It is no wonder that natural stone is so popular in interior design. Quite apart from the fact that the various colors and grains are attractive eye-catchers, the material is also extremely easy to care for and robust. For these reasons, stone is so perfect for kitchens and there it can be used in a wide variety of areas. In the following lines you can find out exactly where you can use natural stone in the kitchen and which types of stone are best suited. Let yourself be enchanted by the variety and later decide on the perfect kitchen design for your interior.
Advantages and disadvantages of natural stone in the kitchen
- Stone has a number of advantages. The material is the perfect surface, especially in areas that are constantly under strain. Moving pots and other dishes to and fro does not damage the surface.
But beware! This only applies to hard rocks, which include granite and basalt. As popular as the noble marble is, like limestone it is one of the soft stones on which scratches can occur.
- We don’t really have to mention that natural stone is extremely heat-resistant. Burn marks or discoloration from intense heat are therefore no problem at all. But here, too, it depends on the type of stone.
- Due to its naturalness, this material does not contain any harmful substances. Natural stones are odorless and do not absorb other odors. When choosing, however, make sure to pay attention to the certification!
Although stone has many advantages, it is not perfect as a surface for the kitchen and it also has bad properties. One disadvantage is that, depending on the type of stone, they pick up stains easily. Red wine or fat can therefore quickly prove to be a great enemy of natural stones, especially if they are used for the countertop. This can be avoided by regularly impregnating the stone surface. Regular maintenance is therefore essential! When using worktops made of natural stone in the kitchen, a very high weight is to be expected. It is also important that you invest in sturdy kitchen cabinets that can withstand this weight.
Natural stone in the kitchen – what types are suitable?
Without a doubt, this ancient natural material is incredibly noble to look at, in whatever form. However, there are types that are more or less suitable for use in and around kitchen equipment. But all types of natural stone have everything in common: They all need regular maintenance in order to remain beautiful and robust for a long time. We would like to introduce you to some of the most common types of natural stone in the kitchen, with all their advantages and disadvantages:
One of the most popular types of stone is granite. It and quartz stone are the better choice, especially in kitchens where there is a lot of cooking. Granite is available in a bluish color, as well as in gray and with a yellowish tinge. It is scratch and cut resistant and neither absorbs odors nor does it have its own odor. The rock is particularly heat-resistant and also resistant to fat, acids or oils.
You have the choice between polished granite slabs with a glossy surface, as well as matted ones. The choice is determined on the one hand by the visual effect you want to create. A high-gloss kitchen with a matt top looks very attractive, while a matt surface for the cabinets can be wonderfully combined with a glossy kitchen top. Here you have enough leeway for the kitchen design. Remember that the glossy version is easier to maintain than the matted one.
Quartz and composite stone have another advantage compared to granite and other natural stones. A wide variety of colors can be produced so that you can tailor it to your preferences and needs. Like granite, they are very hygienic and water-repellent because they have no pores. In addition, they are resistant to chemicals, stains and light. Scratches are absolutely no problem with this type of stone. The only disadvantage is that they are only heat-resistant up to 180 degrees.
Quartz stone slabs usually only consist of 80% of this rock. There are also other materials, including synthetic resin. Color pigments, in turn, enable a large selection of colors. However, this gives the material a rather artificial look, which many do not like. That is why this type of natural stone slab is usually not the first choice, despite its insensitivity and easy maintenance. Although quartz slabs are not one hundred percent natural stone, the price is not much lower than that of granite and other types of stone.
Limestone, slate and, above all, marble are also suitable as natural stone in the kitchen. However, a greater need for care is then to be expected. Nevertheless, they are very often used in designer kitchens because the natural stones have a particularly beautiful look. Like granite, marble is available in different, natural color nuances, regardless of whether you prefer the noble white or want to set a color accent in green or yellow.
A disadvantage is definitely the high price. For this reason, it is rarely chosen for interior decoration. In addition, the stone is not too robust and scratches and stains can appear quickly, which can be very annoying, especially with the white version. Liquids that discolour must be removed immediately before they penetrate the stone.
Marble is therefore associated with more maintenance and is better suited for back walls and other kitchen elements than as a worktop. Also keep in mind that this natural rock changes color over the years. So think well in advance whether, despite the disadvantages mentioned, it is worthwhile for you to invest in the expensive marble stone.
Slate is not only available in a dark color, but it is precisely this that is its special characteristic, which leads many to choose it for interior design. But if you prefer a reddish or yellowish shade, you can also opt for it and give bright kitchen cabinets an interesting color accent. The rough surface of the stone is both an advantage and a disadvantage. This looks very pretty on the modern, simple kitchen cupboard, but is associated with more complicated maintenance. Otherwise, the rock is very heat-resistant and insensitive to water. That promises a long usability.
