Granite

An extremely durable material that assures a lifetime of beauty. It is recommended for any countertop use. Granite is resistant to heat. Hot dishes and pans from the oven or stove will not damage a granite countertop. Also, cutting on granite will not scratch or damage the surface, though it will dull your cutlery.

Granite is second in hardness to diamonds. Granite comes in a wide variety of colors, grains and movement. Price ranges from least to most expensive. Despite granite’s hardness, annual application of impregnating sealer aids stain resistance.

Marble

A more delicate stone, softer than many other natural stones. Marble is softer and more susceptible to staining, thus more frequent sealing is recommended. Marble is recommended for vanities, fireplace surrounds, tables and tub decks.  While in the kitchen, marble should be used cautiously and the customer educated with regard to its unique wear and maintenance requirements.

Marble comes in many different colors, usually heavily veined, revealing many grains and is favored for its beauty and design.  For stain resistance, sealing with an impregnating sealer is recommended every 3-6 months, depending upon use.

Travertine

A type of limestone and also classified as a marble. This stone is is usually light and creamy or reddish in color. Characteristic holes are filled and the material takes a good polish. Application is appropriate for walls, and in bathrooms for vanities, tub and shower surrounds.

Because of travertine’s porosity, it is not recommended for kitchen use. Annual sealing with an impregnating sealer can help eliminate the occurrence of stains, whether the surface is honed or polished. Pricing is generally midrange and above.

Soapstone

A very soft, yet dense stone made of a variety of talc. It has a smooth “soapy” feeling. It is a material that is durable and is easily worked, as is evidenced in farm kitchens where the stone could be cut by ordinary saw techniques. Soapstone retains heat, withstands the influence of low or high temperatures. It naturally resists stains, including chemicals and acids. Soapstone is useful for sinks and countertops, laboratory tops, and fire resistant surfaces. Its use is applicable generally in any area, including: kitchen, laundry, bathroom, fireplace, tables, tub decks and floor tiles.

Soapstone offers a limited color range from dark gray to bluish or greenish gray, and darkens with age. Mineral oil or dry wax will protect the surface and is the only type of sealant necessary. Slab size is generally smaller than other choices.

Slate

A fine grained stone, smooth, dense and durable. Some varieties of slate are soft and easily scratched (which can be remedied with an application of mineral oil), while other varieties can be almost as hard as granite. Slate resists stains very well and is temperature tolerant. Hot pans from the oven will not damage a slate countertop.

Slate is fairly uniform in color. Color selection ranges from dark to light green, mottled purple, black, gray and dark red. Slate is usually honed smooth and easily maintained by applying mineral oil. This selection is useful in the kitchen, bath, fireplace and other interior applications.