Category Archives: Countertops

Stone Counter Finishes

When most people consider finishes on stone, they think of what’s available for stone tiles. When it comes to countertops, the vast majority of homeowners tend to choose polished slabs, with a few also looking for honed material. There are other looks available as well, and understanding what each finish is can help you find the right look for your home.

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Polishing is the most popular finish for most stones often because of the flaws it hides. Things like fissures and pits are often less obvious in softer stones or stones that are prone to them, simply because the high polish reflects the light off of them and hides them. Polishing also makes the colors of the stone brighter and richer, making it more desirable for bold colored stones or stones with wild grain patterns.

Honing is the second most popular finish, particularly for very dense stones like Absolute Black. Honing gives the stone a smooth, matte finish with a duller color. Because the surface isn’t reflective, some stones don’t hone well because of the numerous tiny surface pits and fissures they contain, which may not have been visible until honing.

Leathering is a newer finish that is a nice blend between honing and polishing, but with a lot of extra depth and texture to the stone. Leathering starts by honing the stone, then adds extra texture by working with the natural surface of the stone. The finish is finally filled or sealed to close the natural pores and holes in the stone, resulting in a finish that is matte like a honed stone, but with a deeper, richer color like the polished stones. This is a nice choice for homeowners that want a matte finish, but still want the rich color and “closed” surface of the stone.

Not every stone will look its best in every finish. Learn the differences so you can find the perfect complement to the stone you love.

Stone Counter Thicknesses

Stone countertops are available in a wide range of different thicknesses. Some stones are more likely to be available in one thickness versus another, while others may be able to be built up to appear thicker than they are. Most counters, however, are available in standard thicknesses from the majority of fabricators.

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2cm is one of the more common thicknesses for marble and some granites. Also known as ¾-inch stone, this is often a less expensive option usually seen in bathrooms. 2cm thick stone may be more prone to problems with overhangs if used in kitchens or on bars, and sometimes needs and underlayment of plywood for support.

3cm stone is the other more common thickness for most granites and some marbles. Also known as 1-1/4-inch stone, this is the preferred choice of most homeowners for kitchens and other larger counters. If the stone is durable enough, it can sometimes be used without any supports beneath it on the cabinets.

Some proprietary stones for sink legs and other decorative settings may be available in 2 or 3-inch thicknesses as well. This is particularly popular for Bianco Carrara and other white marbles, although it should be noted that most faucet stems are not long enough to go through this size of stone, so an extender is needed, or the stone should be carved away in the back to accommodate it.

Another popular option for homeowners that want the look of thicker stone, but not the accompanying expense, is to use a built edge. This involves epoxying another piece of stone to the underside of the overhang or edge and grinding and polishing the two pieces together into one edge. Unless you look closely at the edge to see the seam, it can make the stone appear to be much more substantial.

Some manufactured stones, such as agate and other gemstone-based counters, can also be produced or cast to have a thick-looking edge as well.

Countertop thicknesses are fairly universal, meaning that most fabricators will offer similar options to give you the most choices for your home.

Granite

Granite slabs can offer continuity in fabricating tops for a particular room or project depending on the size and scope of the project. Be aware that granite colors and patterns can very even within the same block of stone, one slice of stone can vary from the  next one cut.

Design opportunities are limited only by your imagination. Modern fabrication facilities such as those at Real Stone & Granite Corp. can cut intricate shapes and patterns out of granite. This stone material can also be cut into tiles for back splash, flooring and shower applications. Medallions or inserts can be installed into any granite product by skilled craftsmen using the latest water jet technology.

Real Stone & Granite Corporation offers an extensive selection of granite slabs and is continually adding to the collection of exclusive colors and patterns that will allow you to create that unique kitchen, bath, flooring or decorative project you’ve been dreaming of.

Blue Granite Counter Top

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Soapstone

Soapstone is a quarried natural stone for countertops, flooring and a variety of tile applications. As a stone material it offers finishes and characteristics that set it apart from other stone materials. Interior design professionals enjoy the various colors and patterns of soapstone for design applications that create an exclusive look.

Soapstone Countertop For Kitchen

Soapstone Kitchen Countertop

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