This has been quite a shopping trip! Of course I cant make your
choice for you, but heres what Ive done Beginning with the four
options you chose and then adding a few of my own, Ive put together a
list of common stone countertop options and outlined the pros and cons
of each. Condensing the data like this should make it easier for you
to compare your options and make a decision.
Note the price estimates that Im giving you come from a variety of
websites. Most of the countertop companies only price specific
products and jobs. Therefore, I thought it might be useful just to
grab any price estimates I came across and let you see them.
Many natural colors available
Honing gives a nice matte finish
The most durable of all the stone counter options
Comes in large slabs so fewer joints are necessary
Requires sealant every six months to a year
If not sealed then will stain.
Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone.
Uneven coloring in natural granite
Hard to match color if adding a section at a later time
Inflexible can crack on impact
Joints cannot be made invisible
Hard on breakables
Caution: Black granite is sometimes faked, and then will fade over
time. If the granite countertop is not truly black granite, it could
be an import that has been dyed. Over time this dye wears off.
$65 to $100 per square foot installed.
$75 to $200 per square foot installed
Travertine is in the calcite-based family of marble and as such is
generally not recommended for kitchens since it is highly susceptible
to etching by acidic foods. Most of what applies to Marble in general,
also applies to Travertine, so Ive outlined the pros and cons of
marble just below.
Small scratches can be buffed out
Usually sealed to prevent staining and etching
Etched by acids
(some interior designers feel travertine is suitable for kitchens. See
discussion below under Specific References.)
Marble is generally not recommended for kitchens.
Depth of color
Smooth non-stick finish
Needs regular application of sealant
Can be etched by acids such as vinegar
Subject to oil stains, rust stains,
Can lose shine with hard wear (usually only a problem in marble
Efflorescence - appears as a white powdery residue on the surface of
the stone reaction to water.
Price can run about $75 per square foot installed.
Price varies according to edging the type of marble.
* Serpentine, not a true marble, but a green marble look-alike is
often used in kitchens instead because it does not react to acids.
However, it does not come in black.
TUMBLED STONE OLEAN
*you will have to double check this with a dealer, but it appears to
me that Olean products only come as tiles, not continuous countertop.
Numerous colors and patterns
Can match floor, trim etc to countertop
Single tiles easily replaced
Tiles can crack
Color or pattern could be discontinued making tile replacement
Can stain if not sealed
Sensitive to certain cleansers
Soapstone is made up of mineral deposits the main mineral components
in soapstone include talc, chlorite, dolomite and magnetite, giving a
warm, soft feeling to the touch. Because of its durability, soapstone
is the science-lab workbench surface of choice.
Warmer feel than granite or marble
Wont burn or stain
Easier to cut and shape than marble or granite
It is inert, so acids and alkalis will not etch the surface
Joints can be made invisible
Requires frequent application of mineral oil to maintain patina
otherwise turns light grey until it ages.
Soft, prone to chipping
Slabs are smaller than granite, so more joints needed
$50 to $60 per square foot installed.
$75 to $150 per square foot installed
Engineered stone is a surfacing material that results combining
natural materials with binders and pigments. Engineered quartz is
typically made up of 93 percent quartz particles. The result is a
dense, nonporous material that has the grainy look and colder feel of
natural stone, but, has a consistent color and the ability to be
moulded into different shapes.
Can be made in any color.
Color is uniform
Does not require sealant
Harder and more durable than natural stone.
Does not scorch or scratch
More flexible than granite will not crack as easily
Joints cannot be made invisible
Prices run up to $200 per linear foot.
ARTIFICIAL CORIAN etc
Easy to clean and maintain
Easy to apply
Softer on breakables
Wide choice of colors
Can match color if adding more countertop later
Artificial never quite looks natural
Can burn / scorch / melt
Can be cut with sharp knives
OVERALL COMPARISON OF COUNTERTOP MATERIALS
These websites do side-by-side comparisons of major countertop
COUNTERTOPS YOUR OPTIONS
Click on the list on the right side of this page to select the
COUNTERTOP MATERIALS COMPARISON CHART
COMPARISON LIST OF COUNTERTOP MATERIALS
GRANITE VS CORIAN
COUNTERTOP BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION COMPARISON
The National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades
WHY GRANITE COUNTERTOPS and other questions
Countertop Creations: Setting the kitchen apart with options from
quartz to European tile.
Comparison Granite and Marble
MARBLE (and Travertine) VS GRANITE
STONE AND TILE TIPS FOR THE INDUSTRY
COMMON STONE PROBLEMS - MARBLE
CARE AND CLEANING OF INTERIOR MARBLE SURFACES
Home installation of soapstone countertop
Quartz Engineered Stone Countertop Surfaces
Olean Tumbled Stone
*website is slow to load, contains pop ups. Hard to navigate.
Olean Performance Characteristics
Olean grout and tile care
*go to the very last post on this page
Travertine (like any other calcite-based stone) is the wrong choice
as a material for a kitchen countertop, period. Its porosity is not
really an issue, its chemical make-up is. You can control a certain
degree of porosity (with a stone sealer, also dubbed "impregnator");
you cannot control the chemical make-up of natural stone. Those
blotches that you see are etch marks (surface damages, that is, not
stains). They can be fixed professionally, but they can't be
Travertine Cure / Clean
Travertines are much softer in appearance and color (than other
natural stones), and theyre just beautiful. I think theres been a
lot of misinformation about whats appropriate for a countertop and
whats not. As soon as people hear travertine or limestone, they
automatically say, Oh, I dont want that in my kitchen. Its going to
get dirty and stained. Well, if you dont seal it, it probably will.
But the sealers on the market today are so good that you can use
virtually anything you want.
we are seeing a resurgence of interest in travertine, marble and
limestone on the kitchen counters and floors. We estimate 15 percent
of today's kitchens are using the calcium - based stones."..
USER DISCUSSION RE COUNTERTOP MATERIALS
So, that should give you a good comparison of the countertop options
you were looking at plus a few more you may want to consider. Not
that my opinion matters in your final selection, but I must say the
engineered quartz (which I had never heard of until I started on this
question) and the soapstone hold the greatest appeal for me.
Thanks so much for your question. If anything Ive said isnt clear,
or if any of the links dont work, please dont hesitate to ask for a
clarification. Id be happy to oblige.
Countertop options stone
Countertop materials comparison
Countertop [granite] [soapstone] [travertine] etc