The versatility and individuality of natural stone have made it a particularly popular choice. The once-obscure mineral travertine is now a mainstay for flooring, so it is not particularly surprising that its cousin onyx is among the latest trends in home decor. While it may not be the most practical of materials, the incredible versatility and exotic beauty of onyx create an air of elegance and sophistication that is virtually unmatched. The term “onyx” was once reserved for a type of agate, which is in turn derived from quartz. This form of onyx is almost exclusively black-and-white and is often used in jewelry. Most of the onyx found in home decor comes from calcite, a mineral that also forms the basis for travertine, limestone, and marble. In fact, its resemblance to the latter is the reason why onyx is sometimes known as “onyx marble.”
Like marble, onyx has a smooth and porous surface. It has a fairly low density, same like the marbles. This makes it softer and more pliable than other natural stone tiles. It comes in a variety of mostly earth-toned shades and can be finished in a number of ways, though it is typically honed or polished to a high shine. Onyx may be used in a number of ways. While it is most often seen in kitchens, onyx is also showing up with increasing frequency in bathrooms, as the basis for sinks, showers, floors and even walls. It can also be fashioned into intricate mosaic inlays for fireplace surrounds, table tops, and floor medallions. Onyx is a versatile stone, but it is also one of a striking beauty. Because it was created by nature, no two pieces of onyx are exactly alike, and with hues ranging from pale gold to deep red, onyx tiles can fit into almost any color scheme. The variations in color and pattern can be enhanced through backlighting, which uses onyx’s natural translucence to bring a warm, rich glow to almost any room. Onyx is not for the faint of heart when it comes to countertops. As it is a calcium-based stone, it has a softer surface that requires constant care to keep it pristine and free of visible damages. Its translucency combined with its generous offering of colors and shades like brown, red, white, green, and black is what makes each onyx countertop a visual masterpiece.
Onyx is a rare stone, both in nature and in its unconventional use as countertops. Onyx is eye-catching with its mesmerizing patterns that provide one of the most naturally beautiful contrasts between its primary color and those of the alternating bands in its stone. Another appeal of onyx is the translucency of the stone: this unique property allows onyx pieces to be backlit with a soft light that will make them literally glow as they show off their colors and contrasts. As an added bonus, Onyx was also believed in ancient times to bestow courage and eloquence.
Onyx is fragile:
All stones are “rock hard” and completely solid, but that’s simply not the case. Onyx is the perfect example of a stone that requires extra care. Onyx countertops typically include a fiberglass backing compound to strengthen the slab and keep it together. This means that onyx slabs are not able to be extracted from the ground as well as other stones, so the slabs are much smaller in size than something like granite (a very hard stone).
Onyx is soft:
The biggest problem with Onyx is that it is very soft. It does not hold up well with regular use. If you move pots and pans around or chop vegetables on it, you’re going to scratch up the surface. Anything hard or sharp will have no trouble scraping your countertop. Another danger is any acidic liquid if you spill any of this stuff on onyx, it could “etch” and dull the surface.
Maintenance is a serious issue with onyx:
You can’t just install onyx countertops and be done with it. Onyx needs to be sealed properly and then cleaned with the special stone cleaner at frequent intervals to make it less-prone to scratching and staining. It’s a high-maintenance stone that needs to be sealed and cleaned with special solutions regularly. Depending on how heavily used it is, it may even need to be refinished from time to time to smooth out the surface again.
Onyx is expensive:
The onyx itself, plus all the maintenance, means onyx doesn’t come cheap. Onyx is the most expensive countertop material you can get. The fact that Onyx is a rare stone also means that it’s expensive just by itself and even more so when you take the regular maintenance needed into account.
Onyx is rare:
Onyx is a rare stone and it’s rarely used for countertops. And that is what makes it perfect for someone trying to stand out. Furthermore, every single piece of onyx is unique.
Onyx is beautiful:
Though onyx is expensive and rather impractical, there is no denying the sheer beauty of the stone. It comes in a variety of colors and the “veining” adds contrasting colors to make these slabs look like works of art. The light hits it and it shines, brightening up the room. For even more appeal, try backlit onyx, which has a wonderful glow that you can’t get any other way.
It all comes down to what kind of statement you want to make about your house. You can go with other popular and more durable stones that give your house a luxurious uplift with minimal effort. Or you can stand out from the crowd through sheer willpower and continuous self-improvement work. For all of this detailed analysis and to give you your taste and design of home décor items Thar Marbles can be a helping partner to make your house stand out from the others.