Choosing a material is one of the first steps in designing your new countertops. You must not only look at the color but know a little bit about the different materials. When looking at natural stone your options include granite, marble, and onyx. These three materials are all natural but are very different.
Granite is the most popular surface because it is the most dense and least porous. This means that it is less likely to take in any liquids that could cause staining. Also because granite is extremely dense you have a much less likely chance of scratching your tops. Granite generally only scratches if a grain of said gets between your surface and another object. Additionally it is good to know that the darker the granite color, generally the more dense the material.
Marble is also a very popular natural surface, but unlike granite it is not very dense and it is quite porous. For these reasons we do not suggest using marbles for kitchen countertops as this is a very high traffic area with a great change of having spills on your surface that could discolor you countertop. Though marble is a great option for bathroom vanities.
Onyx is a bit more expensive stone and it is much more rare to see this stone used as countertops. This type stone tends to be very vivid though it is much more brittle than granite or marble. This stone is mainly used in pass-throughs or occasionally in high profile bathrooms. We have installed many of these surfaces in pass-thoughs because they tend to be very colorful and they are not 100% opaque.
We have also worked with other man made countertop materials such as CaesarStone, Zodiaq, and IceStone. These materials tend to be more dense than any natural material but they lack the natural look. Though they may not appear as natural as many other surfaces, they can be very appealing in the right setting. Many times modern and contemporary settings lend themselves to these surfaces. In general the only difference in these materials tend to be price and color options, the durability and porosity is almost identical between most man made materials.