Onyx Countertops …how do they hold up

onyx countertop

Onyx countertops are quite rare.  They have a unique and awesome look but you really need to understand where and how onyx is best used as a countertop material. Seldom is the stone used in a horizontal orientation as a countertop.

Onyx is a strikingly dramatic stone that comes in pastel colors and swirling patterns. But it scratches easily and quickly looks old and used.  Check out these onyx sinks for yet another dramatic use of the stone.

An onyx countertop is translucent . . . light transmits through it. Often, onyx is backlit to take advantage of this unique property. It makes a dramatic backsplash material but onyx for countertops can be a mistake.

See SLABlite for products and how to backlight onyx along with videos showing how to do it.

Helpful video showing how to install SLABlite panels to backlight onyx countertops

Onyx Slabs

What is onyx?

Onyx is a calcareous stone, formed by dissolving limestone and redeposited as a new kind of stone. In caves, drip water forms onyx as stalactites and stalagmites. It is a soft, brittle stone and should be carefully evaluated for its intended use.

Onyx slabs almost always have a fiberglass mesh material on the back to hold the stone together. This should be an indicator of just how fragile the stone is.

Backlit Onyx Bar

Backlit onyx bar

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Onyx Countertops Pros And Cons

As a countertop, onyx is visually appealing but has some drawbacks. It is calcium based, so it reacts to acids and will etch. It is also very soft and scratches easily. Wine, fruit juice, lemons, and vinegar will all react with onyx and can etch the surface.

Cleaning an onyx countertop requires non-acidic cleaners. See care of onyx countertops for cleaning instructions for all types of natural stone.

You should seal onyx . . . however, the stains that you might see are actually acid etched stains which a sealer cannot protect against.

I have seen interesting applications such as onyx bathroom countertops but onyx kitchen countertops are seldom practical.

Consider onyx for all sorts of dramatic design elements, because unlike other stones, light transmits through it and makes for a very cool and interesting appeal.

Compared to granite counter tops, onyx countertops are beautiful and unique but may not be the right choice for your kitchen.

For sealing onyx tops, we recommend and use a fluorocarbon alphatic resin sealer.  Unlike silicon sealers, it will not evaporate or go through any type of natural deterioration.  That’s why the particular brand we use for all our sealing, MB Stone MB-4 impregnator, comes with a 10 year warranty.

Unfortunately, fluorocarbon alphatic resin is more expensive, but you get what you pay for.  And in this case it is piece of mind and easy maintenance.  Contact Rare Earth Stone to order onyx sealer direct.

You can backlight quartz countertops too.

Best price on granite and onyx in your area.

Onyx Tables and steel bases

Mandalay Bay MIX Onyx

Onxy Reception Top at Mix Mandalay Bay Las Vegas


Illuminating & backlighting onyx and quartz countertops

SLABlite panels to light onyx countertop

Backlit translucent countertop

Before the invention of the SLABlite, evenly backlighting onyx for a backlit onyx countertop was not possible. SLABlite LED panels measure 12” x 12” x 3/8”.  They generate very little heat, last 20 years, and they’re waterproof … nearly zero maintenance.  You can actually cut SLABlite panels to accommodate curves and they’re safe around pools, spas, and fountains for exotic lighting.  These are high quality, guaranteed products, not cheap knockoffs.

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