Specialty Stone

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Welcome to Our Pallet of Speciality Stone Countertop Colors.

About Soapstone

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock consisting primarily of talc with varying amounts of other minerals. It is a soft, dense, heat resistant rock with a variety of uses, including countertops. Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green, or brown in color. It gets its name from it’s “soapy” feel and softness. Sometimes you will hear soapstone referred to as “steatite”.

Care & Maintenance

Similar to most other natural stone tops, Soapstone is heat-resistant, meaning hot pads typically aren’t required. Soapstone can darken over time through a natural process similar to oxidation. It will eventually develop a patina, which is a green or brown film on the surface, something to be aware of when considering this stone.You can use a mineral oil treatment to ensure this process occurs evenly throughout the countertop. Use a sponge or soft cloth and hot water for quick cleanups, for everyday cleaning it’s best to stick with water and dish soap. With all stones, it is best to blot spills right away to ensure acidic substances, like wine or coffee, don’t stain the surface. Use coasters under glasses and cups to minimize possible temporary water rings.

About Travertine

Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Comprised of mostly calcite, Travertine is much softer than regular limestone. It is typically found in white, tan, cream, or rusty varieties of color. A key characteristic of Travertine are the holes within the stone caused by CO1 bubbles in the mixture as it is setting. The Coliseum in Rome, Italy is perhaps the most famous structure built with Travertine.

Care & Maintenance

Because travertine is such a soft stone, it may not be the best choice for a high traffic area. Use a sponge or soft cloth and hot water for quick cleanups, for everyday cleaning it’s best to stick with water and dish soap. With all stones, it is best to blot spills right away to ensure acidic substances, like wine or coffee, don’t stain the surface. Travertine is very sensitive to acids and even a slight spill of juice could stain the surface. Use coasters under glasses and cups to minimize possible temporary water rings. Travertine should be sealed on an annual basis for the best maintenance. Generally, hot pads are not required with most natural stone tops.

About Porcelain

Porcelain is an engineered stone, made from clay containing a high percentage of a mineral called “kaolinite” and mixed with other mineral oxides. This combination is put in a kiln and fired at extremely high temperatures. Porcelain is extremely dense, stain resistant, heat resistant, and stands up well against scratching, chips and cracks. Porcelain is also resistant to ultraviolet light which means it won’t fade from sunlight, making it a great choice for outdoor kitchen countertops. Pigmented glazes can be added during manufacturing to create different colors and patterns on the porcelain slab.

Care & Maintenance

Porcelain will last for years with proper cleaning and maintenance. Use a sponge or soft cloth and hot water for quick cleanups, for everyday cleaning it’s best to stick with water and dish soap. With all stones, it is best to blot spills right away to ensure acidic substances, like wine or coffee, don’t stain the surface. Use coasters under glasses and cups to minimize possible temporary water rings. Generally, hot pads are not required with most natural stone tops. Generally speaking, the fire glazing will protect porcelain against staining and moisture, and the stone won’t require sealing.

Countertop Comparisons

When comparing different countertop materials, we recommend weighing the pros and cons of each. Soapstone and Travertine are softer stones, more similar to marble. They will require more maintenance and a quality sealer to reduce stains. Overall, Travertine and Soapstone are not as durable as granite, quartz or quartzite.

Porcelain is a man-made stone similar to quartz, yet more durable. Porcelain may be one of the most durable products available for a countertop. Highly scratch resistant, impervious to stains, environmentally friendly and easy to maintain it will stand up very well in any application.

Contact Michigan’s Premium Supplier of Marble Building Materials

Come visit us at the Great Lakes Granite & Marble showroom, where you can check out our selection of premium selection of natural stone and quartz  products for any room in the house. Our team of design professionals is available for consultation to help you pick the right options for your needs and design tastes. Please check out our product catalog to view our collection of marble, quartz, quartzite, granite and speciality products, or contact us to request a quote.

Browse through our Speciality Stone countertop colors by name.

Click a Speciality Stone color name to view photos, country of origin, descriptions, and more.