In most cases, granite and marble are used as materials for constructing cooking area counters. However, the choices are many and varied when it comes to choosing a counter material for cooking areas based on varying properties like durability, aesthetics and usability. Hence, as per the requirements of a homeowner, the looks he or she wishes to achieve in a cooking area as well as a budget range, one can take their pick from the countertop market.
Though granite and marble are considered to be durable and long term choices for a kitchen counter, slate can be a similar choice and a cheaper one too. Even though slate has an unassuming appearance, many love the gray or black matte look of a kitchen that a slate slab offers, different from the polished finishes of granite and laminex kitchen benchtops. This material is made attractive by using different methods and is made suitable for cooking area use by the manufacturers.
Properties of slate as a cooking area counter
When you are contemplating, considering slate as the material of which your cooking area counter would be made of, you need to consider the properties of the material. The material is well suited to protect itself from high heat, similar to laminate benchtop installation. Hence, a hot pot can be placed directly on the surface without fear of damaging the surface. The slabs are usually unsealed which means there is no sealant layers added which might melt or burn away over time. The heat is naturally distributed by this stone which makes it ideal for cooking area surfaces. However, direct cutting on the surface is not advised as this can lead to ugly scratches or marks that can mar the surface. With abrasive scrubbing deeper scratches or marks can be removed.
Properties of marble
When compared to slate, marble is known to stain easily due to which slate or granite is more preferred as they are resistant to stains. Marble does not absorb moisture and is a harder surface than slate. However, slate is known to be porous and soft and hence can absorb moisture, which is slow and does not cause permanent damage to the surface. The conditioning of the slabs of slate by mineral oil helps to preserve these counters for long.
Soapstone and others
The durability of soapstone is more due to which it can be considered against the slate. The strength of this material is also more and its appearance, though similar to slate, has distinctness due to light colored stains and other natural markings that characterize this stone. Chipping and staining are also resisted more by soapstone as compared to slate, but it is a more expensive option.