There are many options to choose from when considering materials for your countertops. Natural stone such as granite and marble are among the most popular, but slate is an affordable and stylish solution!
Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that is made of repetitive layers which is also known as foliation that can be cut into thin sheets. It is widely used for roofing and flooring because it is durable, fireproof, and has a low water absorption rate of 0.4% on the index. Remember chalkboards? Yes, those are made from slate too. Although not your typical countertop material, slate features many benefits. Slate is hard, less porous than other stone countertops, and resists heat well. Slate can handle intense heat and intense cold and is slow to change temperatures. It is highly versatile for kitchens, bathrooms and other surrounding surfaces including walls and flooring both indoors and outdoors.
The beauty of natural slate comes from its simple aesthetic that merges easily with many design styles. Whether your space is modern, rustic, transitional or traditional, a slate countertop is the perfect focal point or interesting backdrop. Colors are determined by the mineral composition and range from rich dark grays to lighter shades of gray, blue, green, red, brown, and purple. Subtle accents of color may be present but as with nature, beauty is found in these unique details.
Slate features a wonderfully tactile texture and typically has a matte or honed finish although a glossy or wet appearance can be achieved. Chipping and scratching at the edges may be possible and edges can be sharp. Use caution with heavy objects and consider rounding the corners for safety.
Cleaning slate countertops is best done with a damp cloth, a microfiber cloth work great here, to dust off or clean up spills. Be sure to wipe dry to prevent mineral deposits or water spots. Avoid abrasive cleaners or cleaning tools as they may etch the surface. Cleaning products that contain wax, lemon or vinegar can also be harmful to the surface. Check with your sales associate regarding specific recommended cleaning products for stone and if your slate countertop should be sealed with a penetrating sealer for added protection.
Striking and stunning, onyx stone countertops are a showstopping design element in any home. This natural stone has a unique appearance featuring bold colors and movement. But the most notable characteristic of onyx is that it is translucent and can be backlit creating a dramatic focal point. There’s nothing quite like it.
A wide spectrum of colors is available including blue, green, purple, gold, red, orange, gray, brown and lighter tones in beige and white. Because onyx is created in nature, the patterns and coloring will vary greatly, and each slab will be unique. However, with great style sometimes comes a higher cost and that is the case with this material. Onyx is one of the most expensive natural stone countertops.
Compared to other stone, onyx is lightweight and is quarried in small slabs which provides great design flexibility. Onyx is also a softer stone and is prone to scratching and cracking. Carefully consider where you would like to have this beautiful but more fragile material installed. A bar countertop, backsplash, bathroom countertop and other vertical applications tend to more popular than a kitchen countertop. Additionally, to keep onyx looking its best for years to come, regular sealing is required to properly protect the surface and a specific stone cleaner may be recommended for everyday care.