Exotic Kitchen Tiles Made From Granite, Marble or Onyx
The kitchen has earned a reputation as the main room of the home, functioning not only as a place to cook and eat, but as a place where families and friends gather and socialize. With this in mind, many homeowners and buyers find it worthy to invest in higher-quality materials when upgrading or renovating a kitchen. For instance, rather than choosing a more cost-effective, man-made countertop like laminate, many homeowners and designers will opt for natural stone products like granite, marble or onyx.
While granite has many benefits, particularly within the kitchen, onyx is considered to be an exotic stone that creates a uniquely beautiful appearance in any space in which it is used.
Onyx is part of the marble stone family and mainly consists of calcite, as it is formed through the processes known as stalactites and stalagmite. In simpler terms, calcite is basically a type of calcium carbonate. From the roof of limestone caves, the dripping of water containing calcium carbonate -- or calcareous water -- form icicle-shaped deposits called stalactites. Stalagmite describes calcareous water formations from the ground of the limestone cave. In some cases, stalactite and stalagmite formations meet midway, forming a column of onyx deposits within the limestone cave.
Onyx, like marble, is very porous, making it a much softer stone in comparison to granite. Onyx is therefore more susceptible to scratching, chipping and staining, especially when compared to the durability of granite countertops. However, unlike granite and marble, onyx is a semi-transparent stone often found in shades of white or even clear. This characteristic of onyx makes it a beautiful and interesting feature of any room, especially when used as a lighting feature where the aesthetically-pleasing patterns of onyx stones can be illuminated for all to see. Many homeowners and designers like to employ onyx countertops with under-counter lighting to achieve this effect.
Similar to granite and marble, no two onyx tiles will ever perfectly match. The veining pattern found on onyx tiles differs from one to the next, making each one unique. The veining of onyx stones tends to be very intense and concentrated.
Onyx slabs are not as readily available as granite slabs, due to their fragility and they therefore have to be purchased in much smaller slabs.
Also, because of its fragile nature, great attention should be paid to the care for onyx pieces. Because onyx is so porous, it does not perform well in high-traffic kitchens, but rather would be better in areas like less-frequently used kitchens, powder-rooms or as a bar top, where the use is less frequent. Onyx countertop pieces should be wiped down regularly using a clean, damp chamois or micro-fiber cloth, followed by a dry cloth for drying. Too much exposure to moisture could damage the stone, resulting in stains or water marks. It is also recommended that onyx vanities and countertops be cleaned using a stone cleaner and sealed regularly to preserve the stone's original state for as long as possible.
For an impressive new look, consider exotic kitchen tiles made from granite, marble or onyx for your next home renovation project.