The Showstopping Countertop Material That Will Give Your Home The Most Luxurious Feel

Published
The Showstopping Countertop Material That Will Give Your Home The Most Luxurious Feel

The Showstopping Countertop Material That Will Give Your Home The Most Luxurious Feel

Vera Larina/Shutterstock

Installing a natural stone countertop in your kitchen can be an exceptional way to add value, beauty, and a touch of luxury to your home. If you’re looking for a unique countertop that stands out, consider onyx. It’s a type of stone noted for its multiple layers of colors, which give it a distinctive look. One of the benefits of onyx is that its color and design are often dramatic, making it a statement piece in any kitchen or bathroom you put it in. Onyx is often thought to be black, but color variations are numerous, and naturally black onyx is actually quite rare. It’s found in brown, reds, and greens as well. It’s also a translucent stone, which gives it a bit of shine and depth when polished. There are some drawbacks to consider before investing in it, though, including that onyx can be a somewhat soft stone, which means it could be damaged easily. There are a few ways to get around this drawback.

Understanding both the pros and cons of onyx countertops will help you better decide whether the luxuriousness of its look and feel is worth the extra work it may take to install it. Like other natural stones, onyx is considered somewhat rare, which is why it can be a spending choice. Costs range from $40 to $250 per square foot, with at least $75 per square foot likely. That’s a bit higher than what granite typically costs.

The benefits of onyx countertops

Onyx countertops in kitchen

Olga Sapegina/Shutterstock

There’s no doubt that even the lower-end priced onyx countertops make a statement. They often have bold colors or swirling patterns that help give them a dramatic look. The aesthetics can be versatile enough for a bathroom that’s focused on luxury and relaxation or in the kitchen when you want an ultra-modern, showstopping space to entertain. When you design your countertops to be underlit or even backlit, you’ll see more of the deep veining and detail that makes onyx so reliably beautiful. This translucency is unique among most natural stone countertops, making it a stunning option to place on your wet bar or as a fireplace mantel.

There are other benefits to using onyx in your home, including that, as a natural stone, it’s going to last for years to come. Though it requires some maintenance, you can expect this stone to endure, with some products lasting a century or longer. At the same time, it’s also lighter in weight than what you may expect from marble, granite, or other types of natural stone countertops. That means you may need less overall support for it and can put it on a wider variety of cabinetry, such as those that may be lighter in weight themselves. It may also be a bit easier to manage if you are trying to install it yourself (though it’s best to let a pro handle this type of highly valuable stone).

The disadvantages of onyx countertops

Black onyx countertop

KARNAVALL22/Shutterstock

There are a few significant disadvantages of onyx that you at least need to plan for. The biggest drawback is its consistency. Onyx is a type of calcareous stone. That means it forms over time as limestone dissolves and then deposits over and over again. Each time the limestone deposits and reforms, it creates a new layer of stone. However, this also leads to the stone being rather soft (and that contributes to how lightweight it is). You’ll likely need to counteract that softness in several ways.

The use of a mesh backing is often beneficial. This helps to give the stone more structural support over time. The next concern is normal wear and tear on the stone. It can be nicked and damaged rather easily because of that soft structure. It’s also porous, which means you’ll need to keep the surface sealed properly to maintain it over time. Sealing it helps to minimize the staining and scratches.

If you’re planning to place onyx in the kitchen that you use every day with lots of pots and pans and normal wear and tear, it will require more care to maintain its look. If you plan to place it in the guest bathroom that isn’t so routinely used, it will be easier to maintain. As with all natural stone, be sure to talk to the manufacturer about care and maintenance of the natural countertop to protect your warranty.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.