Lava stone countertops started to gain attraction lately due to the fact that this kind of material offers a whole new palette of colors, that can replace the usual grey and white countertops that most of the other materials offers.
Lava stone is a durable material, that can withstand high traffic in your kitchen, and last for long time. Although, this kind of material is relatively more expensive than other materials such as quartz and marble.
So the question that need to be answered is that: do lava stone countertops represent a good quality/price ratio. In other words, do lava stone countertops worth the money? This is what we will try to investigate through this article.
What Is Lava Stone Countertop?
Lava stone countertop is a countertop that is made obviously of lava stone, but what is lava stone, and what are the characters that can made of it a good material for kitchen countertops?
Lava stone is a natural stone that can be created by the cooling of hot lava that gets expelled during a volcanic eruption. So briefly, lava stone countertops are made of the cooled volcanic lava, this latter can contain different minerals depending on the composition of the lava it self.
With that being said, it’s logical that every lava stone countertop is different from the other. The main difference is the mineralogical composition, that will cause differences in term of durability and look.
So you should keep in mind that not all the lava stone countertops are going to behave the same to the heat, impacts and moisture.
Is Lava Stone Suitable for Kitchen Countertops?
Considering the durability of lava stone countertops, in addition to the great color palette that offers, lava stone countertops are one of the best choices if you’re considering to keep your countertop for a long time.
Although, not all the lava stone countertops are suitable for kitchen countertops. As we mentioned above, the lava stone durability depends on the type of the lava that gave birth to that stone. I know it’s a little bit technical, but I’ll try to explain it again!
The lava stone is formed by the cooling of lava, and not all the lavas are the same in term of chemical composition. This means, that depending on the chemical composition of lava, we’ll get different lava stone and the main difference in the mineralogy. The difference in term of mineralogy will impacts directly the behavior of the stone to heat, scratches, weathering and moisture.
So how to choose a durable lava stone countertop?
According to our experience in countertops, and especially natural stone based countertops, we recommend to choose lavas tone countertops with a light color and not dark colors !
This recommendation comes from the fact that dark color lava stone countertops are made mainly by ferromagnesian minerals such as iron and magnesium. These minerals can be easily damaged when contacting water, and yellow spots will appear which are simply rust.
On the other hand, you should choose lava stone countertops that are in light colors, which is explained by the high quartz content. Quartz is a very hard and durable mineral that can withstand high impacts and resist to scratches and water.
Lava Stone Countertops Durability
In this part of the article, we’ll review lava stone countertops durability, and it’s ability to resist to scratches, water, heat and if it can be used outdoor.
Are Lava Stone Countertops Scratch Proof?
When having a lava stone countertop installed in your kitchen, you should watch out for your knives edges rather than the surface of your countertop.
The natural process by which lava stone countertops are made, in addition to the mineralogical composition, especially for the light color lava stone countertops make of it one of the best countertop materials when it come to scratch proof.
Lava stone countertops can withstand high impacts, and will not break or chip any time soon. Some countries and especially France use lava stone as their road signs!
Are Lava Stone Countertops Stain Resistant?
Due to the non-porous nature of lava stone countertops, they are unlikely to get stained by coffee or wine spills. Although, it’s doesn’t hurt to seal your lava stone countertop so it can last for long periods.
You should consider to change the sealant once in a year or two years, so you keep the efficiency and the functionality of your lava stone countertop.
Are Lava Stone Countertops Heat Proof?
Lava stone countertops can resist to high temperatures, as you can put your hot pan directly on it, with no problem. The mineralogical composition, in addition to the process by which lava stone countertops are made, make of them number one countertop in heat resistance.
Are Lava Stone Countertops Acid Proof?
You don’t need to worry about your lava stone countertop from acids and harsh chemicals cleaners, as the components of lava stone countertops are acid proof. So you won’t experience any surface etching or yellowing in contrary to other materials such as limestone or marble.
Can Lava Stone Countertops Be Used Outdoors?
Lava stone stone countertops can withstand strong weathering, water, heat and acids, which make them one of the best options for outdoor countertops, and a serious competitor to quartz and quartzite countertops.
Lava Stone Countertops Cost
The main drawback of lava stone countertops is the cost! Lava stone countertops can cost you anything in the range of 250$ to 350$ per square foot. This price is explained by the fact that the lava stone countertops main manufacturer is France, which means higher delivery expenses.
If you consider the quality, low maintenance and the durability of lava stone countertops, it’s a great quality/price ratio.
By installing a lava stone countertops, you will forget about any regular maintenance, except the sealing once in two years. Lava stone can guarantee you an efficient and functional kitchen countertop for the next 30 years or more.
Although, nearly the same durability can be ensured by quartz or quartzite countertops, for a lower price, but you will sacrifice the great color palette that lava stone offers, and which can suite perfectly any kitchen style.