Your Most Commonly Asked Questions About Soapstone Countertops, Answered

Is soapstone the right material for your kitchen or bathroom? If you’re trying to decide what kind of countertop to install in your home, answers to these common questions can help you make your decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Is soapstone a good countertop material?

Yes, soapstone is a valued countertop material that has been popular in farmhouse style kitchens for a long time. It’s durable, unlikely to crack from excess weight or stress on the stone, and available in a variety of colors.

Are soapstone countertops expensive?

Soapstone countertops can be a little more costly than granite and quartz, though there is some overlap in costs between mid-range soapstone and mid-range granite and quartz. Prices vary so get a quote from a quality stone dealer before deciding between one or the other.

Do soapstone countertops scratch easily?

Soapstone is not as hard as granite, which means it does need to be protected from scratches. Use a cutting board on your soapstone and avoid slicing any food directly on your countertops. You should also avoid sliding heavy items with scratchy bottoms across your soapstone.

Which is better for countertops, quartz or soapstone?

This depends entirely on your needs. Quartz is a man-made product that’s scratch resistant and virtually maintenance-free. It comes in a range of patterns and colors, and can be made to resemble other natural forms of stone, like marble and granite.

Soapstone is a natural stone that also comes in a range of colors and patterns, but not as many patterns as quartz. Soapstone has a unique warmth and not replicated by quartz. People who want quartz are often attracted to its durability and flexibility, while people who want soapstone are attracted to the unpolished finish, elegant coloring and its natural beauty.

Can you put a hot pan on soapstone?

Yes, you can put a hot pan on soapstone. It’s always advisable to use a hot pad, but placing a hot pan directly on soapstone is unlikely to crack it.

What is the most maintenance-free countertop?

Quartz is regularly cited as the most maintenance-free countertop available. It does not need to be sealed or polished, and it is resistant to stains.

Is soapstone high maintenance?

No, soapstone is not high maintenance. Like any other type of countertop material, soapstone needs regular cleaning by a rag dampened with warm soapy water. Many homeowners also oil their soapstone periodically, giving it a dark patina that gets darker with time. This is more for looks than out of necessity.

What is the best countertop for your money?

Quartz and soapstone are both good quality products that make excellent countertops and have high value among home buyers. The best countertop for your money depends on your priorities. Do you want a low-maintenance countertop that will last a lifetime? Do you love the natural elegance and sophistication of soapstone? The best countertop for your money is a countertop that fits in your budget and will please you for years into the future.

Is soapstone cheaper than granite?

No, soapstone tends to cost at least as much as granite, and often costs slightly more. Some slabs of soapstone cost as much as some slabs of granite. To get the best deal for soapstone counters (or granite counters), shop around. Buy stone from a dealer that stands behind their product and provides good installation.

Is soapstone hard to maintain?

No, soapstone is not hard to maintain, especially compared to stone like marble, which will likely need to be resealed on a regular basis to prevent it from staining.

Can soapstone get wet?

Yes, soapstone can get wet without fear that water will damage it.

What are the pros and cons of soapstone countertops?

Pros:

  • Soapstone has a unique appearance, with a matte finish that stands apart from other types of stone.
  • Soapstone is an all-natural material.
  • Soapstone is durable and heat resistant.
  • Soapstone is a high-quality stone that increases the value of your kitchen.

Cons: 

  • Soapstone scratches easily and is not as durable as some other materials on the market (like quartz).
  • Soapstone can be more expensive than materials like quartz and granite.

Should soapstone be sealed?

Soapstone does not need to be sealed, but it can benefit from regular applications of oil.

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Remodel My Kitchen?

If you’re like most homeowners, your kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked rooms of your house. In fact, you likely use the room several times per day for cooking, cleaning and doing dishes. Your kids sit at the counters doing homework, your guests hang out in the kitchen as they watch you put the finishing touches on dinner.

With that kind of heavy, regular use, your kitchen will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. Without regular updates, your kitchen could become an eye sore, or non-functional. Knowing when and how to update can help you keep your home in good condition, and can even improve your quality of life. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common signs that your kitchen needs to be updated.

1. You Need More Storage Space

Maybe your pots and pans used to fit nicely in the cabinets. Lately, you’ve acquired more dishes and specialty cooking items. You’re starting to fill up your counters with clutter, because you’re running out of room in your cabinets.

This is a sign that it’s time to expand your kitchen and/or install new cabinets. Work with a contractor to choose the best cabinet configuration for you. If you need a larger kitchen altogether, work with your contractor to move a wall, install new flooring, expand your counter space and install counters to fit.

