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Question DetailsAsked on 2/25/2016

Onxy collection is not onyx. What is it? How does it compare?

What are the tradeoffs?

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Onyx the chalcedony mineral is basically agate with more parallel, regular banding - typically used for highly decorative backsplashes and such, NOT generally horizontal surfaces due to susceptibility to acids, staining, breakage, and high cost. Formed in the gas cavities of lava as a rule when extremely superheated water carried silica into the cavities and formed mineral inclusions, so large slabs are very rare and expensive.


The material used for slabs and strips is generally formed as hot water deposits like stalagtites and stalagmites and hot water basins like this photo (second down, the cascade) except that one happens to be travertine - but most of the large slabs (as opposed to pebbles and small tiles) it is a limestone material like a softer marble, NOT a silicate - so you have to be careful whether what you are getting is what you want. Alsmost all the large slabs, and especially most of the materials from Mexico and central america and INdia are actually limestones, NOT Onyx.


http://archive.bio.ed.ac.uk/jdeacon/m...


Onyx Collection is a synthetic material (aka engineered stone) of ground up silica-based mineral materials and a polyester resin (resin similar to that used in fiberglass and molded car panels), so a resin-based synthetic stone like corian but because it has more silicates generally a lot harder and scratch resistant. Because it is artificial it is more uniform and does not have the many layers of real or limestone "onyx", so is more crack and stain reistant, and of course a lot cheaper - typically say $50-75/SF on a normal countertop job versus probably around $100-200 plus or minus for real onyx, or $250-400 for a true silicate onyx in slab form.


The limestone "onyx" is quite soft (like marble) and typically has a lot of open pores and veining, so is quite susceptible to staining and etching and acid damage, so is pretty universally NOT recommnended for countertop use.


Answered 3 years ago by LCD




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