02 Dec Natural Stone Options for Your Modern Kitchen
Granite and marble are certainly popular choices in kitchens – for benchtops, and splashbacks too – and they have continued to be for quite some time. But now there is a new kid on the block in modern kitchen styling; dolomite. Let us introduce you to these three popular natural stone options and the qualities and properties that make them great choices in any modern kitchen.
Renowned for its luxurious appeal, natural stone is a wonderful choice in modern kitchens, both aesthetically and for functionality. In fact, marble and granite have a potential to raise the appeal of a home’s interior almost instantly. But there is a growing trend in modern kitchens of late – dolomite. It may not be as well-known (yet) as marble and granite, but dolomite is stacking up to be a popular alternative in modern kitchen design.
So, is dolomite a natural stone option to consider for your modern kitchen too? Absolutely! However, when selecting which stone is best for your modern kitchen, it is important to understand some basic differences between these three popular materials. In this article, we will highlight key differences of these stones to help make the decision on which one is right for your modern kitchen design.
Marble for Modern Kitchens
Marble is a timeless modern kitchen option that works with many kitchen design styles and has certainly held its own over the years. Used in classical sculptures, and as a premium building material throughout history, this stone has always been considered an opulent choice.
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystalised carbonate. It is formed naturally in the earth’s crust when limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures over a long period of time. Impurities in the stone are what allow marble to give off a difference of colours and styles. These impurities are typically seen as dark, vein-like lines within the stone. And this is what makes every piece of marble unique. The colours and natural veins in marble in modern kitchens pair beautifully with white, grey and earth tones.
Applications for marble are varied, but in the kitchen it has always been a popular choice for kitchen splashbacks and benchtops with the innate detailing of the product proving a stunning choice for visual impact and interest in your kitchen.
Marble does have its challenges. Due to its genetic makeup, it is a softer stone and is more porous than some of the other stone options for modern kitchens. This means it can be quite susceptible to staining, etching and scratching. Meaning that it is not particularly durable when compared to some other materials. Precautions need to be taken to minimise the severity and potential for damage from wear and tear. These include:
- having the marble treated with a sealant regularly (at least once a year), which is especially important to avoid stains
- wiping up any spills from the stone immediately
- using heat protective aids such as chopping boards and hot pads (never put anything hot straight onto the stone)
Granite for Modern Kitchens
Granite is, and will remain, a popular option in modern kitchens due to it looking great and being reasonably durable too. Once only found in high-end homes due to its cost, granite prices are now more moderated and it is a very good go-to option for those wanting a premium stone with plenty of durability.
Granite is an igneous rock formed underground at extreme temperatures within molten material (magma), which flows and then solidifies when cooled. The granite is derived from pieces of quartz, feldspar and mica that fuse together in the forming process. Eventually, overlying rocks are removed and the granite is exposed.
As magma cools slowly underground, it creates larger crystal growth within the stone. It is these crystals which characterise granite (speckles throughout the stone), along with its generally lighter colours. The crystals give a variance of colours; feldspar generally reflecting pink or red colouring; quartz offers more clear pink, white or black; and mica also boasts black colouring or dark brown.
Due to its build and strength, granite is widely used in construction, for architectural facades, ornamental stone pieces and monuments. And thanks to its resistance to cracking and chips, and superior resistance to heat, it is tough to go past granite for the application of modern kitchen benchtops too.
Before installing, granite should always be treated with a sealant just to close up any pores in the stone or crevices that may be a hazard for food preparation and handling. This will also help to prevent any stains caused by spillages. Just like marble, have your modern kitchen granite benchtop re-sealed at least annually.
Dolomite for Modern Kitchens
Dolomite may not be as well-known as granite or marble, but it is making some impressive ground in modern kitchens in recent times.
Dolomite is a sedimentary rock formed naturally when limestone hustles up with magnesium-rich groundwater, causing a chemical reaction in the stone. The result is an appearance similar to marble, with its typical colouring being grey and white with streaks that look similar to marble veins. Dolomite can also appear with tones of pink, brown, black or green, but this is reasonably rare.
This stone is often used in place of limestone in building materials. But in modern kitchens, dolomite is a popular choice for people seeking the visual appeal of marble with enhanced durability and less cost. It is becoming a popular alternative for modern kitchen splashbacks as well as kitchen benchtops.
Dolomite is said to be “in the middle” of marble and granite when it comes to toughness. It is not as porous or as prone to marks as marble and will outperform its counterpart there. But it is definitely not in the range of granite when it comes handling to bumps and bruises.
The application for dolomite is generally the same as it is for marble. Perfect for modern kitchens and other interior spaces, it can also be used for flooring on areas where foot traffic is not exceptionally high (granted, protective coating would need to be done more regularly than a benchtop or splashback).
When used on modern kitchen benchtops, be cautious of scratching from glass and metal. Always make use of cutting boards and heat pads. And just like marble and granite, treat your dolomite benchtop or splashback to a regular sealant protection.
When considering durability, functionality and aesthetics, these natural stones each offer their own uniqueness and are a fantastic inclusion for modern kitchens. Provided that they are treated well and maintained correctly, they are sure to provide impressive results for many years to come.
You can see the use of beautiful Dolomite, up close and personal, in our Bowral showroom right now. We invite you to pay us a visit and see some of the applications and possibilities of natural stone at work in our display kitchens at both our Narellan and Bowral locations.
You can also give us a call on 1300 662 112 or submit an online enquiry to speak with Harrington Kitchens team of professional kitchen designers for expert advice when choosing the best natural stone option for your modern kitchen, as well as all other design and function aspects required to created your dream kitchen. In the meantime, check out our kitchen image gallery and explore our collection of kitchen projects for plenty of ideas and inspiration.