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Here’s What You Need to Know About Natural Stone Countertops

September 13, 2022 | Countertop, Kitchen Countertops, Marble Countertops

From Strength to Porosity, Here’s Insight into the Different Types of Natural Stone Countertops

The many different types of natural stones not only look different, but their strength and porosity are also quite different. That means that each type of natural stone countertops you could choose from varying levels of durability. While they all share the strength to be used outdoors, and all types of natural stone countertops should be sealed, there are qualities that differentiate them. Let’s dive into their differences further so you can make an educated choice for your kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, or outdoor countertops.

Contextualizing the Differences Between Natural Stone Countertops

Before we can share the strength and porosity of the different types of natural stone countertops, we must first give context to the information. We will highlight the Mohs Hardness of each type of natural stone as well as the percentage of porosity. The Mohs Hardness scale ranks stone on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the strongest. With regard to porosity, the higher the percentage, the more porous the stone – making the stone more absorbent. The higher absorption rate leaves a stone susceptible to more water damage.

This context in mind, here is how all of the different types of natural stone countertops stack up against each other, ranked by overall strength and resistance to water damage:

  1. Cristillo: 7/10 Mohs Hardness, 0.2% porosity
  2. Quartzite: 7/10 Mohs Hardness, variable porosity

    When it comes to nature, nothing is ever perfectly black and white. Quartzite is a stone that is created under heat and pressure, and that balance isn’t always the same, making the porosity of quartzite quite variable, but even in the variability, the porosity is lower than granite.

  3. Granite: 6/10 Mohs Hardness, 0.4-1.5% porosity
  4. Dolomite: 4/10 Mohs Hardness, 0.48-4.85% porosity
  5. Marble: 3/10 Mohs Hardness, 0.5-1.98% porosity
  6. Travertine: 4/10 Mohs Hardness, 12-60% porosity
  7. Limestone: 3-4/10 Mohs Hardness, 40-66% porosity

What’s the Best of the Natural Stone Countertops?

At the end of the day, the kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, and outdoor countertops you choose will always be a personal preference. That makes “best” quite relative in terms of the best natural stone countertops. What we perceive as the best could differ from the dream countertops you have always wanted… the ones that you think are best.

With that said, there are certainly clear distinctions between strength and porosity of the varying natural stone countertops, which has a large impact of their durability. Thinking about Cristillo, for example – that is a natural stone countertop that will look stunning well into the future.

Travertine, however, may be what you have always wanted. While you may still opt for Travertine countertops, you can do so with the knowledge that is has the lowest strength and highest porosity of all of the natural stone countertop types we listed.

Regardless of which natural stone countertops you choose for your home, if they bring you joy, they are the best choice for you.

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