2 Stone Counter Materials to Watch Out For
Natural stone counters are beautiful and are increasingly fabricated from a wide variety of natural materials. While slabs of stone are generally referred to as “granite” it is important to know that many of them are not.
It is important because many of these “non-granite” slabs while stunningly beautiful in appearance are problematic to fabricate efficiently and often disappointing in performance.
This article is not intended to persuade you from choosing these materials, which we will describe in detail, but to fully inform you of the costs and performance trade-offs of purchasing them.
Most problematic stones can be grouped into two categories: Schist and Quartzites. They are prone to splitting, splinting, shattering, and cracking during the production and install process, and occasionally even after they’ve been properly installed.
- Schist stones.
Schist is a coarse-grained metamorphic rock that consists of layers of different materials that can be split into thin irregular plates. These thin irregular layers create all kinds of problems from chips on the edges (that require glue), linear fractures on the edges, raised surfaces along seams (think tectonic plates), and breakage.
“3cm Golden Eclipse” schist stone
Quartzite is an extremely compact, hard granular rock consisting essentially of quartz. Extremely hard stone, in other words. Some of the more stunning and therefore popular slabs are quartzite. Because quartzites are so hard, even diamond tooling can have problems cutting it. The result is chips and breakage which must be repaired, often in such a fashion that the repairs are more noticeable than consumers find acceptable.
“3cm Nacarado” quartzite
Should you buy schists and quartzites? Well, that’s up to you. The creative work and repairs necessary to finish these stones sometimes leaves customers unhappy. There is usually extra gluing of chips and re-polishing, bonding cracked pieces, or in some extreme cases, additional slabs must be purchased to complete the project professionally.
So, while these materials are visually stunning, there are additional risks and costs that should be considered.
Be informed and be sure to ask your supplier if the stone you choose is a schist or a quartzite!
2 Stone Counter Materials to Watch Out For in Portland OR & Vancouver WA
Serving Portland OR, Vancouver WA, and the Oregon Coast