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What Is a Natural Stone Countertop?

Natural stone countertops offer a fusion of luxury and resilience, ideal for multifamily projects. Revered for their unique aesthetics, these countertops cater to the diverse needs of developers, designers, and contractors, providing both a practical solution and an artistic touch to living spaces.

Is Granite a Natural Stone?

Granite, a naturally occurring stone, forms from the cooling of mineral-rich lava within the Earth’s crust. This process yields a stunning variety of colors and patterns, making each granite slab unique. Extracted from quarries, these blocks are processed into countertops through cutting, polishing, and fabrication.

The production of granite countertops involves a series of steps. After quarrying, the stone is cut into manageable blocks using specialized wire saws with diamond-coated beads. These blocks are then refined, polished, and transported to distribution centers for final customization to fit specific designs and installations.

Granite stands out for its sustainability. A single quarry can supply stone for numerous projects over centuries with minimal environmental impact compared to engineered materials. It is renowned for its heat resistance, allowing direct contact with hot cookware, although long-term heat exposure may necessitate protective measures.

Also Read –Why Choose Natural Granite Countertops?

Is Marble a Natural Stone?

Marble is a metamorphic rock evolving from limestone that underwent a transformation under intense geologic conditions. Initially, limestone, composed of shell fragments and calcite, forms in tropical seas. Over time, geological movements drag these seabeds deep into the Earth’s crust, where heat and pressure remodel the calcite, melding the grains and causing the original layers to contort and blend.

The patterns and hues in marble are direct results of various geological processes. While most marble is white, pure calcite in nature, variations exist. Iron oxide imparts pink or golden tints, serpentine adds green or deep red hues, and graphite-rich marble, stemming from fossil-rich limestone, displays a steely grey with a metallic shimmer.

The reactivity of marble with acids also explains why it’s used in antacid tablets. While beneficial for neutralizing stomach acids, this same reaction can damage marble countertops when exposed to acidic substances. For multifamily developments, the unique vein patterns and color variety of marble offer designers a luxurious and elegant material choice.

Types of Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stone countertops, cherished for their unique aesthetics and durability, come in various types, each offering distinct benefits and visual appeal for multifamily developments.

1. Granite
The formation of granite from cooling lava results in diverse patterns and hues, making each slab unique. Popular granite varieties include Azul Platino, with its subtle blue-grey specks; Black Pearl, offering a rich, deep black with hints of silver; and the elegant Absolute Black for a sleek, modern look. New Venetian Gold brings a warm, golden hue, while Olympia White and Santa Cecilia Light offer lighter, more neutral options. These granites cater to a range of design preferences, from contemporary to classic, providing multifamily spaces with both functionality and elegance.

2. Marble
Marble is renowned for its sophisticated vein patterns and color variety. While often found in classic white, other varieties like Grigio Isle Marble and Capri Moon Marble present unique colorations, from subtle greys to warm, earthy tones. The veining in marble adds a luxurious touch, making it a preferred choice for high-end multifamily units seeking an opulent aesthetic.

3. Quartzite
Quartzite offers a compelling blend of beauty and strength. This stone, formed from quartz sandstone under high pressure and heat, is exceptionally durable. Varieties like White Macaubas Quartzite and Grey Macaubas Quartzite are sought after for their marble-like appearance but with enhanced durability. Quartzite’s resistance to scratching and heat damage makes it an ideal choice for multifamily kitchens and bathrooms where functionality cannot be compromised.

Advantages of Natural Stone in Multifamily Projects

Natural stone countertops present several benefits for multifamily projects due to their durability, unique aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness.

1. Durability
Natural stone is known for its exceptional longevity. Unlike other materials, natural stone does not fade or deteriorate over time. Moreover, many types of natural stone, including granite and marble, often become more visually appealing as they age, contributing to the character and value of their properties.

2. Natural Color and Uniqueness
Each natural stone slab boasts its own set of colors and patterns, creating a vibrant and unique aesthetic that cannot be replicated by artificial products. This uniqueness ensures that every installation is one-of-a-kind, adding to the exclusivity and appeal of multifamily units.

3. Cost-Effectiveness
While the initial cost may be higher than some artificial stone products, natural stone is competitive in the long run. Its durability means less need for replacement or extensive maintenance, making it a wise investment over time.

4. Workability
The versatility of natural stone in terms of shaping and customization is a significant advantage. It can be chiseled, cut, and trimmed to meet specific design requirements without losing its color or effect, providing flexibility in design and installation.

5. Easy Maintenance
Natural stone is relatively easy to maintain. It can withstand rigorous cleaning methods like pressure washing, a feature that is not always feasible with manufactured countertop materials.

Maintenance and Care of Natural Stone Countertops

Maintaining natural stone countertops is crucial for preserving their beauty and longevity, especially in multifamily projects where durability and appearance are key. Here are some practical tips for care and maintenance:

1. Prevention
Use coasters, trivets, and cutting boards to protect the stone surfaces from stains, heat, and etching. In the event of spills, blot them immediately to avoid spreading the stain. Additionally, avoid standing or sitting on the countertops to prevent potential damage.

2. Cleaning
Regularly clean natural stone surfaces with a stone soap, neutral cleanser, or mild dishwashing liquid. Use a soft cloth for cleaning, and ensure that you rinse and dry the surface thoroughly to avoid stains. Avoid abrasive cleaners, scrubby sponges, and acidic cleaning agents, especially on stones like marble and onyx that are prone to etching.

3. Sealing
Most natural stone countertops require annual sealing to enhance their stain resistance. While no sealer makes the stone completely stain-proof, it significantly increases its resistance. The sealing process typically involves following specific product instructions and safety measures. Some sealers may require a curing period before the countertops can be used or wetted again.

For quartz countertops, which are known for being low maintenance, regular cleaning and prevention are usually sufficient. However, avoid using strong chemicals or solvents, and for tough spills like gum or paint, gently scrape off with a plastic putty knife.

Marble countertops require similar care to granite but may need more prompt attention to spills due to their porous nature. A heavy-duty sealer specifically designed for marble can be beneficial to minimize staining and etching.


Natural stone countertops encapsulate the essence of sophistication and resilience, making them an excellent choice for multifamily housing projects. They offer a harmonious blend of elegance and practicality, meeting the diverse needs of developers, designers, and contractors. With their unique aesthetic, durability, and ease of maintenance, natural stone countertops add lasting value and beauty to any living space. Connect with Republic Elite to discover how our natural stone countertops can transform your next project into a success.