Sedona Stone provides fabrication and installation of all kinds and types of stones, both natural and engineered.  Whether you choose a natural stone countertop such as granite, marble, onyx, soapstone, or quartzite or you go with engineered quartz product, it's good to be educated on the different types of countertop materials and the best uses of each. Not all natural stone or man made materials are alike in both in functionality or care.   Natural stone itself has many color variations, patterns for all of the different types and an unsurpassed elegance and beauty.  For a more consistent pattern, modern or overall clean look you might consider quartz which has a sophistication all on its own.

GRANITE is an igneous rock formed directly from molten rock originating from within the Earth. The different colors in the Granite are from the minerals making up the rock. Its durability and longevity makes it ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including tabletops and floors. Keep in mind it's used for a lot of commercial buildings inside and out, which are constantly hit with wind, rain, heat or cold weather.  Some other advantages to choosing granite countertops are hardness, only another piece of granite or diamond blade cutter can cut it, so it doesn’t scratch with normal use and it’s heat resistant, items from the oven can be placed right on the counter without a problem. is aesthetically pleasing, tough, lasts decades, and is easy to clean and maintain. It creates a sophisticated, spacious feel in any home, getting its glossy finish from highly powered polishing tools and fine grit diamonds. Granite is always stylish and has timeless quality.

MARBLE is a hard crystalline metamorphic form of limestone, typically white with mottlings or streaks of color, that is capable of taking a polish and is used in sculpture and architecture.  Perhaps more than any other stone, evokes images of sophisticated extravagance. Marble like granite and other stone is now a much more accessible luxury for everyone due to improved technology and availability.  The dramatic veining and blending of color shades looks spectacular on countertops and marble floors complement any design. If you’re looking for a white countertop, it will be harder to find one that is as bright in quartz, soapstone or granite.It stays cool naturally and is not a big heat conductor. It is heat resistant like quartz and granite, but you should never place a pot that comes directly from the stove on it. Although it is a soft stone, it is quite durable. It’s a porous material though so if you’re looking for something that is dense and can take a lot of bumps and bruises, you may want to consider granite or quartz as an alternative. It’s widely available and can be found quite easily in most stone yards.

ONYX is formed in caves as stalactites and stalagmites drip to form this semi-precious stone.  It has alternating straight bands of color, most commonly brown, red, white, and black. It is a Chalcedony which is the group name for a large family of stones, all of which form from silicon dioxide, also known as quartz. In order to be classed as chalcedony, a stone must be milky, and translucent to transparent, often with layers or bands of color. The color of onyx, as with other forms of chalcedony, is created through impurities which seep into the rock as it forms.  Onyx Countertops are a rarity as they bring a unique appearance with strikingly dramatic appeal. Not often placed in a horizontal orientation such as a countertop, onyx countertops are a unique and premium surface. With its exclusive style, onyx generally comes in swirling and pastel color patterns. Onyx is naturally porous and will absorb liquids.  Spills are dangerous is if acidic liquid, causing an “acid etch” which can dull your stone.

SOAPSTONE is a metamorphic rock. There are two different materials popularly called soapstone. The first being Talc, the softest mineral on earth, mostly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, sculptures, toothpaste, baby powder and chewing gum. The rock steatite (also called soapstone) is the material used for countertops and sinks. Steatite is composed of several minerals, but the most abundant is talc. Steatite, because of its additives, is harder than talc, and hence suitable for the applications cited above. Soapstone (steatite) in its initial state only comes in shades of gray, unlike talc, which is available in a variety of colors. This naturally quarried stone is softer than most other naturally occurring minerals. Although soft, soapstone is a very dense (non-porous) stone; more so than marble, slate, limestone and even granite. Since soapstone is impenetrable, it will not stain, no liquid will permeate its surface. Other stones, including granite, have a propensity to soil; this is why soapstone (steatite) is widely used in chemistry lab countertops and acid rooms.  Acidic items such as wine, lemon and vinegar will not stain it.

QUARTZ is the generic name of countertops made by Silestone, Zodiac, U Quartz and others. Quartz countertops are made up of approximately 94% natural quartz and 6% polyester resins which makes it extraordinarily hard and resilient.  Additional bacteriostatic elements are also often added at the time of manufacture.  It is a non-porous, impact, scratch and stain resistant. Quartz is one of the world’s hardest minerals along with its polyester resin elasticity and vibro-compression system used during production makes it very durable, with a high level of resistance to heat and scratches, but it can be scorched.

QUARTZITE is a very hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. Through a process of high heating and pressurization sandstone is transformed into Quartzite, an extremely strong and durable natural stone. When heated, individual quartz pieces recrystallize giving it a beautiful and decorative sparkling pattern. Quartzite is ideal for any countertop surface due to its strength and long-lasting composition.

In addition to natural and engineered stones, there are also many other materials used for countertops.  Below are the characteristics of some of the various options:

Countertop Comparison