Granite and onyx and quartz, oh my! There are so many options when it comes to choosing a natural stone that sometimes the process can seem a little overwhelming. But not to worry, we’ve put together an outline of key considerations to help you choose the perfect stone to complement the vision for your space. Once you’ve landed on one, you can get creative choosing the color, edge profile, corners, and more. Beyond aesthetics, you’ll also want to consider practical aspects such as budget and functionality. So let’s get started, shall we?
Function – Stone Surfaces for the Home
Understanding how your stone will function in your home is the first logical step in making your selection. Will your stone perform a specific job, or is it purely decorative? Certain stones are ideal for specific applications based on their unique properties. For example, soapstone is perfect for fireplaces and pizza ovens given its ability to absorb and radiate heat, while onyx usually serves as a decorative statement piece because of its attractive glossiness and unique banding patterns.
Second, it’s important to consider if your stone will see exposure to sunlight, water, or high heat. Stones like granite and travertine are better suited for outdoor countertops and flooring, thanks to their resistance to sunlight, while stones like quartz are more likely to fade. When it comes to water and other stains, granite wins out again, beating out softer, less stain-resistant stones like marble and travertine. Along with quartz, granite is also heat resistant, making stones in this category ideal for cooking. Marble countertops are comparatively softer and therefore more at risk of scratching and other damage caused by hot pots and pans.
Third, ask yourself if you plan on installing the stone in a high-traffic area. High traffic areas are usually places like kitchen countertops or outdoor spaces, anywhere where the members of your household like to congregate in larger numbers. Durability is key here, and if you know your countertop will see a lot of action, consider something tough like granite or quartz.
Budget – Affordable Stone Countertops for Your Home
You don’t have to break the bank to get the countertops of your dreams. With plenty of options comes plenty of price points to choose from, and deciding which one fits into your budget is just as important as aspects like color and edge profile. On the more affordable end of the spectrum, granite usually ranges from about $40-$60 per square foot for an average of $2,000-$3,000. But just because it’s on the cheaper side doesn’t mean it isn’t a fabulous option. In fact, due to their extreme durability, granite countertops are super resistant to chips and scratches — perfect for children or especially rowdy friends.
On the higher end of the spectrum, soapstone countertops offer a darker, sleeker, and more modern aesthetic, retailing for about $70-$120 per square foot for an average of $3,500-$6,000. For a solid moderate selection, stones like quartz usually fall in the range of $50-$100 per square foot, averaging at around $2,500-$5,000 total. So regardless of your budget, finding the perfect stone for your home is within your reach.
Aesthetics – Choosing the Right Stone Counter and Design for Your Home
When choosing a natural stone, it’s important to take the vision of your entire home into consideration. It’s not just about selecting a stone you find beautiful, but ensuring it flows with every material that makes up your home. Each element of the room should work together, complement one another, and blend into a cohesive look and feel. So while some stones can act as a statement piece, your ultimate goal should be visual harmony within the space. With certain more versatile stones like travertine, you can create flow by continuing the same stone flooring or wall finish both indoors and out.
Countertop Edges and Corners
Edge profiles and corners are another fun way to customize your countertops to fit your aesthetic preferences. Profiles like the full bullnose provide a sharp, timeless look and pair great with granite, while a more modern eased edge paired with marble seamlessly blends contemporary and classic sensibilities.
Colors of Stone Countertops for Your Home
Finally, choosing a color is one of the most essential elements of stone selection—but no pressure—it’s also the most fun. Similar to general aesthetics, it’s important to choose a color palette that complements the rest of your home, suits your design style, and aligns with the interior and exterior of your home. Here’s a helpful hint: set a sample of each stone choice you’re deciding between against fabrics, paint, and any other materials in your home. Consider which stones complement and enhance your design aesthetic, and which ones clash or detract from it. Go with your gut on this one, your first instinct is usually right!
Bring Your Stone Surfaces Design to Life
Natural stone countertops provide a timeless element to any home and offer a fun, rewarding way to express your personal aesthetic, no matter if you prefer granite, quartz, marble, or porcelain. Ready to start selections? There’s a helpful True Blue Surfaces rep ready to get into the process together with you. Schedule an appointment today!
Guide to Selecting the Right Stone Countertop
Remembering which stones go where can get a little rocky. Use this handy guide as a cheat-sheet.
|Granite||An extremely durable, heat-resistant stone perfect for fireplaces or areas with high traffic, like countertops|
|Quartz||A durable, crystalline stone ideal for countertops|
|Quartzite||A tough, glassy stone often used in floors, stairways, and countertops|
|Marble||A popular, usually banded stone great for elegant flooring, showers, or countertops|
|Porcelain||A pale ceramic stone perfect for adding a delicate touch to floors or countertops|
|Onyx||A dark, glossy stone characterized by white banding, ideal for decorative walls or backsplashes in vanity baths and kitchens|
|Soapstone||A dark stone with a matte finish ideally suited for fireplaces, wood stoves, and pizza ovens|
|Travertine||A light-colored, versatile stone perfect for both indoor and outdoor flooring|