20+ Best Countertops - 1 Natural Stones

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Dear Lovers of good taste and great interiors,

Today we will open a discussion on an essential and complex aspect, which is COUNTERTOPS! Foremost, it will regard the selection of countertops for kitchens and bathrooms: which are the best materials on the market today, visual aspect and durabilitycolors and compositioncountry of origincosts, and maintenance

All of this we will see in this post, one at a time. Moreover, if you are more of a listener than a reader, then check out my video on YouTube dedicated to this topic, the link you will find here on my blog. 

This topic is a very complex one; I would like using fewer words and more facts, going straight to describing general aspects you must consider, and then detailing every type of countertops, emphasizing its characteristics, individuality, pros and cons, colors, price range, and maintenance aspects. 

Now let us see which are these 20+ COUNTERTOPS for kitchens and bathrooms:

  1. Marble
  2. Granite
  3. Onix
  4. Travertine
  5. Gemstones
  6. Limestone
  7. Dupont ™ Corian
  8. Okite
  9. Dekton ®
  10. Quartz
  11. Quarzite
  12. Laminam stoneware
  13. Silestone ®
  14. Betacryl®
  15. Layered HPL
  16. Stainless steel
  17. Copper
  18. Marble agglomerate
  19. Butcher block or massive wood blocks
  20. Veneered wood
  21. Fenix NTM ™
  22. Concrete
  23. Terrazzo
  24. Tempered glass
  25. Unicolor laminate

Disclaimer: to make it easier for you searching the right category you might be interested in, I have divided them into four main categories: NATURAL STONES, COMPOSITES FROM NATURAL STONES, TECHNOLOGICAL COMPOSITES and OTHERS. In this post, you will find all the information about the first category - Natural Stones

GENERAL ASPECTS that regards all the existing countertops:

  • The thickness can vary from a min. h1 cm (0,39 inch) up to a max. h15 cm (5,90 inch). The used scale is usually 1-2-3-4-6-8-10-12-15 cm. For modern kitchens are mainly used very thin countertops, those in th. 1-2-3-4 cm (0.39-0.78-1.18-1.57 inch) and those very thick, particularly for industrial design styles or lofts h.10-12-15 cm (3.93-4.72-5.90 inch); while for classical models are using mainly medium thickness, that will allow shaping different edge profiles, such as h4-6-8 cm (1.57-2.36-3.14 inch). 
  • The edge profile can be simple or sophisticated, depending on the material of the countertop, its thickness, and the kitchen style. For modern kitchens are best: square, double chamfer, rounded, shark nose, stingray, and blade. For traditional kitchens, best recommended are round, beveled, half bullnose, full bullnose, demi bullnose, ogee, radius ogee, DuPont, and a mix of the above. 
  • The countertop finishing can also make a significant difference in the way your countertop looks, feels, and performs. Especially when it comes to natural stone countertops, it can change the reflectiveness, water-repellency capacity, decrease the visibility of stain and maintenance requirements. The most popular types of stone countertop finishes are natural, polished, honed, flamed, leathered, and aged. 

When it comes to countertops, the most preciousunique, and that will give the best return on investment are natural stones: MARBLESGRANITES, ONYXTRAVERTINE, and GEMSTONES. Moreover, every slab of natural stone is unique. Because of this, it is essential to visit a local stones lab to see the variations in person.

1.MARBLE is born at sea and is composed of calcium carbonate. Marble slabs come in different colors and thicknessesThe most popular are: Bianco Carrara (Italy), Statuary (Italy), Calacatta / Calacatta Gold (Italy), Grolla (Italy), Crema Marfil (Spain), Nero Marquina (Spain), Emperador Dark (Spain), Nero Portoro (Italy), Diaspro di Sicilia (Italy), Weave (Tunisia), Bernese (Pakistan), Florence (Italy), Fior di Bosco (Italy), Serpeggiante (Italy), Brèche du Bénou (France), Oceania (Bolivia), Serenhill (China), Youth (Turkey), Rain Forest (India) and others.

