Natural Stone Countertops in San Diego
Natural stones are from the Earth and are not mixed with any type of resin or chemicals. Most of these need to be sealed because they are naturally porous materials. Fissures also occur naturally in many stone types, which can cause them to be easily chipped, cracked and scratched. Some natural stones such as marble or soapstone are softer than other materials and can be easily etched or scratched. All natural stone materials are available in 2 cm and 3 cm thickness.
2 cm-The 2 cm thick stone is approximately 3/4″ thick, ranging from 5/8″ to 7/8″ in thickness. This is most commonly used on the West Coast and is readily available in many colors and finishes. The edge profiles are created by laminating 2 pieces together to give a finished standard profile of a 1 ½”. A common misunderstanding is that 3 cm material is stronger; however, 2 cm carries the same strength when properly supported by sub-decking.
3 cm-The 3 cm is approximately 1 3/16″, and can range from 1 1/16″ to 1 5/16″ thick. This is most commonly used on the East Coast. Most often is fabricated without a laminated edge, leaving your profile slightly thinner than a finished 2 cm material. 3 cm material is rare and not available in every color of natural stone. It also tends to be a more expensive option.
Natural granite is one of the most durable natural stone surfaces available, perfect for the kitchen or bath. Every piece of natural granite has its own unique pattern, making each surface one-of-a-kind. It is quite a journey from rock to countertop. Natural granite is an igneous rock, also known as “fire rock,” which is formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma trapped beneath the earth’s surface.
Natural granite is a material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity and pattern; no two stones are exactly alike.
Granite needs to be sealed regularly.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock. The rock steatite (also called soapstone) is the material we use for our countertops, sinks, fireplace and other applications. Soapstone (steatite) in its initial state only comes in shades of gray.
This naturally quarried stone is softer than most other naturally occuring 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.
Marble is a non foliated metamorphic rock. It is mostly composed of calcite. Marble is available in a large range of colors, the most popular being: white, tan, blue-gray, and black. It is very porous and needs to be sealed often. It can be very hard to protect your marble countertop from staining, especially by colored liquids. Marble is ideal for baking and kneading bread, but is not heat resistant, so it’s best to use hot pads or trivets while cooking.