2. You Plan to Be in Your Home for a Long Time

A kitchen remodel isn’t cheap. Standard remodels, including new appliances, new flooring and new countertops cost between $10,000 and $40,000. However, if you’re committed to your home and plan to stay in your house for the next several years or decades, a remodel is worth the expense.

A good kitchen remodel can improve your quality of life by making your kitchen a more functional, beautiful place to spend time. Talk to a contractor to troubleshoot issues you’re having in the kitchen. Just a few smart changes can make your kitchen the room you’ve always wanted it to be.

3. Your Kitchen Is a Disaster After Every Meal

It’s common for kitchens to get messy after big meals, but if your kitchen is consistently a mess every time you cook, then you likely need more work space. Work with a contractor to expand your counter space or even your floor space. The more room you have to move around, cut up food, chop vegetables and more, the easier it will be to prepare delicious meals.

4. Your Countertops and Floors are Showing Their Age

Maybe your counters and floors were the height of fashion 20 years ago, but today they make your kitchen look old and dated. Installing new counters can make the room beautiful once again. Contact an expert to discuss installation and to view material samples before choosing the right countertops and flooring for you.

Custom Countertops – From Selection, to Measuring to Installation – Everything You Need to Know

Custom countertops add beauty and elegance to your kitchen. Installation is a multi-step process, starting with the selection of the material and ending with the installation process itself. Knowing what to expect can help you step-by-step as you choose the right stone, get quotes, and select your contractor.

Explore Your Options

Start the process of installing new countertops by choosing countertop material you like. Most homeowners gravitate toward natural stone because they love its durability, beauty, and longevity. Natural stone is also low-maintenance. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Granite was the go-to countertop material for many years. Homeowners love granite because it’s very hard, scratch-resistant, and available in a range of colors and patterns. Granite needs to be resealed periodically to increase its water resistance.
  • Marble is prized for its enduring beauty. This material comes in a range of colors but most homeowners are attracted to white and gray options. Compared to granite, marble is a softer stone that can scratch somewhat easily. It needs regular maintenance in order to maintain its appearance, and regular sealing to prevent it from absorbing liquid.
  • Quartz is the new kid on the block in the world of stone countertops, but it’s quickly surpassing granite in its popularity. Quartz is even stronger, longer-lasting and more durable than granite. Best of all, it does not require regular sealing to continue looking its best.

Measure

Most homeowners need to know how much they can expect to spend on their new countertops, and in order to know that, they must first take measurements. Measuring counters is easy and yet not entirely intuitive. Some tips:

  • Measure twice to ensure accuracy.
  • Draw a diagram of your kitchen including drawings of the counters, then record the measurements on the diagram for easy reference later.
  • Make the diagram to-scale, if possible.
  • Include your sink and cooktop in the countertop square footage.

To get the square footage of your counters, measure the length and the depth. Multiply the length by the depth, and then divide by 144. Keep this number handy for your conversations with stone contractors, as this will become important information when you’re placing an order or getting estimates.

Select a Contractor

Select the right contractor to install your countertops. Start by contacting at least three contractors, to compare their prices and their product. Communication is important when considering contractors. Ask each contractor questions to get a sense for how that contractor communicates. They should answer all your questions to your complete satisfaction.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Portfolio. Take a look at their previous work to get a sense for their style and quality.
  • References. Contact at least two references before signing a contract with any contractor.
  • Contract. Read the contract well before signing and don’t sign unless you’re comfortable with the terms.

How to Choose Your Countertop Stone – Pros and Cons of Stone Types

How to Choose Your Countertop Stone – Pros and Cons of Stone Types

A lot goes into the selection of your countertops, and it’s not all about the way the countertops look. Each material performs in its own way. As a consumer, it’s important to know the various materials inside and out, so you can choose the material that suits your needs. In this post, we’ll review three of the top-selling countertop types: granite, marble and quartz. With this information, you can decide what kind of countertop is (and isn’t) right for you.

Granite

Granite was the most coveted stone countertop material for years. Its natural beauty and durability come together to create a long-lasting, elegant countertop material for modern kitchens.

Pros

  • Lifetime investment – Granite lasts for decades, with proper maintenance.
  • Color and patterns  Granite comes available in almost any color you might want, though the most common counters are available in neutral colors like gray, black and brown.
  • Limited maintenance – Maintain your granite by wiping it down with a damp dishrag; reseal it occasionally to improve its water resistance.

