Tag Archive for Home Improvement

What are the Pros and Cons of Soapstone Countertops?

Among a wide variety of stone countertops, soapstone countertops are one which are preferred by many homeowners. Soapstone contains quartz, talc and other minerals. The presence of talc makes it soft and elegant. Here are some pros and cons of soapstone countertops.

Pros

  • As the countertops have talc, they are soft providing a smoothy feel when touched. The soft stone gives a homely look to the countertop.
  • They are less porous and hence, gives no chance of liquid absorption. In addition, they also do not allow any stain formation.
  • Various color options of soapstone ranging from light gray to black give a natural earthly appeal to your kitchen countertop. Based on the presence of additional minerals, the vein colors of the countertops also vary that bring a stylish look.
  • The stain-proof characteristic of the soapstone countertops ensures less effort in cleaning.
  • They are even heat resistant and you need not worry when handling hot pans and liquids. They do not tend to break easily with the heat impact and hence, are more durable.
  • As soapstone contains talc, it can be cut easily. It even allows easy shaping as per the customized fit of the kitchen countertop.


Cons

  • High maintenance is required for the soapstone countertops as they have to be cleaned with mineral oil once a week for the first year of use to maintain their sheen and appeal.
  • Even, they get scratched easily and hence, proper maintenance tips have to be followed to remove the scratches.
  • The soapstone countertops cost higher.
  • Their availability is limited and it may be difficult to get the right ones to replace any damaged part of your countertop.

Consider these pros and cons of soapstone countertops when choosing the right fit for your kitchen.

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Comparing Soapstone and Granite Countertops

Soapstone and granite countertops are the popular ones many homeowners add in their kitchen. However, are you worried of which one to choose? Then, go through to know the comparison of these two countertops.

Soapstone is made of chlorite, magnesium silicate and talc. With the presence of talc, it is so soft to touch. Granite is made of various kinds of minerals like mica, quartz and feldspar. Granite countertops are more porous and hence, are more prone to staining. Where as, soapstone is impenetrable and is stain resistant. Any light stains on soapstone countertops can be cleaned easily. However, there is no chance of any permanent stains on them. But, necessary care should be taken to remove stains on granite countertops.

While granite countertops can be available in different color ranges, soapstone countertops are found in limited shades. Soapstone ones are available in light gray to black shades. There are even elegant colors of gray, gray-blue and gray-green. However, you have a wide choice of granite ones with different colors and textures.

One can get granite countertops in all ranges of prices. Granite tile countertops are available in cheaper prices. But, soapstone countertops are only available in mid-ranges of prices. Another great factor of comparison of the two types is the extent of scratches. Granite ones get scratched easily when compared to soapstone countertops. Simple use of sandpaper can remove the scratches on soapstone countertops whereas you need to take much effort to get rid of scratches on granite pieces. Considering these issues, make a right choice when selecting among granite and soapstone materials.

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Pros and Cons of Limestone Countertops

Natural stone serves best for use as countertops. Among the different types of countertop materials, limestone is one which is now being prominently used. Their special characteristics allowed them to use as countertops adding beauty to any room. Here are some pros and cons of limestone countertops.

Pros

  • Softer varieties of limestone countertops can be used in different locations like kitchen, bathroom and fireplaces.
  • Various sizes, textures and soft colors of limestone countertops are available that give a luxurious look to your kitchen.
  • They are much cheaper than granite countertops.
  • Limestone countertops can be molded easily to your customized shape and size without affecting the previous structure.
  • Some harder varieties of these countertops are resistant to scratches and stains like granite countertops.

Cons

  • They are not resistant to scratches as they are much fragile when compared to granite. Hence, cutting boards should be used for knives when you have limestone countertops in your kitchen. Also, trivets and place mats should be placed to avoid any scratches or burning.
  • As they are acid-sensitive, the surface gets easily damaged when lemon or tomato juices spill on the kitchen limestone countertops. The stains on them may demolish the finish of the countertops.
  • Periodic resealing is essential to ensure that they are not stained.
  • Maintenance cost of limestone countertops is very much higher than that of granite countertops.
  • Discoloration of the limestone countertops may occur making it vulnerable to etching.

These pros and cons should be considered when you are selecting the limestone countertops for your kitchen, bathroom or any other area.
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Comparison of Quartz and Granite Kitchen Countertops

Considering the features of various types of countertops is necessary when planning to remodel your kitchen. Of a varied choice of materials, granite and quartz are used by a majority of home owners. However, both of them differ a lot. Here is a comparison of quartz and granite kitchen countertops.

Quartz kitchen countertops are more attractive to look when compared to granite ones. You can find a wide range of colors of the former ones whereas the latter ones are found in only a very few shades. Various patterns, textures and designs of quartz countertops bring a new style to the kitchen. The composition of quartz countertops that include resin enhances binding of the quartz materials which is responsible for the non-porous nature of the material. It is for this reason that the quartz countertops are resistant to any kind of stains. Whereas, granite is very much porous and can allow liquids or chemicals easily into the stone, making it more and rapidly susceptible to staining. This is one of the major differences between the quartz and granite kitchen countertops.

In addition, quartz countertops are resistant to scratches and heat, whereas, granite ones are not. Hence, any use of trivets, place mats, cutting holders and so on is seen associated with granite countertops and not the quartz ones. Compared to quartz countertops, granite ones are less resistant to the growth of bacteria. When you consider the maintenance of both the countertops, you need to take more effort on caring the granite countertops. Whereas, very less maintenance is linked with quartz elements. With all these above characteristics, it can be affirmed that quartz countertops are more durable than granite countertops. Keep in mind these things when you are clinging between the choice of these two materials. However, make a right choice and get your kitchen an attractive design and appeal.

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What are the Pros and Cons of Onyx Countertops?

Among many different types of kitchen countertops, onyx countertops are used these days more popularly. Their stylish appearance makes them look more attractive and appealing when compared to any other materials. Have a look on some of the pros and cons of onyx kitchen countertops.

Pros

  • Onyx countertops look beautiful because of their natural shiny appearance.
  • They are available in different color ranges and appear more elegant with further polishing. A warm instant visual appeal is brought to the kitchen with varied colored onyx kitchen countertops.
  • They resemble the appearance of the stone and hence, you can get a natural beauty to your kitchen.
  • Translucent show up of the countertops look more charming and beautiful with the addition of backlighting and other unique and attractive lighting options.
  • With proper maintenance, these countertops can be durable for a long time.

Cons

  • Though they are durable and last longer than a cheaper laminate worktop, they are not as hard as marble or granite.
  • They are easily susceptible to stains and scratches. Necessary sealants should be applied to the surface of the onyx countertops as a protective agent for avoiding staining and scratching, as a result, regular replacement of sealants should be maintained in turn.
  • Any damage of these countertops is only repaired with the help of a specialist. It is not possible to restore the material back to its original state on your own.
  • As onyx is susceptible to easy damage with acid or alkaline substances, specific pH neutral cleaning materials to maintain their lustrous appearance.

Remember to consider these pros and cons to make a right choice when planning to have onyx countertops for your kitchen.

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