Few things contribute as much to the overall appearance of your kitchen as the countertops. For this reason, more and more people are having natural stone countertops installed in their home. Yet it can be hard making a choice between all of the different stones available. If you would like to learn more about three of the most common countertop materials, read on. This article will introduce you to the fine points of granite, quartz, and soapstone.
Granite is the classic choice for countertops. Because granite includes randomly embedded crystalline structures, it has a depth of color and pattern that most other stones can't rival. In addition to being extremely hard and durable, granite is also scratch, stain, and heat resistant. On top of that, granite surfaces are easy to clean using mild soap and water.
The primary drawback of granite is that it is a porous substance. This means that, unless cleaned regularly, granite can harbor unwanted bacteria and other micro-organisms. Furthermore, many granite surfaces need to be sealed on a periodic basis using a special sealer--preferably one that contains fluroucarbon aliphatic resin. Granite countertops generally need this treatment every six months to a year.
Quartz countertops differ from granite in that they are deliberately engineered by mixing natural quartz with polymer resins and color pigments. This means that quartz countertops come in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to choose the one that works best with your overall colors scheme. Quartz is also a non-porous substance, meaning you won't have to go through the process of periodically resealing it.
Some people are turned off from quartz because its engineered natural means that, strictly speaking, it is not a "natural stone." Also, caution must be used with quartz countertops, because they are not as heat resistant as granite. This means they can potentially become discolored if hot pans are set down on them.
Soapstone is another natural stone that has quietly been gaining popularity as a countertop material. Soapstone comes in a range of natural tones, from a dirty white to a handsome graphite. Soapstone is considerably softer than graphite or quartz--meaning that it is less brittle and less prone to cracking under stress. Also, soapstone doesn't have to be sealed, though a periodic application of mineral oil will help to deepen its sheen.
One of the chief drawbacks of soapstone is that it is easily scratched. You must be careful not to cut directly on it. Though such scratches are easy to fix with a high-grit sandpaper, it's not the kind of thing you want to have to do all the time.
For more information, contact a business such as Plastic Line Mfg Inc.