When you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom or home bar, one of the best things you could do for the overall look and feel is to install a natural stone countertop. People commonly think of granite for their homes, but there are other options that are just as, if not more, beautiful. Onyx, for instance, is a competitor for stone countertops and looks incredible anywhere it is placed.
But which option is right for your home? Let’s put granite and onyx head to head and find out.
Overview: Granite vs. Onyx
When it comes to figuring out the best stone for your home, it’s all about knowing the specifics. Here are the details about each kind:
Granite is dense, coarse igneous rock that is comprised of mica, quartz, orthoclase, and microciine. The mica is what gives granite its glimmer.
Cooks love granite because of how resilient the stone is to damage in the kitchen. Hot pots and pans, as well as knives, will not damage granite countertops as quickly as other types. This durability has made granite a popular choice in households for many years, and now you can find granite in hotels, luxury homes and condominiums, and even in commercial buildings.
People assume onyx is always black, like obsidian, but that’s not always the case. Onyx is actually a variant of marble that also contains calcite. This gives onyx a translucent quality that homeowners can play up with lighting.
Onyx is a natural stone but also rare, so it is usually available in smaller slabs. It is also more fragile than granite and cannot endure as much stress.
Look of Granite vs. Onyx
Although both stones come in a variety of colors, only one might have the look you’ve been searching for.
The colors granite can come in are vast. Sometimes granite is one single shade or a swirl of hundreds of colors. You might see blacks, reds, blues, greens, and much more. Some stone is flecked while others have large veins of color. Granite differs from piece to piece, but some stones are not as wild looking as others.
Onyx is light and can be translucent, so under-counter lighting is always an option for showing off its beauty. Onyx can range in multiple shades, such as pinks and golds, reds, blues and greens. Since onyx is variable, some pieces might be solid colors while others are streaked or flecked.
Care Instructions for Granite and Onyx
Let’s look at the differences in upkeep between these two stones.
You should always use stone cleaners on granite and sealant to stop any staining. Granite is rather dense, so you may not need sealant. Also, granite is strong enough to withstand strong impacts, knife blades, and even direct heat from pots and pans—but you should not subject the granite to this all the time, as it can break.
Never let acids or vinegar sit on granite for an extended period of time, as it will weaken the stone. Clean up spills as soon as possible.
Unlike granite, onyx is not resistant to heat and blunt force. It will mark up with acids and can also be stained by cleaners. Therefore, onyx is best placed in locations with low traffic. Any liquids should be wiped up quickly, since the stone may stain.
Onyx needs to be cleaned with stone cleaner often and be sealed up regularly to avoid discoloration.
Sometimes, the deciding factor is price. Neither are cheap, but one might be a better investment than the other. Please keep in mind that the prices listed are estimates and do not reflect all contractors.
Depending on the kind of granite you select, you will potentially pay anywhere between $80 to $175 per square foot (give or take). Some companies may charge additional installation feeds or extras for certain types of edging, so consider that as well.
Because onyx is rare, you may have to spend upwards of $250 per square foot. Plus, the pieces are much smaller than granite. Don’t be fooled by pieces that are $40. It will not be as high quality as more expensive pieces.
Granite vs. Onyx: Which Should You Choose?
Both countertops have their advantages and disadvantages. Choose wisely! Do you want something more affordable and resistant to damage? Or do you want an exotic piece that becomes the center of attention in your home?
Granite countertops are the correct choice if you want functionality, while onyx can be a breathtaking highlight in kitchens, bathrooms, and bars.
Still having trouble deciding which stone is right for you? Or do you have a renovation project in mind? Fill out the contact form to get in touch with us! We’re more than happy to answer your questions or send you a quote.