I’m scheming a couple of long-term kitchen projects right now, so over the last number of months I’ve been gobbling up all the information I can on counter surfaces. For my own kitchen — I live in a 1790 house — I will probably go with classic marble and soapstone and just live with their foibles. (My house leans 2.5 inches to the south, so who cares if my counter is etched or chipped, right?) But some of my clients don’t want any hassle at all, and I don’t blame then,
All across the web, you’ll find various reviews of different quartz or granite surfaces that mimic marble and soapstone. They come in a variety of price points — with the price usually going up the closer they look to the real thing.
The Best New Thing for Counters Since Sliced Bread
(Next 3 images from Architectural Digest.)
This project is awesome, and you should check out the link. But for now, let’s just talk about the material on those solid surfaces. It’s called Neolith, and according to Marie, “virtually nothing short of a hurricane could damage this material!”
“My Name is Neo[lith]”
Neolith is a sintered stone that comes in large format for walls and floors and in tile sizes. It sounds like something from The Matrix, and its characteristics are just as futuristic.
- Heat resistant up to 1,000 °F (quartz is heat resistant to about 350º)
- Doesn’t scratch or etch!!!! (Dreaming about polished marble counters? Here you go, baby!)
- Easy to clean with regular chemical cleaners or other with a liquid absorption rate near zero
- Super light weight, making it great for wall and even furniture applications
- Amazing digital imaging with lots of fizzles and incredible depth
Neolith comes in 6 finishes…
(Next 5 images from Neolith.com.)
…and 4 thicknesses. The table below shows the application for each thickness.
I love the thin pieces for wall applications, like doing an entire bath wall (like Marie’s vanity wall) or a fireplace surround.
Take a look at the depth in that counter veining above. Gorgeous!
Some of the grays are really beautiful, too. A few I particularly like:
This sounds too good to be true… so what’s the catch?
Neolith ain’t cheap. Pricing depends upon the color, but everything typically falls between $40-$50 sf. But since it’s indestructible, it’s an investment that will last the lifetime of your kitchen, right? (So choose your color wisely. 😉 You have to like it until you die.)
Also, Neolith only comes in a maximum 3/4 inch thickness. So, if you want a deluxe, thick counter like this…
… your fabricator will need to use a miter joint at the edge of the countertop to add a thicker face to create an almost seamless appearance.
You can find your nearest Neolith distributor here. Still far? (Mine is.) The nearest distributor can send your slab to a fabricator near you.
I have to say, I’m definitely smitten, even if I do still want the real marble and soapstone in my own kitchen. After all, I used to sometimes imagine I was Trinity.
But that didn’t have anything to do with Neo, who was just another cog in the machine and luckily didn’t require much emoting from Keanu Reeves. I just wanted to be able to kick a** while wearing leather — and not break a sweat.
Until next Saturday!