Onyx Kitchen Countertops (Design Ideas)

Below we cover onyx kitchen countertops including its cost, types, colors and back-lighting.

Modern kitchen with dark wood cabinets and onyx countertops

Onyx is a natural stone which have strikingly unique and lavish look; it is an oxide mineral consisting of fine inter growths of crystals such as silica minerals, quartz and moganite that are parallel to one another. Onyx’s semi-translucent characteristic makes it popular among designers, architects and homeowners who wants to create a more stunning countertop surface which will stand out in any home design theme.

Since onyx is a rare and beautiful natural stone, it is perfect to use for kitchen countertop to create a unique piece that will make your kitchen really stand out. Onyx is luxurious, with its sheer beauty and variety of colors, each slab looks like a work of art.

As a natural stone, onyx is long-lasting if maintained and cared for properly. Onyx can retain its elegant appearance and can even last up to a hundred years! Being a light-weight material, it can easily be handled, fabricated, and installed. Because of the onyx’s translucent feature, installing light behind the stone will bring out the stone’s dynamic beauty and will appear to be warmer, more vibrant and energizing.

Onyx looks more like a gemstone and most commonly be colored in tones of cream, gold, red and green. Its color variation and its smooth fluid-like veining movement is ideal for countertops, sinks and fireplace mantels.

Onyx Countertops Cost

Backlit onyx kitchen countertops

Onyx is among the most expensive natural stone countertop. Depending on the quality and size of the onyx slab, on average prices can range between $40 to $240 per square foot. All-natural onyx is more expensive than that of the man-made onyx, although the man-made onyx still contains around 90% quartz. The cost to have the onyx professionally installed makes up a huge part of the overall cost. Usually, installation would cost around $320 for 50 square foot and can go as high as $400 for the same footage for a higher end quality.

Among other things to consider for the cost of choosing onyx kitchen countertops are the materials needed to install onyx countertop and the brand of onyx to use. You also need to know and be aware of the type of grade the onyx is classified into since it also contributes to the cost.

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Such grades are classified as the “AA” or “Exotic” grade being the highest, followed by the “Commercial grade” which is the best choice homeowners who are on a budget but still requires onyx slab with good grade and lastly, the “Second Choice” which offers the same strength as the higher grade onyx countertop but these slabs usually have natural discoloration and because of the contrast in color, they are cut into smaller pieces.

But at the same time, because onyx is rare, unique, and expensive, in return it helps add value to your home in the market and can be a good factor to sell your home faster.

Cleaning Onyx Countertops

Luxury kitchen with onyx countertops and two types of cabinets

Onyx kitchen countertops are easy to clean. It can be cleaned with a mild soap such as dish washing liquid soap and following up with a cool damp cloth to remove the soap residue. Only use non-acidic cleaners for your onyx countertop.

Does Onyx Stain Easily?

Kitchen with dark cabinets and light onyx countertops

Since onyx is calcium based, as a countertop it reacts to acids such as wine, fruit juice, lemons and vinegar and will etch and dull the countertop surface. Onyx countertop is prone to scratches due to its soft and fragile characteristic and would require a lot of maintenance and needs to be sealed properly to protect the surface.

Regular application of a special stone cleaner such as fluorocarbon alphatic resin sealer will help keep scratches and stains away. This type of sealer will not evaporate or deteriorate fast; in fact, some brand of this type of sealer comes with a 10-year warranty.

What’s the Difference Between Onyx and Quartz?

Open kitchen with onyx countertops

Quartz is not a genuine stone; it is a natural mineral that is mixed with color additives and a resin binder. Because quartz is not entirely a natural stone, it is available with a more uniform appearance than that of a natural stone. Quartz is long-lasting, extremely durable, heat resistant and low maintenance. Quartz is resistant to stains and it is not porous at all making it much more hygienic than those stones which can absorb bacteria. These qualities make quartz kitchen countertops highly recommended.

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Onyx is mostly made up of calcite and a lot more translucent. Being a natural stone, onyx is unique and rare. Onyx comes in smaller slabs and because of this, it tends to be a lot more fragile. Onyx countertops often can get scratched, stained easily and are not heat resistant.

White Onyx Countertops

Kitchen with white onyx countertops cherry cabinets

White onyx is a luxurious white natural stone with an impeccable crystalline background with its unique and lush waves flowing through its structure. The soft tones of the white onyx with wavy bands of amber, and ivory fused together in fluid pattern.
Here are two kinds of white onyx available in the market:

• Pure white onyx is the best and most expensive onyx in the world and comes in the form of slabs and blocks. Pure white onyx is best used with darker colored onyx and with darker colored marble.

• Snow White onyx has the highest quality because of its homogenous structure and elegant chromatic texture. It is often used for indoor applications for its nice shine and rich appearance.

Black Onyx Countertop

Kitchen with black onyx countertops white cabinets

Black onyx can be identified by its black base and white upper layer with parallel banding. Pure black onyx is the most common variety. Using black onyx countertop into your design will certainly make your kitchen look sleek and sophisticated especially when you incorporate white cabinets.

Red Onyx Countertops

Red onyx kitchen countertops

Red onyx countertops often have amazing deep marbling that showcase interesting colored bands throughout the slab.

Onyx Countertops with Lights

Kitchen with onyx countertops with lights

One of the most extraordinary quality of onyx is its ability to radiate light because it is a translucent stone. When light hits onyx kitchen countertops, it shines; and so, most of the common feature done with onyx is to install a back light making it glow and creating a unique feature which adds visual appeal to your kitchen design. White light LEDs are often used for this purpose with a warm color temp of around 2700K.

For more related designs check out our gallery of granite kitchen countertops.

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