When we think of home we are filled with a feeling of calm and serenity, and when we are styling it, we think of using nothing but the best material for it. So, why should kitchen be left behind, the kitchen where a lot of time is spent doing the most useful activity in the world: “cooking”.
There are different stones that can be selected, like the naturally occurring granite, quartzite, marble, sandstone and man-made stones like quartz etc. Each stone has its own pros and cons and are selected by different people as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
1. Cost: The cost is often one of the key determiners in choosing a stone for the kitchen. The cost of the stone depends on various factors like demand for the stone, the color, the cut, thickness etc, the more difficult to find the stone in nature, the more expensive it becomes.
2. Appearance: The natural stones don’t have a uniform color and design, this may be seen as an aberration or a thing of beauty. While the manmade stones are more uniform in appearance. Natural stones are available only in the colors they occur in nature but to the man-made or engineered stones pigments can be added to lend color to the stone. It is also because of their unique uneven pattern that natural stones are found to be more expensive.
3. Durability and care: Most of the naturally occurring stones are porous in nature, thus requiring more care and maintenance. They need to be sealed after every 2 years. Without proper seal the stains can penetrate into the stone and will lead to staining. The man made stones are not porous and will therefore not absorb liquids and stain requiring less care and are more long lasting than the natural stones. All natural stones require a little more TLC than the engineered stones.
4. Availability- The availability is also a factor when choosing a counter stone for the kitchen, the stone which is locally available will certainly cost less than the stone which may have to be transported over a long distance.
5. Installation- The installations costs differ from stone to stone. For example, granite slabs are difficult to install because of sheer size, whereas the granite tiles being smaller in size can be easily manipulated into installing anywhere.
6. Hardness- The engineered stone counters are very hard, so they don’t crack as easily as granite or slate. It is also resistant to heat, and would therefore not get scorched by it.
Finally choosing a stone counter for the kitchen is not an easy job, it is a place where you spend a considerable amount of time. Natural stones may be beautiful and a joy to look at but a nightmare when cleaning and engineered stone can be manipulated in to any size, shape and color and can be easy to clean too. The choice is a rather subjective one to be made in the end.
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