Cons

  • Porous – Granite is naturally absorbent and can stain if not properly sealed.
  • Lack of uniformity – Because granite is a natural stone, there may be a lack of uniformity in the patterns, especially from one slab to another.
  • Limited slab size – Longer counters may need to be made up of multiple combined slabs, leaving a seam between slabs.

Marble

Marble has long been associated with wealth and beauty. Often seen in pristine shades of white and gray, marble has a luminescence that some homeowners are drawn to. This is a stone for homeowners seeking a particular aesthetic that you can only find in marble.

Pros

  • Longevity – Properly maintained marble can last for decades, just like granite.
  • Beauty – Marble is most commonly available in shades of white and gray that match modern kitchens and bathrooms perfectly.
  • Value – Marble is associated with wealth and can be very impressive to home buyers, which could translate to a higher resale value when the time comes to sell your home.

Cons

  • Soft – Unlike granite and quartz, marble is easily etched and scratched.
  • Iron deposits – Some marble contains iron deposits and can turn yellow or brown with time when exposed to water; proper sealing can protect it.
  • Maintenance  Marble requires regular sealing to prevent staining and other types of damage.

Quartz

Quartz has replaced granite as the most desirable countertop material found in modern homes! It’s long-lasting and even lower maintenance than granite.

Pros

  • Low-maintenance – Quartz is a man-made countertop material that is non-porous, so it doesn’t stain or require sealing.
  • Variety of color – Because it’s man-made, quartz is available in nearly all colors and patterns, and can be made to look like marble or granite if desired.
  • Uniformity – Quartz is made to be uniform, with consistent colors and patterns.

Cons

  • Cost – Quartz can be one of the more costly types of materials. Work with your stone dealer/installer to explore options and find a product that fits your budget.
  • Seams still visible – Although quartz is man-made, larger slabs may still have a seam between slabs.
  • It’s not natural stone – If you’re seeking a totally natural countertop stone, explore marble or granite options.

 

Countertop Trends to Keep an Eye Out for in 2020

For years, kitchen countertop trends remained largely unchanged, with granite as the king of the kitchen. In recent months, trends have shifted. New materials and new applications for those materials have surfaced in interior design catalogs and on home decor websites. If you’re a homeowner redesigning your kitchen in 2020, knowing the latest trends can help you transform an old, dated kitchen into the stunning centerpiece of your home.

Dress It Up with Quartz

Quartz is taking the lead as the preferred material for kitchen countertops. Why quartz?

  • It’s hard as rock – harder in fact. Quartz is harder than granite, so it’s less susceptible to chipping and cracking.
  • It doesn’t stain. Whereas granite and marble is porous, quartz is not, so it can’t absorb liquids in the way natural stone does.
  • It comes in all the colors and patterns. Quartz can be made to imitate any other type of stone, including marble and granite.
  • Its coloring is more consistent and predictable. Quartz is a man-made stone, so it doesn’t have the natural un-predictable variations you find in natural stone.

Homeowners everywhere are making the switch to quartz. It varies in cost and quality, just like other types of countertop materials, so talk to your countertop dealer to find the right kind of quartz for your kitchen remodel.

Make a Splash with a Countertop Waterfall

This is a new concept making an appearance in high-end kitchens. Waterfall countertops usually take the form of an island, with a vertical wall of matching countertop material on either side of the counter, forming an elegant box of stone. Countertop waterfalls can be costly, but they’re also striking in appearance. Work with your countertop supplier to design your own countertop waterfall. Choose the material carefully, as it will become one of the dominating features in your kitchen.

Get Matchy-Matchy With Countertop and Backsplash

Are you in love with your countertop material? Want to see more of it? If so, you probably relate to homeowners who have recently started installing countertops with backsplash made from matching material. This matchy-matchy design creates continuity in the kitchen, and there’s another advantage as well: solid stone backsplashes are easy to clean.

Whereas tile backsplashes tend to stain in the grout and crevices between tiles, granite slabs have no such crevices. As one large, smooth surface, stone slab backsplashes are exceptionally easy to clean and easy to maintain. Slab backsplashes also require less sealing than the matching countertop because they’re not as often exposed to acidic liquids that could etch the surface. Buy your stone counters and backsplash from a reputable dealer to ensure quality.

Your Most Commonly Asked Questions About Granite Countertops, Answered

Granite is one of the most stunning and beautiful countertop materials available on the market today. Its durability, natural beauty and longevity is famous among homeowners. However, there are many things that remain unknown about granite. In this article, we’ll answer your top 10 most common questions about granite.

