Choosing Countertops: Natural Stone

Natural stone is a classic choice for kitchen countertops, but it does require maintenance.


HGTV Remodels Room Stories Transitional Kitchen with butcherblock island and glass-front cabinets.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Jason Kisner, 2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Marble, soapstone and Jerusalem stone are just some of the natural stones used for kitchen countertops. Bakers love to knead dough on cold marble, but designers recommend it be used sparingly as a countertop material because it's soft, stains easily and chips. Soapstone won't crack like other stones, but it will dent if it gets hit with something hard. The dents, says Jennifer Gilmer, of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. in Chevy Chase, Md., give it a used, stressed look that some people really like. It comes in many colors and gives the room a soft, warm feel. Jerusalem stone (which does come from Jerusalem) looks like limestone but is as durable as granite.

Design Tip:

Create a baking center by installing a low counter (30" to 33") and topping it with marble or granite. The lower height gives better leverage for kneading and rolling.


Clean natural stone countertops with liquid detergent and water. Seal marble annually. Apply mineral oil to soapstone every other week for the first year to help the stone oxidize evenly; apply every other month thereafter. Jerusalem stone requires annual sealing.


From $75-$200/lin. ft., installed.

Stone Countertops

See All Videos

Next Up

Choosing Countertops: Manufactured Quartz

Low-maintenance quartz countertops suit a variety of design styles.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops

Searching for the perfect surface doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some pointers about the most popular countertop materials.

Natural Countertops are Tops With Homeowners

When it comes to kitchen countertops, tile has been replaced by natural stone, solid surfaces and environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Choosing Countertops: Stainless Steel

The clean look of stainless steel works in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.

Choosing Countertops with Confidence

Designer Heidi Karpa helps you determine your design profile so you can choose countertops with confidence.

Tips for Choosing the Right Countertop

There are many more options for countertops than laminate. Here are some tips on how to choose a countertop that's right for you.

Choosing Countertops: Concrete

Concrete's organic look suits both modern and rustic kitchens.

Metal Countertops: Copper, Zinc, Stainless Steel and More

Stainless steel may be the obvious choice for metal countertops, but here are some other metallic options to consider for your kitchen.

Choosing Countertops: Laminate

Budget-friendly laminate sheds its dowdy reputation thanks to new, stylish prints and patterns.

Guide to Selecting Bathroom Countertops

Bathroom surfaces don't have to be as buff as the ones in the kitchen, so you can focus more on style and design.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.