Putting in a new countertop is a big decision, especially when you consider how many options are available. Not only are there the “usual” options that everyone’s familiar with. These could be laminate, granite, quartz, and marble, for instance. But there are also some lesser known possibilities—like a lava or schist countertop.

Featured image for "Is A Schist Countertop For You_ All You Need To Know About Schist" blog post

Today we thought we’d dig a little into the idea of a schist countertop. (We’ve talked about lava countertops, already). So get ready to be introduced.

What is schist?

Starting out, let’s turn to a technical definition first. Of course, you know schist is stone, but exactly what kind of stone is it? Well, here’s Geology.com: “Schist is a foliated metamorphic rock made up of plate-shaped mineral grains that are large enough to see with an unaided eye.”

Now, that may sound like it rates well for technicality. Yet it might not help us out much when it comes to practicality. However, one thing that’s useful for our purposes is the word “metamorphic.” So, schist is a metamorphic rock which means that it reached its current form thanks to pressure and heat.

What does a schist countertop look like?

When you’re wondering what a schist countertop will look like, it’s important to remember this could vary. There are different kinds of schist, so that’s one sense in which schist can vary. Also, like other natural stones, we do expect differences from slab to slab, too.

Thus, to know what your schist countertop will look like, you may need a glimpse of your actual slab. Naturally, there could be differences between what you see in other counters and what your own would look like.

Still, sometimes it’s helpful and fun to get a visual baseline. And for that, we’ll turn to Ashfield Stone—a Massachusetts company that quarries this metamorphic stone. First, take a look at the Galaxy Schist. The company says it “has a rhythmic woven pattern that has been likened to birdseye maple, tree bark, or wind-whipped ripples on the surface of water.”

Perhaps you could use this beautiful dark stone to add contrast in an otherwise white kitchen. Or consider it at another time when you need dark countertops. But if you’re looking for something a little less uniform, visually speaking, Crowsfoot Schist may be the order of the day. And Quicksilver Schist stands in welcome contrast to Crowsfoot’s busyness.

More to know about schist

Thanks to mica (which is a mineral in the stone), schist can sparkle. This could make it an option for those of you who are looking for some pizzazz from your countertop. Check if any countertop specialists near you can show you slabs of schist countertop. Could this add an extra level of beauty and interest to your kitchen design?

Also, note that you may be able to select different finishes for your schist countertop. So, consult with your stone specialist to see whether you can choose how polished your surface is. Additionally, schist is not limited to countertop use. Thus if you’re looking for a gorgeous natural stone fireplace, consider the possibility of using schist. (Perhaps Quicksilver as pictured below).

Caring & paying for your schist countertop

Doubtless, you want to take good care of your countertop and have it remain beautiful. It’s good to keep in mind that certain substances can stain schist, according to Stone Source. Additionally, they also note that scratching is another risk due to the stone’s “low abrasion resistance rating.”

It’s likely you’ll still need to seal your schist countertop. Consequently, consider checking with the stone specialist who installs your slab about how (and how often) they recommend doing this. And check out Counter Top guides’ How to Seal Natural Stone Countertops for Better Durability.

Perhaps you’re thrilled at the possibility of using schist for your kitchen. Yet you’re wondering what kind of a price tag you could be looking at. Here’s something to get you started from the Wall Street Journal. They say, “Price: $80 a square foot for polished Galaxy and Quicksilver schist; Crowsfoot schist is $120 a square foot.”

Beyond the countertop

If you’re looking to part ways with marble, granite, or quartz, check into the potential of a schist countertop. And remember that your countertop is only one part of the room you’re designing. So think about the whole picture including cabinets, flooring, paint color, and more. Head to How To Match Your Countertop With Your Color Palette & Style as you make your plans. Also, check out 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Start Your Remodel.