Can I Cut On Granite Countertops?

Yes, technically, you can use your granite counters like a cutting board. Knives will not scratch your granite countertops. However, some acidic foods, like oranges and lemons, can etch your countertops. Etching can lead to liquid absorption and staining. You can prevent this from happening by using cutting boards when chopping food.

Does Granite Stain?

Granite is porous. If it is not properly sealed, it may stain. You can prevent stains by keeping your granite countertops properly sealed and by wiping up spills when they happen.

Can Granite Countertops Be Damaged?

Though granite is very hard and resistant to damage, it is not indestructible. Granite can be stained, especially by liquids like red wine and cooking oil. Keep your granite countertops properly sealed and wiped down to prevent stains.

To tell whether granite is well sealed, leave a spill of water on your granite for an hour. If the granite develops a wet spot that will not wipe away, this means your granite is absorbing water and needs to be properly sealed. The wet spot will go away as the water in the stone evaporates.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Granite Countertops?

Wipe your counters with a damp cloth. Clean your granite at least once daily with a soapy dish rag. To disinfect your granite, spray it with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Allow the alcohol to sit on the counters, then wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth

Does Granite Harbor Bacteria?

If your granite is properly sealed, it should not absorb bacteria and germs. However, it’s important to keep your granite clean to protect yourself from food-borne illnesses. Disinfect your counters regularly, and wipe them down with soapy water after every use

Why Should I Choose Granite Over Other Materials?

Granite has been the choice of homeowners everywhere for decades, because of its natural beauty and durability. Granite can last for decades. In fact, your granite countertops will probably outlast most of the other fixtures in your home, if you decide to keep your counters that long.

Many homeowners are attracted to granite because it comes from nature and is quarried from the earth. If buying eco-friendly granite is important to you, work with your contractor to purchase granite from a local quarry. Granite from local sources is more eco-friendly because it requires less fuel for transportation

How Much Maintenance Does Granite Require?

Granite needs to be resealed occasionally, when the old sealer wears off. Granite also needs to be cleaned daily to keep off bacteria. Unless the granite becomes damaged, this is the only maintenance your granite should need

Can Granite Be Repaired?

Granite that becomes chipped and cracked can be repaired. Products like epoxies and resins can fill the spaces in your granite. Contact your granite contractor either for repair or to purchase a DIY kit

Does Granite Need To Be Resealed Regularly?

Yes, granite needs to be resealed every 1 to 5 years, depending on how much you use your counters, where the counters are located in your home and what kind of sealant you use on your counters

Can I Put Hot Pans on Granite?

We don’t recommend that you put hot pans on granite. Heat from pans can damage the seal on your stone, which could in turn lead to stains, water absorption and even cracking. Though granite can survive brief exposure to heat, you should still use a hot pad.

Are you ready to purchase granite for your countertops?  Contact Seacoast Stone to view our natural stone countertops and make your purchase today.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: Marble Countertops

Marble is a classic building material often found in homes, museums and building lobbies. If you love classic beauty and architecture, there’s a good chance you’ll love marble countertops. However, marble has some characteristics that make it slightly more maintenance intensive in kitchen settings. The more you know about marble, the easier it will be for you to decide if this is the right material for you.

What Should You Do to Select Marble For Kitchen Counter Tops?

Spills from red wine, dark sauces and oil can discolor your marble. Darker colored marble, like green, black and red, show far fewer stains than lighter, more delicate shades of marble (like white). Before choosing a type of marble for your kitchen, consider your cooking habits, how messy (or clean) your kitchen usually is, and act accordingly.

Before choosing a particular type of marble, ask to see several samples. Hold the samples up to your kitchen cabinets, floors and walls. Look at the samples in different lights and make your choice. Don’t pick your counters from a picture, and if possible, look at the samples in the room where they’ll be installed.

Why Would You Choose Marble Over Granite Countertops?

Most people who seek out marble countertops know right away that they want marble. They love its delicate beauty, its luscious elegance, and its affiliation with luxury. That said, marble is not for everyone. Compared to granite, marble is more porous and softer. You should choose marble if it matches the aesthetic quality you seek, but be aware that marble does require regular sealing and will need regular cleaning to prevent it from staining.

What Are The Pros Of A Marble Countertop?

By far, the greatest benefit of a marble countertop is its stunning beauty. Marble comes in a variety of colors (white, gray, green, red, black, taupe) and with a variety of markings. Choosing a marble to match your kitchen is easy, because it comes in so many colors and types.

