When it comes to elevating a space, natural stone countertops have long been a favorite choice.
They bring an authenticity, natural beauty and elegance that few other materials can match.
Among these, onyx countertops stand out.
Not just any stone, onyx is often seen as the epitome of luxury in countertop choices.
But what makes it so special? Let’s talk about the allure of onyx stone countertops.
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Onyx kitchen countertops.
This post is about Onyx stone countertops
What is Onyx ?
Onyx is a unique form of calcite, a naturally occurring mineral known for its stunning, translucent appearance.
Nature’s got its own way of making art.
Think of onyx as one of its masterpieces, born deep in caves.
This calcareous stone comes to life when water is collected in one area, dripping down and dropping minerals like calcite along the way.
Over years, these drips stack up, layer by layer.
This drip water forms onyx, crafting those gorgeous bands we see in onyx slabs.
It’s a bit like nature’s version of a time-lapse painting!
Onyx is available in variety of colors.
With its mesmerizing patterns and rich beautiful colors, onyx natural stone is not just a gem for jewelry but also a luxurious choice for countertops
The Pros of Onyx Countertops
Onyx isn’t just another stone; it comes in different colors.
Whether you’re feeling a deep green vibe or a calm beige, onyx has got you covered.
Patterns Like No Other:
Every slab of onyx is like a snowflake – unique appearance and full of exceptional patterns.
Honestly, the sheer beauty of the stone can easily become the star of any room.
This precious stone is translucent. It can backlight.
It is a perfect choice for a focal point of any room.
Think of it as the main attraction at a party – it’s hard not to stare.
Glow it Up:
One of the coolest things about onyx? It gives a wonderful glow when you put a light behind it.
More than Just a Countertop:
Onyx isn’t just for counters.
Make it the centerpiece in your kitchen or let it shine in your bathroom vanity.
A Decorator’s Dream: With its unique ability to jazz up spaces, it’s no wonder designers often use it for decorative touches.
Variety in Application
Not Just for Kitchens:
From classy bar countertops to stylish wall claddings and accent walls, onyx is pretty versatile.
Have you seen the green onyx countertops or those pristine white onyx slabs? They are the most popular colors being used for decorative elements.
Black onyx slabs could make the perfect coffee table, that will be such a unique option.
Green onyx countertop is a perfect option for any vertical applications in commercial buildings.
Flexibility in Design
Play with Shades: If you’re into contrasts, onyx has got some pretty neat shades that pair perfectly with white walls and those ever-so-popular neutral tones.
Elevated Home Value
The luxury of onyx can elevate your home’s market value. It’s not just a countertop—it’s an investment.
The Cons of Onyx Countertops
Onyx is a porous stone.
It requires regular sealing to prevent stains and damage.
They can last a very long time however proper care and maintenance is needed on a regular basis.
Onyx countertops can be cleaned with a mild soapy water.
However I would recommend using special stone cleaner that is available for these types of stone.
Onyx is vulnerable to acidic liquids such as lemon juice, fruit juice, and red wine.
If spills happen, clean up should be done right away.
Delicate Nature: As compared to other stones, onyx is a soft stone.
That means it is more prone to scratches.
It is also a more of a brittle stone when you compare it to granite countertops.
It does need extra care.
Direct contact with extremely hot objects can damage the stone, so it’s advisable to avoid placing hot pots directly on its surface.
Onyx can not be used for outdoor use as it will get damaged because of the extreme heat.
Onyx is an amazing natural stone.
Due to its unique look, various colors, it is not the cheapest option.
Onyx slabs have contrasting shades within the same slab and it is translucent.
This is the primary benefit of onyx and the reason that makes it an expensive stone.
Onyx is used a lot for wall cladding.
Since it’s a softer material, special care is taken to make sure the onyx slabs do not break during installation and are stable afterwards.
Using a fiberglass backing compound during the installation process ensures the stone’s longevity and stability.
Onyx Maintenance and Care ( PRO TIPS)
Mild Soap and Water:
Onyx can be cleaned with a mixture of mild soap and water.
