Countertops made of natural stone are strength, durability and undoubtedly a luxurious decorative element. Such tabletops possess a variety of textures, a unique and unique natural pattern, but a limited color spectrum.
The most common materials for manufacturing are marble and granite.
Tabletop with a shaped chamfer. It has a beautiful and unusual texture – brown coloring with dense light inclusions. Marble “Imperador Dark”, Spain. The size of a product 3000*1000 mm.
Prices for table-tops from a granite and marble
To calculate the cost of a table-top it is necessary to consider:
Type of stone. When calculating, it is taken into account which material is the basis of the tabletop, also its categories (color, texture).
Size. The price for the product is formed based on the dimensions of the product (length, width and thickness).
Type of profile. The more complex the pattern of the end profile, the more expensive.
Surface treatment. Glossy is more expensive than matte. There is also a service for polishing the finished product after installation.
Wall panel / apron. Taking into account the material used, the length and height, the complexity of processing.
Presence and length of curved sections. Complex cutting of the countertop (the presence of radii, arcs and integrated elements) leads to higher prices.
Installation. Requires only professional installation.
Thickness and profile
Natural stone table tops are made of monolithic slabs (slabs) extracted in the quarry. The thickness of slabs varies from 20 to 30 mm. It is possible to glue an additional slab and increase the thickness up to 60 mm.
Pros and cons of natural stone
Among the pluses can be noted:
– Aesthetics. The color palette of natural materials ranges from natural shades to rare original drawings. In the interior of the kitchen, such countertops bring the atmosphere of luxury. It is worth paying attention to marble, which has a wide range of colors, has a greater variety of natural material patterns. Therefore, it is also often used in the design of other rooms.
– Durability. In comparison with countertops from plastic or artificial stone, stone is times more reliable. It is not afraid of fire and moisture. Stone endures all temperatures without damage to the structure. It is not afraid of scratches, cracks and chips. If mechanical damage does happen, it can be repolished and the countertop will look like a new one. But, do not forget that marble is a softer and more hygroscopic rock, compared to granite.
– Eco-friendliness. Natural material does not cause allergies. It is resistant to the action of fungi and microbes.
– Compliant material. The stone is easily amenable to processing, therefore a stone can be given a various form, and the defects formed in the course of operation can be easily removed.
– Seamlessness. The surface of a stone is perfectly smooth. Connections of countertops, wall panels, skirting board or when integrating the sink are absolutely invisible, due to the sealant and polishing. No metal joint bars are used, as with plastic tabletops. Such a countertop looks like a single monolith.
Disadvantages of natural stone products:
– Price. The most significant disadvantage is the high cost.
– The great weight. When transporting it, there can be difficulties.
– Can change color. Marble is capable of darkening and changing color if there is no polishing. Light colors can absorb juice from foods (especially dangerous: beets, carrots and tea).
– Require special care. Stone is vulnerable to acids. Therefore, a gentle detergent should be chosen. Bleaching detergents, vinegar and citrus fruits can damage the structure of the stone, even if they have been polished before.
Granite and marble countertops. Differences
Granite has the following qualities:
+ More durable
+ Resistant to chemicals.
+ Resistant to temperatures. Because of this, it is used for professional kitchens and bar counters.
– It looks less attractive than marble.
The main qualities of marble:
+ Incredibly beautiful natural pattern, which is never repeated and makes any product individual.
+ After reacting with water, a protective alkaline environment is formed on the surface of the marble, which prevents the development of harmful bacteria. Thus, it performs a disinfectant and antiseptic function.
– Loses to marble in reliability.