Natural Stone Countertops & Vanities
Minneapolis Granite – Minnesota
Onyx is chemically similar to alabaster and marble. It is formed in caves as stalactites and stalagmites over time. Usually onyx comes in pastel colors with swirls and it is translucent. Due to the softness of the material, it is not often used as a countertop material. But when it is, it provides a stunning, unique look.
**Onyx is not a surface that should be walked on, but it is great for walls and in the bath.
Limestone is primarily composed of calcite. It has a smooth granular surface because it does not have much graining or crystalline structure. It varies in hardness, and some of the denser pieces of limestone can be polished. Limestone commonly comes in black, gray, white, yellow and brown.
**Limestone has a beautiful flat, matte finish. Typically used on fireplace hearths, mantles, mantle surrounds, address blocks and tabletops.
Soapstone is composed of a variety of talc. Overall, it is a dense material but is a very soft stone. Varying talc content can make for a harder soapstone, which is preferred for countertop use. It is uniform in appearance and is fairy resistant to stains. Due to the fact that soapstone acquires a patina over time, regular oiling will need to be done.
**Soapstone works well as a kitchen countertop option.
Travertine is a type of limestone formed from the accumulation of calcite at hot springs. The material is full of naturally-created holes that are filled in by a synthetic resin or cement. If the holes are not filled in, a lot of maintenance is required. Travertine is usually a cream or reddish color.
**Travertine is naturally matte but can be polished. It is often used for flooring, fireplace surrounds, tabletops and bathroom applications.