Choosing the Right Stone For the Right Project
Selecting a stone countertop for your first home or renovating a kitchen in real estate property? At Paul White Company we understand the many factors that take you from browsing styles at the stone shop to installation in your kitchen, so we are here to take you step by step in the process.
First, What is the Moh’s Hardness Scale?
The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. All stones and minerals are rated on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being the softest like talc and 10 being the hardest like a diamond.
What are My Options?
Quartzite | Hardness: 7
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from sandstone – extreme heat & pressure fuse the quartz grains together and create dramatic color and veining. Not only is quartzite beautiful but is one of exceptional strength, density and hardness.The abrasion resistance and weathering durability allow for its use in almost any application. Quartzite is not susceptible to staining but a reputable sealer is recommended every few years for added protection for kitchens of high use.
Granite | Hardness: 5 – 6
Granite is the most popular stone used in countertops applications. Solidification of magma under the earth’s surface creates granite as the magma cools. Granites are an excellent choice for kitchen countertops, floors and other heavily used surfaces because of its hardness, low absorption rates and resistance to high temperatures. Offers high resistance to abrasion and scratching, and the primary minerals in granite make it resistant to virtually all chemicals found in a residential setting. Sealing recommendation is every 15 years. A resin is backed into the stone at the quarry providing an additional base of protection.
Dolomite | Hardness: 4
Dolomite is in the marble family and has a higher density and lower absorption rate than calcites. Typically the veining is stunning and performance exceptional making it a wonderful application for countertops, flooring and wall application. Because it is slightly softer than granite, it could etch when exposed to harsh substances left over extended periods of time. Yearly sealing preventative measure is recommended.
Marble | Hardness: 3
Marbles are traditionally prized for their aesthetic appeal with pronounced veining and often bold colors. Marble is ideal for bathrooms, foyers, floors, wall cladding and hearths.Marbles that are composed of calcite are vulnerable to abrasion & chemical attack. Impregnating sealers do an excellent job of preventing stains, but they are still vulnerable. Choose your application and know the cautions. Yearly sealing is recommended to help prevent stains. *Please note stains can most often be removed with a poultice application.
Soapstone | Hardness 3 – 6
Soapstone is largely composed of talac, it’s smooth and pleasing to touch. The darker the soapstone before it’s been oiled or dry waxed, the harder it is – generally light greens and grays are Imported from India and are softer compared to the darker pieces from Brazil which are much harder. Because Soapstone is chemical resistant and won’t stain, and will not crack under intense heat, it is a favorite in the kitchen. Removing any scratching is basic and easy, maintenance is convenient. Soapstone is commonly misunderstood as fragile but between its toughness and its chemical resistance it is a great choice for kitchens.
Quartz | Hardness: 7
Quartz is approximately 93% quartz particles, resins and colorants. It’s the combination of nature and technology. No-porous, scratch and stain resistant – but not proof. No sealers needed – ideal for interior applications.
Porcelain | Hardness: 6.5 – 7.5
Porcelain is a super product that can be used in any temperature setting, perfect for hot pots and pans, resistant to scratches, harsh chemicals and abrasive attack. Suitable for countertops, cladding, large format flooring and facades. Wide range of colors and style makes it a designer’s dream product.
What are Your Goals?
When looking for the right stone, you need to consider where you are installing it:
- How much natural light does your kitchen get?
- Is this your dream home or place you intend to stay long term?
- Is this a fix or flip or a rental property you are working on to maximize value in?
- Is this a first home and steppingstone in house acquisitions?
- What is your budget and how much flexibility have you considered for a countertop
How much natural light does your kitchen get?
Natural light is a huge factor in selecting a stone. A room that has limited light can create a very enclosed feeling with a dark stone. If your goal is to make your area feel as spacious as possible a lighter stone will help open the room up. On the other hand, if your kitchen is full of direct sunlight a quartz product will not be the best choice because the UV rays can fade darker colored quartz. Keep light in mind so an expert can help direct you to the right stone.
The Dream Home Kitchen
If this is your dream home, trust your intuition – when you see a stone and love it, chances are good you’ll always enjoy it! Never try to talk yourself into a section, base your dream kitchen on your tastes and our knowledge. If this is your long-term home, go for what you love, because it will be in your life for years to come. The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home so feel the freedom of making it what you want.
Turning a Profit on a Flip, Fix or Rental?
When working on a project for potential renters or buyers, it is key to appeal to the greatest spectrum of tastes. In addition to neutrality you’ll want to make sure your selection is appropriate for heavy use and low maintenance if your plan is to rent.
Trying to Keep Budget Conscious?
If you are a homeowner designing your dream kitchen, really think about the investment in your kitchen that will be the center of your home for years or even decades to come. If your plan is rental, flip or steppingstone – be conscious of perceived value. Kitchens are the focal point of a home and can help seal the deal with potential renters or buyers.
Thinking of Taking the Next Step?
Have you decided your end goal, have you considered light, application, budget, desired ambiance? Always trust your gut, never try and talk yourself into a selection. Whether your selection is for your dream home or an investment – we’re here to make your job easier!
We welcome you to contact our Stone Division for a direct for a one-on-one complimentary consultation. We are available in-store and virtually for your convenience, please call us today at 207-878-6832!