Slate is not yet widely used in kitchen design, which is why you get a special eye-catcher with this type of stone. The robustness is more of a disadvantage, because whole pieces can quickly flake off, while scratches can be treated and removed with the right care products. Another advantage in terms of appearance is that due to its structure, slate can also be used in the form of very thin panels. In this way, this natural stone appears less bulky and more subtle in the kitchen.
Like marble, limestone is also a soft stone, which is why it is best suited for kitchens where work is rarely done or you do not use it as a worktop, but for other accents. Those who choose this type can enjoy light colors such as beige or yellowish nuances. This precious stone is also available in brown.
Since the stone is naturally provided with many small holes and cracks, coloring liquids penetrate particularly quickly. To counteract this, these openings are usually filled with a filler, which, however, cannot do anything against discoloration. Liquids that contain acid should also not come into contact with the limestone. Special treatment is required before first use. A surface protection should make the stone more resistant. But even this does not protect against scratches and cracks.
Where can the natural stone be used in the kitchen?
Here you have a large selection. The stone material gives the design the finishing touch. In addition, it can be wonderfully combined with wood, so that you can choose a surface made of natural stone and the side walls in turn are made of wood. Otherwise, the back wall can be made of a stone slab or you can clothe the entire cupboard. If you just want to add a little accent, build a natural stone sink in the kitchen.
Natural stone in the form of a worktop is particularly popular in the kitchen. Do not forget that this is the element in the kitchen that is subject to the most stress. Nevertheless, the kitchen worktop made of natural stone is a really attractive element that gives the modern kitchen with its simple and elegant shapes even more elegance. If possible, use hard rock in order to be able to reduce maintenance costs and future damage to a minimum. Such a natural stone kitchen makes everyone rave about it.
Natural stone for the kitchen island
But maybe you don’t want to make all countertops out of natural stone. Then you can only use it for the kitchen and cooking island. You can then either equip only the upper surface or attach the stone plate to the two narrower sides. This is how the island is framed in an attractive way.
Contrast colors are particularly recommended here. For example, if your kitchen cabinets are dark in color, use a light one for the stone accent and vice versa. In this way you highlight both materials at the same time and you create an interesting interplay. If you prefer a single-colored kitchen design, you can of course also follow your taste and design the top and cabinets in the same or a similar color.
Design the back wall
As an alternative for the worktop, natural stone can also be used for the back wall in the kitchen. There, the natural stone is just as noticeable as in the form of a worktop, but is significantly less stressed. Scratches rarely occur here, even on soft stone, and liquids in particular hardly come into contact with the tile surface.
To avoid fat splatters, you can design the area behind the stove with a different material. Again, if you use granite or one of the other stones that don’t mind fats, you don’t have to worry about fat splatters either. Either way, the kitchen back wall is a perfect element that you can use to showcase the noble natural stone. Combine with wood, metal or another material.
Stone kitchen cabinets
If you want something particularly elegant, you can use cabinets that are clad with any type of stone. What is meant here is not (only) the kitchen island, but the upper and lower cabinets. Since the side walls are not stressed, any type of natural stone can be selected here. Only when cleaning is it necessary to use the correct cleaning agent, depending on the type of stone, in order not to damage the surface. Otherwise, such a design is without question particularly elegant and transforms the open kitchen into the heart of the entire interior.
Natural stone sink for the kitchen
As already mentioned, you can use the kitchen sink for a kitchen accent. It looks very pretty in the middle of a wooden worktop and can be combined with natural stone back panels made of the same material or you can integrate the sink into the stone worktop so that a smooth transition is created. It is worth knowing that such sinks are not really carved from the respective stone. That would come at an extremely high price. Instead, the chosen stone is used in the form of powder. This powder is then poured into the desired sink shape along with acrylic resin. Any dyes can also be added here.
Of course, this composition looks no less beautiful than pure stone, but it still has some disadvantages. The sink is less heat resistant, which is due to the resin. So you should avoid pouring very hot liquids into it or putting hot cookware in the sink. The natural stone sink is also not scratch and cut resistant. However, since cutting is not usually done in the sink or the drainer, it is up to everyone to decide for themselves to what extent this disadvantage is significant. Nevertheless, with a sink like this, you will get a quite perfect element made of natural stone in the kitchen for many years to come.
A dark color is also preferable to the light one. It is not uncommon for staining liquids to be poured into the sink, which can cause stains. If you still value a light color, you should always rinse and clean the natural stone sink in the kitchen immediately to remove such liquids or food. Then you will enjoy it for a long time to come.