Marble is also naturally heat resistant and resistant to cracking. It’s also easy to find marble with unique edge profiles because it’s a soft stone that’s easy to shape. Marble is also 100% natural, which makes it an eco-friendly product.

What Are The Cons Of A Marble Countertop?

Marble is not as durable as some other types of countertop material. Specifically, marble is much softer than granite and can be easily scratched or marred. If you use your kitchen countertops for heavy-duty cooking and food prep, granite may be a better choice, as it is less likely to become stained or scratched.

Work with your contractor to choose the right material for your home. You can avoid these pitfalls by keeping your marble properly sealed and by using cutting boards to protect your marble from scratches.

Marble that is not properly maintained may lose its natural beauty, become scratched and dull, and may need refinishing in order to regain its former beauty.

Can You Place Hot Pans And Pots On A Marble Countertop?

Marble is not easily damaged by high temperatures. However, hot pots and pans can damage the sealant that protects marble, which could lead to discolorations and stains. You can protect your marble by placing a hot pad on your counter before putting any hot pots and pans on its surface.

Ready to Buy Marble Counters? Contact the Experts

Are you ready to purchase marble counters for your kitchen? Contact Seacoast Stone to get started with your marble installation and purchase. We help homeowners select and install marble counters for their home.

 

Kitchen Redesign – Learn How to Match your Countertop(s) with the Cabinets and Flooring

So, you’re remodeling your kitchen. If you’re still in the early stages of your remodel, then you’re probably spending a lot of time looking at potential materials and colors, trying to find the perfect match. It’s hard to envision how the many parts of your remodel will come together when everything is said and done.

Knowing how to match countertops with flooring (and match countertops to cabinets) can help make your home improvement project easier and less stressful. Finding the perfect combination of floors, cabinets and counters will also help you feel satisfied with the finished remodel. Here’s what you need to know.

Combine Natural Materials

Natural materials match other natural materials. Even if they’re not the same color, they match each other thematically. If you’ve selected a stone countertop material, like granite or quartz, stick to other natural materials for your cabinets and floors. Explore wood and bamboo cabinet options, and soapstone or marble flooring. Work with your stone contractor to look at a variety of countertop and flooring options.

Match Color Warmth

Stone countertops are usually a neutral color or a combination of neutral colors. Generally speaking, neutrals can be divided into two groups: cool gray and warm brown. Cool gray colors look best when combined with cabinets that are painted shade of green or blue. Cool gray also combines well with colors like rich black and stark white. White is an especially popular kitchen color because of its clean, fresh appearance. As a result, gray and white counters are now a go-to countertop product for homeowners remodeling their kitchen.

Warm browns are best matched with other warm colors like deep reds, burnt orange and mustard yellow. Warm brown countertops are often installed in kitchens where the wooden cabinets have been stained but not painted, and the warmth of the wood is the predominant color in the kitchen.

View Samples

Never choose a countertop material from a photograph in a catalog. Catalog photographs, though helpful when narrowing your choices down to a few favorites, do not give you a good sense for what a countertop will really look like.

Ask your contractor to see samples. When choosing a natural stone (instead of a man-made product like quartz), ask to see multiple samples, because color variations are common in natural stone. Hold samples against your cabinets and floors to get a sense of how the materials will look together in the same space. View samples at different times of day and in different types of lighting.

Avoid Matchy-Matchy Combinations

Too much pattern-matching can be overwhelming. Avoid using the same type of stone for both the floors and counters. Instead, choose two different kinds of stone. Look for stone combinations that share some colors, but have different patterns. Choose at least one stone with a relatively solid pattern.

Work with the Experts

Should countertops match cabinets and floors? Work with expert installers can help you make this decision. Contact Seacoast Stone to view samples of materials that fit your budget. We can help you identify materials that will match your counters and floors, so call today to find out more.

How to Clean Your Stone Countertops / Maintaining Your Stone Countertops

Most stones are very durable and long-lasting, requiring minimal care to look its best. If you own stone countertops or are planning to install stone countertops in your home, knowing how to maintain that stone can help you take care of your kitchen or bathroom, where ever it is installed. Following these best practices, you can keep your stone looking as attractive as it did the day you bought it. Here’s what you need to know.

Maintenance Challenges

Stone can be damaged in the following ways:

  • Stains. Most stones are porous and can absorb liquids. Unsealed stone is easily stained by cooking oils, wine and other products often found in the kitchen.
  • Scratches. Soft stone, like marble, is easily scratched or worn down. Soft stone can be damaged by knife marks and scratches from appliances.
  • Etching. Acidic liquids like vinegar can etch away sealer and hard surface of the stone. Etched stone absorbs liquid easily, is less shiny and can be easily stained.
  • Chips and cracks. Stone can be broken when impacted by heavy objects.

