Natural Stone Countertops Basics!

Posted on July 7, 2015 by Val Rocha

Natural Stone Countertops Basics

They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you!  But let me tell you something…. it can sure destroy one of the most valuable investiment you make in your home!! Your natural stone Countertops!!

So, before you venture into the wonderful world of “choosing your Natural Stone Countertops”…. let me share with you my “Natural Stone countertop Basics”!

I am that weird type or person who likes to understand why things work the way they do…. (I know, sometimes it anoys me too…lol)  however looking back and honestely speaking I believe so far that  has served me very well.

With that in mind I want to share with you a couple of  natural stone tips that I believe will be of great help to you. Once you understand them, you can  make an educated decision when selecting your natural stone countertops, or if you already have them at your home, you will be able to better care and maintain  those surfaces knowing exactly what to do and what kind of cleaners to use depending on your particular type of stone.


Natural stones in general are technically classified by its natural composition as siliceous or calcareous.

Siliceous Stones – The main composition of these stone is silica or quartz like particles. These stones are relatively easy to care for, they’re strong and can be maintained with mild cleaning solutions. Granite countertops , slate countertops, sandstone countertops  and quartzite countertops are some of the most used applications done with siliceous stones.


Granite was the natural stone of  choice for this Island Countertop


Slate used on a kitchen Island


Quartzite Countertops




Calcareous stones – on the other hand are composed primarily composed of calcium carbonate, which makes naturally creates a chemical reaction to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes, some cleaners and even acidic water or rain. This reaction will result in a dulling on surface of the stone and alteration in texture, also known as “acid etching”.

Keep in mind that many cleaning products that work on siliceous stone may cause damage to calcareous surfaces. Some of the most popular Calcareous stones are used for  marble countertops, travertine countertops, limestone countertops and onyx countertops .

Marble Countertops


Travertine used on a vanity top


 Limestone Gascogne Blue, used on a vanity countertop


 White Onyx used on a kitchen Island


Now you have it! Understanding the nature of your stone of choice is the first step on choosing the best natural stone for your home.

And as I always like to remind my customers, that there’s no right or wrong natural stone choice as long as you understand its nature and it fits your lifestyle!!

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