When it comes to kitchen countertops, granite, quartz, marble, and solid surface countertops are the most popular options. However, if your vision for the kitchen countertops is that of the unique materials, then labradorite counter tops will be the best bet. This material is gaining huge popularity because it’s considered a semi-precious gemstone. As a matter of fact, many homeowners nowadays prefer labradorite as an alternative to already expensive granite countertops.
An important thing to note about labradorite is that it is slightly less durable than quartz and a few other countertop materials. The reason behind it is the labradorite’s mineralogy composition. But it doesn’t mean you cannot use this material as a kitchen countertop — all it demands is a little extra care and maintenance!
Apart from counters, labradorite gemstone is used as a material for making high-quality sinks, backsplashes, and even tiles. This post will teach you more about the countertops made from this precious stone and whether you should pick this up or not for your kitchen remodeling project. Let’s learn more about labradorite counters.
Before getting started, if you’d like to learn more about other materials for stone countertops, like engineered quartz, be sure to visit Caesarstone online.
What exactly is labradorite?
Labradorite is also known as Lemurian Blue. It is from the island of Madagascar. Its visual appearance is similar to quartzite because of the crystal formation in it; however, in reality, labradorite is granite.
Why is labradorite considered unique?
This stone is considered extraordinary because how much blue one will be able to see depends completely on how the light strikes it. In addition, this stone is known for its magical healing properties.
Labradorite countertops have a beautiful, unique appearance. They are also known for their impressive durability. In fact, on the hardness scale, it has been ranked a 6, just below the ranking for quartz. But, labradorite countertops still have to be protected from hard spills, and therefore proper sealing is required. Here is how high-quality labradorite countertops are manufactured:
1. Choose the labradorite stones/blocks
2. Trim the blocks using professional equipment
3. Clean and dry the pieces
4. Choose the pieces of desired colors
5. Place the selected pieces on a template with a flat surface
6. Carefully fill the empty space with crushed labradorite and high-quality clear resin
7. Let it dry completely
8. Give proper finishing
9. Carefully install
Pros of labradorite counter tops
Counters made from labradorite are popular in modern, trendy kitchen designs, all thanks to the popularity of this material on social media. Explore a few advantages of this countertop material:
1. Highly Unique appearance
Labradorite is a semi-precious material that features a unique appearance. One can easily witness different shades — green, crystal blue, and even tiny bits of rich gold that help make the countertop look super luxurious. If you love the aesthetic feel of these sporadic patterns together, labradorite is the ideal option for the kitchen countertop.
2. Surface finishing versatility
Labradorite allows you to choose from several options when it comes to surface finishing. From polished, antique, honed to brushed — select any type of finishing that best suits your design theme. However, polished ones have the highest popularity of all. Moreover, polished labradorite counter tops are also sealed to enable you to utilize all its features while preparing food.
Be it for commercial or residential usage, a labradorite counter top is best suited for both. The labradorite slabs are utilized as tiles, countertop panels, and even pavings.
With a hardness rank of 6, labradorite is one of the durable materials for countertops. In addition, you can cut the veggies directly on it without worrying about scratches.
5. Non-porous material
One of the best qualities of labradorite is that it is non-porous — which means the moisture won’t get locked in it — so there are no chances of bacteria growth. But keep in mind that it will need proper cleaning like any other non-porous counter materials.
This material has a mineralogical composition which means your kitchen countertops will be protected against acids and harsh chemical-based cleaners.
Cons of labradorite counter tops
As already mentioned, labradorite is a semi-precious material, and hence it lies on the expensive side. It is known as one of the luxurious kitchen countertop materials. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you can opt for other popular materials like quartz.
Scarcity is the key reason for the high cost of labradorite. Since this material is found only in specific places, it becomes rare, and you have to pay a hefty price for it compared to granite and quartz countertops.
3. Difficult to handle
Labradorite is quite hard to handle, and only a professional who has years of experience producing countertops with natural stones can handle this material.
Since labradorite countertops are heavy, homeowners must install sturdy cabinets that can handle the slab’s weight. If you don’t have such cabinets, just imagine the cost you will have to spend on new cabinets and countertops.
5. Scratches easily
Labradorite countertops can get scratched easily. However, they are not brittle. To protect it against scratches, it needs additional sealing/coating.
6. Requires resealing
It doesn’t matter whether you got the labradorite kitchen countertop sealed at the time of installation; there is the requirement for resealing after every few years to maintain its beauty and shine. However, dark-colored labradorite countertops can be resealed once every four to five years, but the lighter ones should be resealed every two years.
7. Need protection against heat
Although labradorite has good durability, it is still mandatory to protect it against excessive heat; otherwise, the counter may get chips and cracks. So, it’s suggested to avoid placing hot pans or dishes directly on the countertops. Rather, you should use trivets.
What are the popular color options for a labradorite counter top?
The most popular labradorite color options include:
● Fuchsia and purples (rarest labradorite colors)
Labradorite countertops are emerging to be popular because of their luxurious look. This material also contains healing properties, which is definitely a plus point, but homeowners will have to pay way more than they will pay for other stone countertops.
We have already discussed all the pros and cons of labradorite kitchen counters, and now it is your decision whether you want labradorite or would like to go for more cost-friendly options which offer almost the same features at a lesser installation and maintenance cost.