Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Today I want to talk countertops.

White marble is still one of the most popular countertop selections in the kitchen and bath market despite the fact that it is porous and does require upkeep and maintenance. Over the years countless companies have come out with  man-made options some of which I have talked about here on the blog, however when it came time to pick the countertops for my first kitchen, what did I choose? Marble. But maybe not next time for me...why? Well, there is a new (to me) kid on the block and he is putting all of the other options to shame. His name: Neolith.

This name may ring a bell as I talked a lot about it during a few instastories surrounding my  Luxury Living Show Bath at Phipps Plaza earlier this year. I selected the Calacatta Gold for the shower walls and was blown away by the finished results.

Photo by David Christensen for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine
Can you believe this is not real marble? I had seen the marble - esque slabs in person at Stone Center, but seeing the product installed in this shower application just blew me away. It really looks like marble. The veining, the colors, even the feel..... 

Photo by David Christensen for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine
It's a looker that's for sure, bur even more importantly, it is virtually indestructible.

Yes you read that right, this product is....
  • UV Resistant - making it great for outdoor applications.
  • Waterproof - No etching!!!
  • Freeze/Thaw resistant - another great attribute for an outdoor surface
  • Hygienic - meaning it is suitable for food contact. In fact it's just as good as stainless steel.
  • Easy to Clean - No household material will hurt it. 
  • Heat resistant up to 500 degrees celsius
  • Stain Resistant
To prove the last two points Leo Chuahy, owner of Stone Center brought a few props into our showroom last week to showcase the toughness of this stone. Up first - a blow torch.....yes, a BLOW TORCH. 

A lot of quartz surfaces say you can put hot plates and pans right out of the oven on their surfaces, but most of them can only withstand up to 350 - 390 degrees. Neolith is heat resistant up to 500 degrees celsius (932 degrees farenheight!), so there is nothing you could cook in your kitchen that would be hot enough to hurt these countertops.

Next he pulled out a sharpie and a can of spray paint. He let me write on the stone with the sharpie and then wiped it right off with rubbing alcohol.

Next, he sprayed this smiley face on the stone using spray paint.....


..... let it dry and again, it wiped right up. For me, this is so cool because I think of all the activities that happen on our countertops, specifically our island. While you can get (and I did) natural stone surfaces like marble sealed against food and beverage stains, I would of never feel comfortable enough to let Croix color with sharpies or Brent paint something on my old marble countertops. They were just too fragile in my mind. It would be really cool to have a surface that not only looks the way you want it to, but is care-free enough you can actually use it and enjoy it worry free.

Ok, ok, you get it..Neolith is cool, but what exactly is Neolith? Neolith is a sintered compact surface made with 100% natural material. Quartz, silicon and clay are mixed together and brought to solid form using high pressure, high temperatures or both, which is exactly how the earth makes natural stones like granite or marble. It is a 100% recyclable material that comes in a lot of different patterns and finishes, from matte to polished and a few in between. One of the coolest things about this product is it's size. It's light weight and can get as small as 1/8"(3mm) thick which is what you would use for cabinet cladding. The next size up is 1/4" (6mm), perfect for walls and flooring (this is the size we used for the walls of the shower in the photos above). And finally 1/2" (12mm) which is the size used for the countertops. The shower wall application is especially nice because you will be able to create drama and beauty with no grout!

As you can see, Neolith has a lot of good points, however, like anything, it has it's limitations. It is not chip resistant. No stone countertop is, but there can be the misconception that because this stone is SO easy to care for and worry free that it is indestructible. But this not true, like any stone, it can crack or chip if it's hit at the right angle with the right pressure. The good news.... chips and cracks can be repaired.

As I think about my next kitchen remodel, it excites me that there is finally a product like Neolith that will allow me to get the look I want without sacrificing my sanity down the road.  It's funny because when we bought our first house, the kitchen was the very first thing we tackled, but now that I'm a Mom, I'm thankful almost every day that I do not have a brand new kitchen in this house as I watch Croix slam into cabinets and spill anything and everything on the countertops. Kids change things and while I know he will grow out of this specific phase, he is going to live here, eat here, play here, do homework here, etc. for the next 16 1/2 years, so the idea of having a surface in the most used room of my house that he can actually use without me worrying sounds pretty good.

So yeah, I'm a fan....can you blame me? 

If you are in the Atlanta area and you are interested in hearing more or would like to see the stone for yourself, Stone Center in Norcross is the place for you. Click this link here for their info. 

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own.

1 Appreciated Comments :

Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Post a Comment