Granite is drilled, chiseled and blasted out of quarries in large blocks, and special milling machines then cut it into workable slabs. White it does have heat-resistant qualities, we recommend a pot holder or trivet before setting anything directly out of the oven or off the stove on your granite; it's also difficult to scratch or chip. This is why granite is the go to material when it comes to countertops.
Most marble comes from Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and China. Marble is bright, elegant, and adds character to any room. All marble countertops should be handled with grace as they are much softer than other natural stone, and can scratch, stain, etch, and burn if not properly cared for.
Rounding out the trio of top natural countertops is dolomite, a lesser-known stone that is slowly gaining popularity as a more durable and less expensive option than marble. It is often called “dolostone” to avoid confusion with the mineral dolomite, even though the mineral is a significant part of the stone’s makeup. Unlike granite or quartzite, dolomite is a sedimentary rock, which forms naturally when limestone comes in contact with magnesium-rich groundwater and undergoes a chemical change. It comes in shades of white or gray, and usually contains streaks that allow it to resemble marble better than quartzite. This is significant because although dolomite is not quite as hard as granite, it is still much harder than marble, making it a more scratch- and chip-resistant option. Although sources of dolomite are plentiful, its relative lack of color variance can limit its usefulness as a marble substitute. Like the other natural stone options, dolomite countertops also require regular sealing to prevent staining.
Like granite, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that offers both beauty and substantial durability to countertop surfaces. Quartzite (not to be confused with quartz, below) is a metamorphic rock formed naturally when quartz sandstone is subjected to the same extreme pressure and temperatures as granite. The individual grains of quartz and cementing materials recrystallize into an interlocking mosaic with a smooth, glassy surface. Impurities and cementing materials in the original sandstone may add color the quartzite, and migrate together into streaks that make quartzite resemble marble. As a natural stone countertop option, quartzite has one significant advantage over granite. It has greater density, which makes it more resistant to chipping, staining, or scratches. The fact that it can resemble marble makes this advantage even more significant, as many still consider marble to be the most luxurious stone countertop option. Like granite, quartzite countertops also require regular sealing, but virtually no other maintenance.
Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural and very hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. Quartz is extremely durable, non-porous, and easy to keep clean with a mild soap. Because of is density, it is very difficult to stain or crack and it does not require sealing. This stone is recommended for someone needing low maintenance in their kitchen.
Tile defined as ceramic uses a coarser clay with a smaller ratio of fine kaolin clay, and it generally lacks some of the additives used in porcelain clay. Ceramic tile is fired at lower temperatures, generally no more than 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic tile can be slightly more prone to water infiltration than is porcelain tile, though these differences are fairly minimal if the ceramic tile is glazed.