A Kitchen Remodelers Guide To Natural Stone Countertops

A Guide to natural stone countertops

Expert Advice on Choosing Natural Stone Countertops For Your Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen countertop is a crucial element of your kitchen's design and layout. It's the surface where we prepare our meals, where we sit and help our kids with their homework, and where we eat with our family. It's also a major focal point that can help to define your kitchen's aesthetic style, and increasingly in open concept homes, a major design element that can carry through your entire living space.

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Every slab of stone is unique and has it's own color, veining, and patterning that is brought to life by skilled craftsmen who cut and polish it for use in your home. Natural stone countertops are durable. With just a little routine maintenance you can keep your countertops looking like they did the day they were installed! Even if the worst happens and you chip an edge, or stain them, a professional stone restorer can return most natural stone countertops to their original beauty.

Nothing beats the luxurious feel and durability of natural stone. Let's explore the pros and cons of natural stone and some of the most popular choices available today!

Are Natural Stone Countertops Right For You?

Here at Forward Design Build we believe that natural stone is the perfect countertop material for any home. If you're not yet sure, here are some of the pros and cons for choosing a natural stone material for your kitchen countertop.


• Every stone s different, so the pattern and color you choose will be uniquely yours. It's also an extremely durable surface. Natural stone is unaffected by heat. You can slide that roasting pan right out of the oven and directly onto your countertop.

• Because stone is cut from a single slab, it is virtually seamless and it's also virtually maintenance free. Just wipe up spills when they happen and occasionally reapply sealant and you're good to go.

•Natural stone countertops are also repairable. Chips, cracks, and scratches can be repaired on site by a stone restorer and you can remove most stains yourself using a poultice.


• Natural stone can be pricey. It is expensive to quarry, ship and fabricate stone countertops and this is reflected in the cost.

• Some more porous natural stone like travertine, limestone, and marble are prone to staining. You will need to periodically reapply sealant in order to protect. Less porous stones like Vermont slate and granite are practically stain resistant.

• Certain acids (vinegar, lemon juice, wine) may etch softer materials like marble, limestone, and travertine, even if sealed. If your stone is damaged by acid it can be repaired. A stone restorer can re-polish it in your home.

Choosing the Right Natural Stone Countertops for Your Kitchen

Part of the appeal of natural stone is the wide variety of colors and patterns available. While aesthetics are important, you also need to consider your lifestyle. For example, white marble is always a luxurious choice but is prone to staining. If you have small children prone to spilling drinks, marble may not be the best choice for you.

Let's look at a few of the most popular choices in natural stone countertops.


Granite is the most popular choice among homeowners looking for a durable, beautiful kitchen countertop. Because granite is made up of many different minerals and crystals, it comes in a wide variety of colors, degrees of veining and patterning. Granite is extremely durable and nearly maintenance free. It can hold up to almost anything, is difficult to scratch, and doesn't show wear or tear.

Vermont Slate

Vermont slate is growing in popularity due to its durability, natural beauty, and versatility. It's available in shades of gray, black, green, red and purple. Because it is non-porous, it's easy to clean and will not damage or stain when exposed to acids like lemon juice or wine. Small scratches can be removed with a sponge during normal cleaning and deep scratches can be removed with very fine steel wool keeping your countertops looking like new!


Marble is luxurious and can add plenty of character to your kitchen. It does require periodic care. Marble is predominantly formed of calcium carbonate and is softer than granite and as a result is susceptible to etching by acidic liquids, Because it is porous if not regularly sealed it can stain. Comes in either a polished (glossy) or honed (matte) finish.


Natural quartzite offers the luxurious look of marble combined with the durability of granite and offers an upscale elegance unmatched by any other natural stone. It comes in white or gray with hints of brown and black and its natural veining gives it an elegant sense of movement. Because it is extremely durable and non-porous, it doesn't scratch or etch like some stones and is impervious to heat.


Soapstone can take a beating, and still look amazing! As it ages, it attains a deep luxurious patina. It is durable and virtually maintenance free. Soapstone gets its luxurious feel due to the presence of talc within the stone. Architectural grade soapstone has a lower percentage of talc and is more suitable for countertop use. It's softer than both granite and marble but unlike these materials does not stain or etch. If you are looking for a classic look for your kitchen, consider soapstone!

Whatever the style of your kitchen, from rustic French or traditional, to modern or industrial, there's a natural stone material that is perfect for you. At Forward Design Build, we've been helping our Ann Arbor, Michigan, clients choose the perfect natural stone countertops for years. We're experts at choosing, fabricating and installing the perfect natural stone countertop to compliment your kitchen design. If you're planning on remodeling your kitchen, give us a call! We're always ready to help you to create your dream kitchen!

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.