It’s not for the everyday kitchen countertop, but depending on a person’s taste and budget, semi-precious stone could be the perfect dream-home accent. It could add the exact touch of luxury needed to perfect the backsplash in a high-end kitchen or the unique accent that turns a boring wall into a brilliant feature.
Ways to Use Semi-Precious Stone in Decor
Semi-precious stone is much more versatile and durable than many people assume. And while it’s more expensive than exotic granite slabs, it’s well worth the price for the beauty that it bestows on a room, and for the value it adds to a home. It’s also more attainable, price-wise than one might think.
By going smaller with the project, a homeowner can indulge in the high-end allure of semi-precious stone without breaking the bank. For instance, an accent of antique blue agate could be embedded within a marble backsplash to elevate it to stunning. Or surrounding a fireplace in dark sodalite or jasper could add elegance to an otherwise dull den.
When viewed as a piece of art, or a feature that sparks conversation, the extra cost to invest in semi-precious stone makes perfect sense, especially if it’s within a homeowner’s budget.
Types of Semi-Precious Stone
There are several different types of semi-precious stone on the market today and most of it is sturdy enough to use for countertops, as well as wall coverings, flooring and accent pieces. People often opt to use it for accent pieces to showcase its beauty, not because it’s fragile. Frequently, semi-precious stone installations are also backlit to show off its colors and its translucent qualities.
In today’s homes, people are installing large slabs of back-lit stones like agate or crystal to create impressive accent walls or they’re adding semi-precious stone to smaller features, such as to frame a fireplace or for a kitchen backsplash. Some install stones like petrified wood or Tiger Eye Gold for their kitchen countertops or backlit slabs of crystalline quartz on a bar top to create a truly unique look. The possibilities are as endless as a homeowner’s or a designer’s imagination.
Some of the most popular semi-precious stone slabs today are agate. Agate comes in a wide variety of colors, including blue, green, yellow and brown and various shades and tones in between. The stones are cut in slices, sort of like if you were to slice off a piece of a geode. The oval and circular pieces are then fit together like a puzzle, to form a durable slab in a bed of resin.
Agate slabs look like a mosaic of stone slices in an array of colors. They are stunningly beautiful, but not quite as bold and showy as some of the other gemstones like amethyst with its bright purple hue, or the varied shades of pink in rose quartz. Crystalline quartz – the natural stone – is another popular option. Crystal quartz comes in several shades of white and ivory, as well as pink and other colors that are more rare. Other popular semi-precious stones that are readily available include sodalite and jasper. Sodalite is black with hints of metallic and jasper is a frenzy of natural earth tones mixed with tones of gold.
Durability of Semi-Precious Stones
Whether semi-precious stone is used as an art piece on a wall or countertops or flooring, it stands up to daily wear and tear just as well as marble, granite, and most other natural and manufactured stone. All of the slabs imported by The Granite Place are manufactured with care and precision, to ensure excellent durability.
In addition to its dramatic beauty, semi-precious stone is considered an eco-friendly option because the process of extracting and cutting the stone produces little to no waste. On top of that, semi-precious stone is scratch and stain resistant, and it also is known to create a hostile environment for microbes and bacteria that cause illness.
While it’s not practical financially for everyone to line their countertops in crystal or agate, a semi-precious stone countertop is just as durable as a granite countertop. It’s not a common countertop option due to the price point, not it’s durability. The same cautions that apply to the care of granite apply to the care of semi-precious stone.
It’s important, however, that the semi-precious stone comes from a high-quality manufacturer. TGP inspects each slab it imports and deals only with merchants who have a reputation for the highest quality and the best value. Some unscrupulous manufacturers will create products that mimic semi-precious stone and sell it as the real thing. Others have been known to skimp on the ratio of semi-precious stone to resin, decreasing the durability of the slab while also creating a product with larger gaps between the stones.
At TGP, customers can rest assured that our slabs are top quality and authentic semi-precious gemstones. That same commitment for quality goes for all of the natural stone at TGP stores, including granite, marble, quartzite and manufactured Radianz Quartz.
How to Care for Semi-Precious Stone
Like with any natural stone, semi-precious stone should be cleaned with a pH neutral detergent and a non-abrasive cloth. Also, like natural stone, semi-precious stone is resistant to scratching and heat, but it’s not a good idea to use a sharp knife directly on the stone surface or place a piping hot frying pan directly on top on the countertop. Similarly, any caustic or acidic liquids that spill, like lemon juice, liquor or vinegar, should be wiped up right away to avoid stains or etching.
If it’s within your budget to install semi-precious stone countertops and you love the look, don’t hesitate to do so! Whether you select a more subtle Tiger Eye or go bold with amethyst, the beauty of the stone will only elevate the aesthetic of your kitchen or bathroom. If, like many homeowners, such a splurge isn’t practical for a countertop, consider using semi-precious stone as an accent piece. If you love the look of gemstones, why not add them to your decor? Stop by our showroom at The Granite Place today!