These limestones have assumed a crystalline structure with a granular texture and stunning veins due to dynamic or contact metamorphism. Full of character comes in many colors, the exclusive design created by nature itself, stays cool even in the heat. It is soft and porous, has low resistance to scratching and chipping. Acidic substances, such as citrus juices and wine, but also fatty substances, such as milk and oil, must be cleaned immediately, otherway these will leave permanent marks. Liquids penetrate the porous areas of the material, so it must be sealed to avoid staining, and a proper waterproofing treatment, reapplied regularly, slows absorption times, and allows you to react before the liquid penetrates the stone. A polished finishing is more resistant to staining, but at higher risk to overshow scratches, so avoid too much rubbing. However, a honed finishing has a dull surface, which helps to hide better scratches and etching.

2.GRANITE, on the other hand, originates within the Earth’s crust, is of volcanic origin, and it is mainly composed of silicates, mineral quartz. It has a granular consistency (though there are few rocks with visible veins and swirls) and has mostly homogeneous pasta. This is the most durable natural stone that comes in slabs and can be cut in size to fit any countertop needs. It can be found in a wide range of colors and patterns; however these are some of the most circulated, and other of the most astonishing I’ve ever encountered:Bianco Eclipse (Brazil), Black Fusion (Brazil), Via Lactea (Brazil), Matrix (Brazil), Carnival (Brazil), Palio (Brazil), Rosa Sardo (Italy), Giallo Veneziano (Brazil), Nero Impala (South Africa), Amazonite (Brazil), Alaska White (Brazil), New River White (India), White Valley (Brazil), Copacabana (Brazil), Copenhagen (Brazil), Golden Valley MG (India), Ruby Velvet (Brazil), Juparana Colombo (India), Van Gogh (Brazil), Labrador Bianca (Madagascar), Labradorite Green (Italy), Costa Esmeralda (Italy), Verde Bamboo (Brazil), and other countries of origin for Typhoon Beige, Green Jadeide, Green Peace, Sodalite Blu. 

Every slab of natural stone is different, and no two countertop surfaces will be the same. It is more resistant to scratches, cuts and heat than marble, and incredible durable. You can cut directly on the granite surface, but it is not a recommended practice since it will dull the knives blade. However, it is still a porous material so it must be sealed to prevent stains and maintain the stone’s finish, a procedure that is recommended to practice every 6-12 months by professionals. Like quartz, edges and corners can chip, but these can be professionally repaired. Most recommended is to choose a polished or matte finish top.

Regarding the question of radon in granite countertops, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) said, “Some granite used for countertops may contribute variably to indoor radon levels. At this time, however, EPA does not believe sufficient data exist to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.” However, since radon gas is emanating only when exposed to direct heat, I would recommend using granite as countertop besides the area where the hob is positioned, like for instance to cover the kitchen island, while using other materials on the part where comes the hob.

3.ONYX originates in limestone caves, is iridescent and translucent, in vibrant shades of pink, purple, red, green, orange, brown and more. It is a calcium-based stone, formed from water dripping, which creates these unique beautiful contrasting veining. Another appeal of the onyx is the translucency: this unique property allows to be backlit with soft light that will make them literally glow, transform into a visual masterpiece. Some of the most known onyx are: White Onyx (Iran), Onice Avorio (Turkey), Honey Onyx (India), Light Pistachio (India), and other countries of origin for Light Green Onyx, Onice Tanzania Dark, Rainbow Onyx, Onice Smeraldo, Ice Sugar Onyx, Smoke Onyx, Norm White Onyx.

However, since it is a fragile material, it requires fiberglass backing to reinforce it; this also means that there is a limit to size slabs and it’s very difficult to use them for large pieces increasing the risk of being damaged. It is a rare stone, both in nature and in its unconventional use, that means it is expensive just by itself. Moreover, you also need to consider the regular maintenance: it needs to be sealed and cleaned regularly with special solutions, even refinished from time to time to smooth out the surface again. Onyx is very susceptible to etching from acids, easily scratched, and you really should not place it in a heavy-use area (do not overload the surface with concentrated loads) or submit to mechanical tension. But, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowds and take your home to the next luxurious level, add character to your home and increase a lot the value of your estate, then this is the right choice to make!

