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Stone Kitchen Countertops

Last modified: 2018/04/10 | 4 mins

Stone kitchen countertops are very popular in modern kitchens. To help you find the most suitable stone countertop materials for your kitchen, here are the three most used stones for kitchens, with their pros, cons and costs.

Marble countertop

Stone countertop materials

Slate countertop: price and characteristics

Slate is a fined-grained stone. It is usually black but you can also find green, greyish or red slate. This material is waterproof and heat resistant. It is easy to maintain and sanding removes marks and scratches. Also, slate is usually cheaper than granite or marble, although some varieties may be more expensive.

It costs between $50 and $190 per square foot. However, one of the main downsides with this material is that it is very heavy. Therefore, you’ll have to solidify the surface under the countertop to make sure it can support the extra weight.

Slate countertop

Granite countertop: price and characteristics

Granite is a polished stone. It is often considered the best choice for kitchen countertops. This stone come in many different colours and textures. The final result is very sleek and trendy. Granite is resistant to water, heat and stains, even those caused by oils or acidic foods (lemon, fruits, etc.).

It is also easy to clean. However, much like slate, granite is quite heavy. The kitchen cabinet structure under granite countertops will also have to be solidified. Also, this material is expensive: it costs between $40 and 150 per square foot.

Marble countertop: price and characteristics

Marble is a luxurious stone which is naturally soft and smooth. Many colors and patterns are available. This countertop material is very strong and durable. It is resist towards water and heat and is easy to clean. When used for kitchen countertops, marble creates a look that is both pure and sophisticated.

However, marble is more delicate. It doesn’t respond well to stains, especially from oils or acidic foods: applying a sealant is necessary to protect the stone. Therefore, this material is not recommended for the entire kitchen countertop surface. Also, marble is heavy: the underneath structure of the countertops should be solidified. Lastly, a marble kitchen countertop costs between $40 and 200 per square foot.

Marble countertop

Stone countertop maintenance tips

The different materials that are used for stone kitchen countertops all have the reputation of being resistant and durable. However, this does not mean that some efforts are not required for their maintenance. Since cleaning and maintenance methods vary from one material to the other, here are a few tips to apply in order to make sure that your stone countertop stays in tip-top shape for a long time: 

Slate countertops

Slate is known for being water-resistant and easy to clean. In general, a humid cloth will be efficient in removing dirt. For stubborn stains, a mix of water and soap will be effective. 

Once a year, think about applying a layer of linseed oil on the surface of the slate countertop in order to protect it and showcase its beauty.

Granite countertops

Regular maintenance of a granite countertop is fairly easy. For a simple cleaning, you only need a cloth that is soaked in soapy water. If you are faced with stains that just won't dissapear, opt for products that are not abrasive. Instead, you will find products that are specially adapted for this type of material by heading to your local hardware store.  

With regards to long term maintenance, you will have to apply a sealing product on your countertop, repeating this process approximately once a year. This product plays a very important role by acting as a barrier against stains and permanent dirt, whilst protecting the surface from long-term damage. Thankfully, the costs associated with this task are fairly accessible. All in all, the cleaning product should set you back approximately $50. 

Marble countertops

Marble is a noble material that doesn't have anything left to prove in terms of quality. In order to maintain this nice appearance and ensure its durability, it is important to practice good surface maintenance. In order to do so, it is advised that you use a wet cloth for daily maintenance. Much like with granite, abrasive products are not recommended. If we need to remove a stain that just won't leave, we get better results when doing rotating mouvements.

For deep stains and scratches, small grained sandpaper can be very useful. However, the scrubbing must be done softly. Sometimes, after a few years, a deeper sanding may be necessary in order to give the marble its original luster. 

Lastly, the countertop will remain in good shape if we avoid setting down plates and utensils directly on the surface. Most of all, cutting food directly on the counter is a big no-no. Instead, we must always use cutting boards and placemats. 

Recap chart of the prices of stone kitchen countertops

Type of countertop (material) Average price per square foot
Slate countertop Between $50 and $190 per square foot
Granite countertop Between $40 and $150 per square foot
Marble countertop Between $40 and $200 per square foot

To find out about the average prices of different home renovation projects, check out our Home renovation price guide. 

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