Onyx Countertops: An Exotic Option

Countertop PRO'S: Cutstone Company

Your Guide To Onyx Countertops

You have many options when choosing a natural stone countertop.

Some people like the intense vein patterns and durability of granite countertops.

Others prefer the soft luminescence and stately elegance of marble countertops. Still others love quartzite for its toughness and interesting patterning.

But what if you want something different? Something unique? In that case, onyx countertops might be for you.

What Is Onyx?

Onyx countertops are made of onyx, a natural stone. Onyx is formed in caves or in areas with hot springs where water dissolves and deposits minerals, creating intricate patterns and veining.

One of onyx’s unique aspects is that it is translucent, meaning that it can be backlit for a very striking visual effect. It is typically found in shades of white, black, cream, yellow, brown, green, and red, with striking patterns and bands of color running through the stone.

However, it’s worth noting that onyx is a softer and more delicate stone compared to granite or quartz, making it more prone to scratching, etching, and staining.

As a result, onyx countertops require more careful maintenance. They need periodic sealing, and you must also avoid harsh cleansers and anything abrasive.

While the finish is protected to an extent by the seal, scouring pads and steel wool will damage the stone.

Onyx Countertops: Installation Needs

For the safety of your new, beautiful onyx countertop, you must have it professionally installed. Onyx countertops are more fragile than other natural stone countertops, and if you try to install them yourself, the likelihood of chipping, cracking, and other damage increases.

However, professional countertop installers have the know-how and the tools necessary to install an onyx countertop without damaging it. Their knowledge and ability will protect your countertop, saving you money and frustration.

Onyx Countertops Pros and Cons

All countertop materials have their pros and cons, and onyx is no exception.

It can be a tricky material to work with, so you need to know what challenges it may bring and decide if the benefits are worth it for your countertop needs.

Pros of Onyx Countertops

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Onyx countertops are prized for their exquisite beauty and unique veining patterns. They have a translucent quality that allows light to penetrate, creating a stunning visual effect– especially when backlit. Onyx countertops can add a luxurious and sophisticated look to any space.
  • Variety of Colors: Onyx comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. This variety allows for customization and the ability to choose a color that complements the overall design of your space.
  • Heat Resistance: Onyx is naturally heat-resistant, making it suitable for use in areas with high temperatures, such as near stovetops or ovens.
  • Uniqueness: Onyx’s swirls, bulls-eye patterns, and other unique patterns are not commonly replicated in manufactured countertops. Engineered stone like quartz and manufactured countertops like porcelain are often made by their manufacturers to resemble granite and marble, but it’s very difficult to find manufactured countertops that look like onyx. If you fall in love with onyx’s visual properties, there’s no substitute.

Cons of Onyx Countertops

  • Softness: Onyx is a softer and more delicate stone compared to granite or quartzite, which makes it more prone to scratching, etching, and chipping. Care must be taken to avoid placing sharp or abrasive objects directly on the surface of onyx countertops.
  • Porosity: Onyx is a porous stone, which means it can absorb liquids and is more susceptible to staining. Sealing the surface of onyx countertops can help prevent this issue, but regular maintenance and care are still required to prevent stains and spills from penetrating the stone.
  • Cost: Onyx is considered a luxury stone, and as such, it tends to be more expensive than other countertop materials such as granite or quartz. Onyx countertops costs can vary depending on factors such as color, quality, and rarity of the stone.
  • Maintenance: Onyx countertops require more frequent and careful maintenance compared to other countertop materials. They need to be cleaned regularly with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner and resealed periodically to protect against stains and moisture damage. Your fabricator can recommend cleaning products and a sealing schedule.

Overall, onyx countertops offer a unique beauty and elegance, but they require careful consideration and maintenance due to their softness and susceptibility to damage.

For those who love onyx, however, the maintenance is worth it. If you think that onyx countertops are right for you, contact us at Cutstone today to get started!

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