4.TRAVERTINE will bring a pleasing warm touch of light into your home. It is very similar in appeal to onyx, as it also comes from limestone caves and hot springs. In fact, Travertine, Onyx and Calcite are the only natural stones that can be backlit. Here are some of the slabs models you can consider choosing from: Crema Viejo Travertine (Peru), Silver Travertine (Turkey), Travertine Giallo (Iran), Yellow Travertine (Iran), and Silyon Travertine.

Travertine is a moderately strong stone, and it is susceptible to damage from acidic substances such as lime, coffee, soda or juice. Thoughtful maintenance is required, but if you will make the effort to care for your travertine, it will look great for decades.

5.GEMSTONE surfaces are truly unique, is adding a pop of color and creating visual interest to the entire space. Semi-precious stones is forming in the Earth's crust, it is exceptionally rare and very expensive. These are some of the best known: Carnelian (Israel), Petrified Wood (Israel), White Quartz (Israel), Tyger Eye Blue (Israel), Tyger Eye Gold (Israel), Grey Agate (Israel), Natural Agate, and Blue Agate.

These surfaces are non-porous, which makes extremely durable, resistant to stains and heat. Also, it is easy to clean and maintain. If you are looking for a natural stone material that will truly stand out and is unique, gemstone may just be what you are looking for.

6.LIMESTONE is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate (at least 50%) and a few percent of other materials, such as quartz, feldspar, clay minerals, large nodules of chert, pyrite, or siderite. Most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters, and it comes in various colors and textures.

Limestones are used for kitchen and bathroom countertops, backsplash, vanities and other home structures: Giallo Reale (Italy), Jerusalem White (Israel), Jerusalem Grey (Israel), Jerusalem White Honed Limestone (Israel), Ataija Creme (Portugal), Moleanos Limestone (Portugal), and Valverde Limestone (Portugal).

Acidic substances spilled on the stone should be cleaned immediately to avoid etching and staining.

7.QUARTZITE (not to be confused with quartz) – is a natural stone similar in look to marble and onyx, but much more durable and one of the best heat- and scratch-resistant

Here are some of the most amazing patterns and colors, suitable for countertops, available on the market today: Classic White (Brazil), Sandals Leather (Brazil), Old Hall Azul Macaubas (Brazil), Medusa (Brazil), Taj Mahal (Brazil), Elegant Brown (Italy), Fantasy Brown, Blue Fantasy, Super White, Emerald Dark, Picasso. 

It is known for being one of the most durable natural surfaces you can find, also called “engineered quartz” or “engineered stone.” However, as many natural stones, it is porous, so be careful not to spilling acid substances.


If you have a property house and a budget that allows it, then choose unique natural stones to enhance the beauty, create scenography, and add value to your estate. You have so many options to choose from, but especially look for: onyx, gemstone, marble, granite, and quartzite. If you have big spaces, islands, and good natural lighting to emphasize the beauty of colors and contrasts, then choose particular color slabs with sculptural veining and unique pigmentations. Still, if the kitchen size is quite small, I would recommend opting among the classical stones in white, beige, or black, because a colorful plate will not have enough scenography, and it can actually load a little too much the small spaces. 

If, however, you love natural stones but at same time are also looking for more durable and technological materials, then take a look at composite materials, such as DuPont ™ Corian, Okite, Dekton® by Consentino, Quartz, Silestone®, and Betacryl®. 

Or, in other cases, when you love natural stones, but you have a tighter budget, look for the options that are partially made of natural stones, but other parts are different components; such materials are marble agglomerates, terrazzo, and also the concrete. 

For a moderate cost, but always natural, stylish, and durable materials for a timeless look, choose one of these: stainless steel, copper, butches block, veneered wood, and even lamina stoneware (made of porcelain) or tempered glass. 

Last but not least, there are many budget-friendly colors and textures alternatives to choose from in Fenix NTM ™ and unicolor laminate. 

I wish you good luck with your choices, and if I can be of any help, let me know in the comments or contact me directly.

Have a great day! And see you soon with my next tips and design subjects.

Best regards,


MetropolitanMe Blogger