If you're designing a new custom kitchen and want to give it a natural ambience, you could install a stone countertop. To help you make the right choice, here are some tips.
Because natural stone varies so much, it's best to see your chosen slabs in person if you can, rather than relying on a representative sample. You can choose between rock types, each of which offers variety within a characteristic range. For example, granite can exhibit a consistent, smooth grey surface with minimal speckles. Or it can be irregular, with yellow, cream, and brown mottling.
Other stone species, such as marble and travertine, also offer plenty of choices. Marble comes in white, pink, black, and other hues, and it can be dramatically veined or uniformly subdued. Because stone is an organic substance, its design is not predictable.
You may assume that, as stone endures in the natural world for eons, it will easily cope with life in your kitchen. However, stone countertops are not infallible, despite possibly being around for thousands of years. Plus, they vary in their resilience. For example, granite is tougher than many other varieties. It's extremely hard and is not easily scratched or scorched.
On the other hand, marble is more reactive, and it can etch if you spill acidic foods and drinks, like tomatoes or orange juice, on the surface. Marble is also softer and can scratch more easily. Bear in mind that these are generalisations, and each stone slab is different. The same type of stone can vary in resilience depending on its colour. For example, dark-coloured granite can be harder than light-toned granite.
To maintain stone counters, follow a few straightforward rules. Seal them as recommended to create a nonporous surface that is less likely to stain. Wipe spills promptly, without using harsh cleaners. Additionally, you can resort to cutting boards and trivets when cooking to minimise the risk of damage.
An important aspect of a stone countertop is the seams, the joins where multiple slabs connect. If a benchtop forms an L shape, you can see the seam where it turns the corner. Ideally, you need to hunt to find it, as it's barely noticeable. After all, it's more important that people admire the stone's beauty than notice how it's constructed.
The specific design of the stone is crucial to how subtle the seams can be. Consistently patterned and coloured slabs help, as they can be put together and the stone will be quite similar on both sides of the seam. Thus, the joint will be less apparent. On the other hand, variegated slabs that are patterned in one spot and uniform in another can be harder to connect to appear seamless in custom kitchens.
Contact a contractor for more information about custom kitchens.