Slate and marble are two types of natural stone that are popularly used as materials for countertops. While they are both stones, slate and marble are vastly different in terms of their distinct characteristics, which means that countertops made out of each material each have a unique set of advantages and drawbacks. Understanding what each type of natural stone can offer your home's counters can help you choose the material that best fits your needs.
Slate countertops provide a completely unique look to your kitchen, as no two slabs of slate can be replicated. Further, the slate is completely heat resistant and waterproof, and will not absorb liquids or food debris. This means you can place pots and pans directly on the countertop, and it makes cleaning the surface of your counters much easier as slate will not hold onto liquids and food debris.
However, slate comes with two main downsides. Firstly, slate only comes in subtle hues, most commonly dark gray, green, and blue, which mean that you do not have a whole lot of design options to choose from. Secondly, slate is an extremely expensive material, which means that the cost of installing a slate countertop can be extremely restrictive to homeowners who are working with a tight budget.
Marble, on the other hand, comes in a wide variety of different shades and cuts, meaning that you can customize your countertop exactly to your specifications. Marble is also extremely heat-resistant, which means that it will not be damaged or discolored due to heat exposure. In a similar vein, this means that marble is not a good conductor of heat, which means that your work surface will stay cool as you cook. The most important advantage of marble countertops, however, is that they are much more affordable than slate is.
However, marble does require more maintenance than its slate counterpart, largely because marble is a naturally porous and absorbent stone. This means that liquids can be held by your countertop for an extended period of time, leading to bacteria and even mold growth. To prevent this from happening, you will have to have a marble countertop sealed regularly, which increases long run maintenance and costs. It's also important to note that while marble itself is heat resistant, the sealant usually will not be, which means you should avoid placing hot items directly on the countertop.
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