Avoid abrasive cleaners which can damage its surface.
I would recommend using stone cleaners.
Soft Cloth: Always use a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this might scratch the stone.
Stone Cleaners: There are cleaners specifically designed for onyx and similar calcareous stones.
They help maintain the stone’s natural shine without the risk of chemical damage.
Make sure any cleaner used is pH neutral to avoid any reactions with the stone.
Given its porous nature, it’s crucial to wipe spills immediately, especially acidic substances like lemon juice, red wine, or fruit juice.
Blot, Don’t Rub: If a spill occurs, blot it gently rather than rubbing to prevent the stain from spreading.
Protecting the Surface:
Consider applying a sealant periodically to protect the stone from staining.
Consult with a professional to determine the best type for your onyx.
Trivets and Coasters:
Use trivets under hot pots and pans, and coasters under glasses to prevent heat damage and staining.
Avoiding Physical Damage:
Onyx is comparatively more fragile than other countertop materials. Avoid dropping heavy objects on it.
Always use a cutting board when using sharp objects to prevent scratches.
If you have a backlit onyx piece, make sure that any liquid that might seep into the light fixtures is cleaned immediately.
Remember that onyx is a calcareous stone, which means it can react with certain chemicals and substances.
Always test a cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first.
Where to Install Onyx Countertops
Having worked closely with luxury interior designs, there’s no denying the majesty of onyx.
However, it’s important to understand where and how to use it.
It’s more than a countertop material.
It’s a centerpiece, Perfect for a luxury bar or as a kitchen island centerpiece or an accent piece.
I will not recommend it as the primary kitchen space.
Onyx bathroom vanities are a good idea in guest rooms as they are not going to be used daily.
Onyx is a great choice for bar tops.
The backlit onyx colors give any bar a modern look and a touch of class.
How much do Onyx Countertops Cost ?
Onyx slabs are works of art.
These types of natural stone are rare.
Because of its unique colors and natural stone’s appearance, onyx countertop cost more than granite stone or quartz.
This price can vary based on several factors:
Basic Price Range:Typically, onyx countertops range in cost, often falling between $80 to $250 or more per square foot.
(You should check the prices in your area)
This price can vary based on several factors:
Quality and Rarity:
- Grade: Onyx slabs are graded based on their quality. Higher grade onyx, which has fewer imperfections and more vibrant patterns, will be priced at the higher end of the spectrum.
- Rarity: Some colors and patterns of onyx are rarer than others. For instance, while white onyx slabs might be on the more affordable side, a unique green onyx countertop could command a higher price.
Origin and Import Fees:Onyx is sourced from various parts of the world. Depending on its origin, transportation, import duties, and other related costs can influence the final price per square foot.
Thickness:The thickness of the slab plays a significant role in its cost.
Thicker slabs require more material and are often pricier.
Common thicknesses include 2cm and 3cm, with the latter generally being more expensive.
Finish and Customization:
Polished vs. Honed: A polished finish, which offers a glossy surface, might differ in cost compared to a honed (matte) finish.
Edge Profiles: Custom edges or intricate designs can add to the overall cost.
Backlighting: If you opt to backlight the onyx to accentuate its translucence, this will add to the installation and overall costs.
Installation:While the raw material cost is one thing, don’t forget about installation.
The process requires expertise, especially given the fragile nature of onyx.
Installation costs can add a significant amount to the overall price.
These cost vary depending on the design of the project. It’s best to get quotes from fabricators in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is onyx more expensive than granite?
Typically, yes. Onyx is rarer and considered more luxurious.
How often should I seal my onyx countertop?
At least once a year, but consult with your installer for the best advice.
Can I place hot pots directly on onyx?
It’s best to use trivets or pot holders to prevent potential damage.
Does onyx scratch easily?
Onyx is softer than some stones, so it can be susceptible to scratches.
Can I use onyx for my outdoor kitchen?
It’s not recommended. Onyx can fade when exposed to direct sunlight over time.
Is onyx suitable for bathroom countertops?
Absolutely! Onyx, with its translucence, works wonders, especially when backlit in bathroom settings.