, it is often used in science labs because soapstone is resistant to acids and alkalis which mean’s that chemicals and cleaners won't cause it to deteriorate. Soapstone is softer and less porous than granite, so if gives your kitchen a softer, homier feel while still maintaining durability. Soapstone is very resistant to heat, so you do not need to worry about it cracking near your cook top, or a pot melting it.
Through superior strength, incredible beauty and an unparalleled distribution network, Silestone® is rapidly becoming the choice for discerning consumers. Silestone offers a sophisticated elegance and timeless beauty. The natural quartz in Silestone delivers distinctive depth, brilliant clarity, glimmering radiance and a cool, solid feel unique to natural stone.Natural quartz is the fastest growing category in the surfacing industry, and Silestone is the leader in that category.Beyond beauty, Silestone natural quartz adds strength to its applications, making it remarkably scratch-resistant. Because quartz is one of the hardest elements found in nature — almost as hard as diamond — common use of knives, scissors or other sharp metal objects will not score the Silestone surface. Silestone’s polished surface is non-porous, thus it is extremely stain-resistant. Everyday spills of wine, lemon juice, body lotions and even food colorants stay above the surface and are easy to clean off with soapy water or mild household cleaners. And Silestone is virtually maintenance-free, keeping its beauty and shine without ever needing to be sealedSilestone can be used in any indoor surfacing application in your kitchen, bathroom, personal and family living areas. Silestone is ideal for high-traffic areas, surfaces exposed to everyday use and rooms where you entertain. Most common uses of Silestone include kitchen countertops and backsplashes, vanity tops, shower walls and fireplace surrounds. Silestone also is ideal for use as flooring, tabletops and skirts, staircase steps, kitchen desks, shelving, wet bars and many other applications.