How to Clean

Clean your stone once each day by wiping it down with a damp microfiber cloth. Use mild detergent. Clean up spills when they occur to prevent your stone from absorbing liquid, especially if the liquid is a dark red or brown. Do not use acidic or corrosive cleaning products on your stone.

Maintenance Tips

Although stone is vulnerable to scratches, damage from intense heat and staining liquids, there are many things you can do to protect natural stone from potential damage.

  • Never cut directly on stone. Do not use your stone countertops as a cutting surface. Use a wooden cutting board to prepare food.
  • Use a hot pad when cooking. Never place a hot pot or pan on your counters. Use a hot pad to protect your stone counters from extreme temperatures.
  • Protect your stone counters from gouges and high impact. Use common sense when setting heavy or sharp objects down on your counters, to protect your counters from potential cracks and scratches.

Finally, seal stone as needed. Sealed stone repels water without absorbing it. If water fails to bead up on your stone counters and instead is easily absorbed, then the counter needs to be resealed. Work with a contractor to have your stone properly treated, or use a quality sealing product and apply it yourself. Always check your stone’s warranty before applying sealer, to avoid applying a product that could invalidate the warranty. Not sure what sealer will work with your stone? Contact your stone supplier for advice.

Want a Low Maintenance Product? Try Quartz

Although most types of stone are relatively low maintenance, quartz is even lower maintenance. This engineered stone is scratch resistant and water resistant, and requires no regular applications of sealer. The only regular maintenance required by most quartz is cleaning! With a mild detergent and warm soapy water, you can keep your quartz looking its best for years to come.

Contact Seacoast Today

Want low-maintenance, beautiful stone counters (including granite/marble/quartz soapstone) that look beautiful and last for decades? Contact Seacoast Stone. We sell quality products like natural/engineered/manufactured stone. We’ll also provide you with maintenance instructions, so you’ll feel prepared to take care of your stone counters from the day they’re installed.

Questions to Ask When Shopping For Stone Countertops

There’s a lot more to stone than what you can see with your eyes. Asking questions before making a purchase can help you decide whether the countertop you want to buy is the right product for you. Working with a reputable stone dealer is also important. The better the dealer, the more accurate and thorough the answers will be. Below are some of the most important questions to ask the sales department before making your countertop purchase.

Does this stone need to be sealed?

Sealants are sometimes used on natural stone to prevent the stone from absorbing oils and liquids. This can protect stone from spills in the kitchen or bathroom, and may prevent stains. Sealant also darkens stone, and can give it a shiny appearance. If you’re thinking about sealing your stone countertops, talk to your stone dealer first. Your stone dealer can help you find a sealant that will provide the finish you want for your counters.

Do the samples match the finished product?

Natural stone comes with variation in colors and textures so that one part of the slab might look very different from other parts. A single sample of a stone slab may not show the many colors and textures present in other parts of the slab. The larger the sample, the easier it will be to get a true sense of what the full slab will look like. Take more than one sample tile if you can. If you see a lot of variation and you’re not comfortable with that, a different type of stone may be better for you.

Will there be fissures or chips?

Fissures are weak points in the stone. Fissures can cause the stone to break, either during installation or after it’s installed. If the stone breaks during installation, you’ll have to buy extra stone just to account for wasted product.

Knowing about the natural fissures in a slab you’re thinking about purchasing can help you decide if that stone is right for your counters. Especially if your counters are long and large, fissures will be less avoidable and more problematic. A good stone dealer will tell you about natural defects in the stone, to help you make a more informed decision.

Is it durable?

Some stone is softer and more vulnerable to damage from cleaning products than others. Your personal habits in the kitchen and the durability of the countertops will affect how your counters look after just a few years of use. Marble, for example, is prone to scratching. Limestone can be etched by cleaning products. If you’re hard on your counters, granite or quartz may be the best product for you.

Where does this come from?

Stone is very heavy and requires a great deal of energy to transport from one place to another. Often, the most environmentally friendly stone comes from local sources. If eco-friendly stone is important to you, find out where the stone comes from and how it is produced.

Have More Questions? Contact an Expert

Thinking about buying stone countertops? Do you have more questions to ask the fabricator, or perhaps questions to ask the installer? Contact Seacoast Stone for the answers to your questions about natural stone countertops.