If you’ve been shopping around for a new stone countertop material for your kitchen or bath, you may have come across Fantasy Brown. And you’ve also likely encountered the raging debate over what kind of stone it is and how it should be treated.
Don’t worry about the Fantasy Brown debate and the mind-boggling assertions by some that it’s as fussy as marble and others that it’s as rugged as quartzite. Fantasy Brown falls in a unique – and rather confusing – category, but it’s a durable stone that is most certainly worth the price per square foot.
What Type of Stone is Fantasy Brown?
One of the most popular natural stone surfaces for kitchen countertops in the US, Fantasy Brown is also among the most misrepresented. It gets lumped into so many different categories that it can become frustrating to understand, especially for those who like to do their research before spending thousands of dollars on a slab of stone.
To give a little perspective on the confusion around Fantasy Brown, here is a sampling of the labels we came across from different sellers after a quick Google search: quartzite, marble, serpentine, dolomite, granite, somewhere between marble and granite, dolomitic marble, soft quartzite. Confused? Now you know why.
Regardless, Fantasy Brown is in big demand all over the globe. It has the elegant look of a brown marble, often with the durability of granite. There’s no debate that it’s more resistant to etching, scratching and staining than typical marble – usually.
Is Fantasy Brown Durable?
Here’s how stone durability typically stacks up. Quartzite is usually the hardest, most durable stone, followed by granite and then the elegant, but somewhat fussy marble. Quartzite is a sedimentary stone made up of mostly quartz. As it gets compressed deep beneath the surface of the earth, all the quartz particles fuse together to become extremely rugged quartzite. Marble is also sedimentary rock, formed from limestone, which when compressed by heat and pressure becomes calcite. Granite is an igneous stone, formed from molten rock, which are also typically quartz. Different minerals present at the time granite is formed account for the large variety of granite available around the world.
Fantasy Brown, which is quarried in the Northern India region of Rajasthan, is technically a sedimentary stone. It is therefore erroneous to call it granite. Technically, it is a combination of marble and quartzite. According to the Natural Stone Institute, Fantasy Brown is made of layers of marble and quartzite that have been fused together over time.
The look and feel of Fantasy Brown are reminiscent of marble, but with brown and sandy hues, instead of gray. Picture the traditional gray marble and imagine waves of tawny desert sand and undulations of cream in a backdrop of off-white.
To be on the safe side, the Natural Stone Institute recommends treating Fantasy Brown like marble. But that’s not always necessary. The best bet is to do an acid test on the stone to see if the slab you’re about to buy is soft like marble or hard like quartzite. Find a small, inconspicuous area of stone and place a little lemon juice on it. If it’s quartzite, it won’t leave a mark or etch; if it’s marble, it will.
In most cases though, Fantasy Brown is more durable than its marble counterparts. That’s probably why the stone is so confusing to people. Buyers really need to do their homework to find out if the slab they are buying came from one of the layers of marble-like rock or stone akin to quartzite.
Fantasy Brown Countertop Care
Even if the Fantasy Brown you’re thinking of buying is closer to marble than quartzite, it is still worth the investment. First of all, it is not likely to be as soft as marble, even if it etches with the acid test. Most granites, for instance, will etch. Only hard quartzite will not.
And even if the Fantasy Brown is as soft as a typical marble, know that marble just takes a little more care than granite or quartzite. Marble has some advantages too – such as heat resistance and cool temperature retention, which makes it resistant to cracking if a hot pot touches it and great for rolling out heat-sensitive doughs.
No matter what stone you buy, make sure you or your fabricator seals it properly! If the acid test shows the stone to be closer to marble, ask your fabricator to seal it like marble. Fabricators use different techniques to seal soft stones such as marble, versus harder stones like quartzite.
Also, as a general rule for any natural stone surface, make sure to avoid leaving acids on the surface of the material for any length of time. If you make a mess with vinegar, lemon juice, vodka, tomato sauce or any other acidic ingredient, wipe it up right away and you won’t have a problem. Granite, though harder than marble, can etch too. Essentially, you should care for Fantasy Brown as you would any granite or marble.
Is Fantasy Brown a Good Choice for Your Kitchen?
It is really the aesthetic that makes Fantasy Brown so popular these days. There are few stones, other than Fantasy Brown, that offer the sweeping motion of marble in warm, neutral hues like cream, sand and brown. The color of Fantasy Brown is extremely versatile, matching a range of decor, from modern to rustic. The soft patterns compliment a stark white modern cabinet scheme as well as the natural look of a light oak or dark mahogany-stained wood.
As a customer, it’s not necessary to worry about Fantasy Brown’s stone classification. Leave that worry to the geologists. It is a popular product for a reason. It is durable, attractive and affordable. For most, that fits the bill perfectly for any kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity. The affordable price is a factor of Fantasy Brown’s availability. It is quarried in Northern India where it is abundant and easy to extract. There are literally tons of different types of natural stone available on the market today and Fantasy Brown is always in great demand due to its many attractive features that won’t fade over time.
It’s an easy choice. If it fits your style, go for it! You won’t be disappointed. Check out our public showroom and see for yourself!
Don’t Debate Fantasy Brown. Just Buy It. It’s Worth It.