You know you're interested in the look, durability and classic appeal of natural stone countertops -- but how do you decide which type of natural stone is best for your home? Of course, the best way to find exactly what you're looking for is to visit the SD Flooring Center & Design showroom to see and touch samples of our San Diego stone countertops in person. But to give you a head-start on your search for the countertop of your dreams, we continue our explanation the differences, and pros and cons of stone counters.
When homeowners choose our San Diego marble countertops, most of them fall in love with the classic, elegant appearance of this timeless natural stone. Marble counters can blend seamlessly into a range of decor styles, from traditional to modern, while lending an upscale look. Because of their universal appeal, marble countertops will also increase a home's value.
Coloring: White, Off-White, Cream, Beige, Tan, Grays
Appearance: Marble is famous for its "marbled" appearance, that blends different shades and veins of stone in a soft, subtle pattern that provides depth and beauty.
Hardness/Durability: Like other natural stone counters, marble has the potential to last for years or even decades. It does not have the same hardness and durability of others, such as granite, however, and is more susceptible to scratching, chipping and etching (marks cause by chemical reactions from acids). It may be better used in kitchens that will be lightly used, or in rooms or areas of the house that offer more gentle use such as an office or bathroom.
Maintenance: Marble countertops will need to be sealed regularly to protect them, but really the most important factor in ensuring that they remain free of scratches and etching is to be careful. It requires some diligence to keep acids off of a marble counter, or to remember to place a dishtowel underneath dishes to prevent marks. For some homeowners, however, the patina that comes with years of use are part of the charm of marble countertops.
Marble Countertop Cost: $60-85 per square foot
Quartz provides a similar appearance to other stone counters, notable granite and marble, but offers a greater level of hardness and toughness. Quartz countertops are an ideal choice for those who love the look of natural stone but want counters that will stand up to years of heavy use. It's technically not 100% natural, as it is a combination of naturally-occurring quartz and man-made materials, but it is this unique makeup that makes it such a tough and customizable counter choice.
Coloring: Tans and browns, grays, whites and creams, brighter colors like reds, golds and greens.
Appearance: Quartz countertops offer a wider range of colors and styles than other natural stone, ranging from bright red hues to mellow, subtly patterned creams that mimic the look of marble. It provides a much wider selection of variety and styles, giving you the opportunity to find just the look you want.
Hardness/Durability: As the hardest natural stone used to make counters, Quartz is the definition of tough and will last for decades. It is scratch-resistant, etch-resistant, heat-resistant and very difficult to chip or crack.
Maintenance: Quartz can be cleaned with a simple household cleaner, but does not need to be sealed or resealed. Avoid placing hot pans directly on the countertops, and do not sit or stand on the counters, as this could place stress on the quartz.
Quartz Countertop Cost: $60-75 per square foot
Slate offers a softer, more understated and casual appearance that is similar to soapstone, and provides a nice alternative to the bolder, more formal looks of marble or granite. Slate countertops are made of natural stone slabs that are polished to an inviting, touchable finish.
Coloring: Grays, charcoals, soft black, tans and browns, muted greens, purples, reds and blues.
Appearance: Slate has subtle patterns and markings than other types of stone, for counters that will have a more uniform look.
Hardness/Durability: Slate is not as hard as granite, but it is harder than marble. It will need to be finished with rounded edges to avoid chipping. Slate counters may be scratched, but these light scratches are easy to buff out and repair. Slate does not etch and is not damaged by acids.
Maintenance: Slate is easy to maintain: simply clean with a water and a mild household cleaner. Some varieties of slate require sealing, which will need to be done every few years (or in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations).
Slate Countertop Cost: $50-65 per square foot