Is Stone Right for Your Kitchen?
Distinctive: Every stone is different, so the pattern and color you choose is one of a kind.
Durable: Unlike laminate, wood, solid surfacing, or engineered stone, natural stone is unaffected by heat
Virtually seamless: Stone slabs provide a smooth surface without the crumb-catching grout lines typical of ceramic tile tops.
Low maintenance: Just wipe up spills as they occur and reapply sealant when required.
Repairable: Cracks, chips, and scratches can be fixed on-site by a stone restorer. Remove most stains yourself using a poultice.
Impervious to water: Unlike butcher block—or a laminate's chipboard substrate—stone stands up to splashes.
Price: The high cost of quarrying, shipping, and fabricating stone makes it one of the most expensive countertop choices.
Brittle: Stone will crack if it's not evenly supported. Cabinet tops must be flat and level or covered with plywood and shimmed level.
Not DIY-friendly: Except for soapstone, which you can cut with woodworking tools, you'll have to hire a pro to make the sink and faucet holes and to shape the edges of your slab. Stone weighs about 18 pounds per square foot, so you need a well-muscled crew to install it.
Some are stain-prone: Travertine, limestone, and marble blemish easily if not periodically sealed;
less porous stones, such as Vermont slate and soapstone, are more resilient.
May be vulnerable to acids: Citrus fruits, vinegar, and cleaners with bleach or ammonia will etch marbles, limestones, and travertines, even if sealed. A stone restorer can repolish a slab in your home.