There have never before been more material choices for homeowners and designers to pick from, when deciding what materials to use when creating counters, table tops, floors, back-splashes, staircases, and so on.
Natural stone is often the preferred choice because of its large selection of different appearances and styles, as well as for its uniqueness. Onyx is a type of natural stone that has increasingly been receiving more attention as a material used within the realms of home renovation and home decor, even though it may not be the most functional material. The growing popularity of onyx is more so for its exotic and refined appearance and versatility that is considered to be unachievable with any other natural stone.
What is Onyx?
Onyx is sometimes thought of as part of the marble family since the type of onyx typically used within homes for decoration purposes is derived from calcite - a calcium carbonate which is the same mineral used to comprise marble, as well as travertine and limestone.
The actual phrase "onyx" was previously used to categorize a sort of agate, which is a type of decorative stone consisting of banded layers of chalcedony. Chalcedony is a type of microcrystalline quartz found not only in the form of agate, but jasper and onyx as well. In this case, onyx almost always appears completely black, or white, or black-and-white. This type of onyx is popular within homes, especially those going for a dramatic or modern flare. It is commonly used in the jewelry making industry as it is considered to be extremely beautiful and exotic.
Like its "family member" marble, onyx is a porous stone with a smooth, slippery surface. It is also categorized as one of the softer, less dense stones, just like marble, making onyx also more susceptible to scratching and etching, especially when compared to other natural stones, particularly granite. However, with the right finish, signs of wear-and-tear can somewhat be minimized. Common finishes used on onyx include honed finishes which appear smooth, and somewhat matte in terms of shine. Another popular onyx finish is polished, which unlike honed, give the surface an extremely glossy and reflective shine.
Applications of Onyx within the Home
Onyx is a beneficial home decor option, as it may be used in many different ways. Onyx is more traditionally applied within kitchen spaces. However, as its popularity grows within the home, it is seen in more and more different rooms, especially in the bathroom. Onyx makes for a beautiful sink, turning one's sink into something resembling that more of artwork rather than just a utilitarian sink. Onyx is also used in bathroom showers, floors, and walls or back-splashes. Onyx tiles create great fireplace surroundings, tabletops or bar-tops, and even floor decorations like medallions or a mosaic.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Onyx Stone
Onyx is extremely flexible in terms of its usage and decor options. This, as well as its beauty, is considered to be one of the benefits of working with onyx. Onyx will automatically enhance the appearance of any room, because it itself is viewed as such an exceptionally aesthetically pleasing stone. Onyx is also very unique, as no two onyx pieces are identical. It comes in a ranging list of colours and patterns, making it easy to accommodate any colour scheme or style demand. Onyx comes in just about any colour from:
However, there are some disadvantages of onyx stone for homeowners, designers, builders, and architects, to remember. For instance, as mentioned, onyx is a porous stone, making it prone to scratching and etching, as well as staining. Even when sealed, onyx is not 100 per cent resistant to these signs of use.