Lava stone countertops are not yet well-known. However, their lovely glazed finishes, custom colors, and hand-made design make lava stone an attractive and intriguing bathroom or kitchen countertop alternative to granite or quartz.
Lava stone countertops are a natural stone material. Blocks of volcanic lava (solidified magma) are quarried by hand from the Nugere crater at the center of the Auvergne Volcano in France, from Mount Vesuvius near Naples, Italy, and Mount Etna in Sicily.
Countertop slabs are cut from the lava blocks, coated with an enamel glaze of any color, and placed into a kiln to bake at 1300 degrees Celsius. Hands-on work by highly skilled artisans and craftsmen produces the finished countertop.
The smooth enamel may develop a distinctive crackled finish called “crazing” as the slabs cool. This unique look sets lava stone countertops apart from all others. Although, a smooth finish is possible as well.
Glazing offers endless potential for custom and creative design while improving the durability of this natural stone countertop.
Lava countertops are available in different colors, finishes, glazes, patterns, and designs. Each design is attractive, adding a beautiful appeal to your home.
Sinks can also be carved out of volvic lava to match your countertops. The most common style is a farmhouse sink, but any style is possible.
Of course, a standard sink of your choosing can be installed as an under-mount or top-mount, the same as any other countertop.
Although using lava stone for countertops is somewhat new, volvic lava stone has been used for centuries for pavers, wall-cladding, and other architectural purposes.
Tiles of lava stone in all shapes and sizes are used for flooring and backsplashes.
Pyrolave is a company in France that is a leading manufacturer and supplier of lava stone countertops worldwide. Pyrolave countertops have the same qualities, colors, and prices provided here about lava stone.
This custom countertop material certainly presents bold and unique design elements but pay attention to the pros and cons.
Despite the growing enthusiasm, glowing reviews, and benefits, alas, no countertop is perfect. Here are the drawbacks:
However, it could be covered with an epoxy coating or painted to create a new look.
One of the best aspects of this countertop material is the wide range of color choices. Different sized slabs, several edge styles, thicknesses, and finishes are also available.
Lava stone is especially popular with those that like deep vibrant colors. Every color under the sun is possible: reds, yellow, orange, blues, greens, purple, pink, gray, black, and white lava stone countertops. Any hue or shade you desire is available or can be custom-made.
Many choose to add lava stone to a kitchen island for a punch of color. Of course, sticking with popular kitchen design trends, white lava stone looks gorgeous as well.
However, some color choices are limited based on the kind of finish you opt to get. And colors are all solid without any pattern except for the signature crazing.
Variations in the color shade and depth occur, especially around the edges. Also, small dark dots, pinholes, mineral spots, and other minor surface imperfections are sometimes seen. This is normal and just part of the singular look of volcanic stone countertops.
Or it can be left unglazed to show its natural gray-black color which looks similar to a dark slate countertop.
Slabs of lava rock can be cut in various formats and sizes up to about 8.5 ft. x 4.25 ft. (260 cm x 130 cm). In some cases, slabs may be available up to 10 ft. (300 cm) like Dekton sintered stone.
Slab and edge thickness comes in 3 sizes, similar to other types of countertops.
Edge profiles for lava stone countertops are without complex options and more limited than granite or marble edges, but you can still pick from several pleasing and popular styles.
Glossy: This is the classic enameled lava stone countertop finish. You can find countertops in almost every color ranging from bright, vivid hues like turquoise, pink, purple, and yellow to darker subtle earth tones, along with white.
Matte: This type is also available in many colors, but the range is narrower with more subdued colors for a more neutral style.
Crystalline: An extra glassy layer is added to the traditional glossy enameled finish. All colors are possible, and it creates a brighter color with a slightly transparent look that enhances the crackled effect of the enamel.
Transparent: A crystalline glaze is applied to the surface without enamel. The effect is a shiny gray color that enhances and allows the natural pattern of the lava stone to show through, and it is not as shiny or bright as “metallic” below.
Metallic: As the name suggests, this finish looks like a metal countertop with a slight sheen. It can have either a solid gray color or a rustic mottled gray or copper-brown weathered look.
This type is much less common and may have to be specially ordered and imported directly from the manufacturer.
Other options include built-in drainboards next to the sink, integrated lava stone sinks, and uncommon curves or shapes. Such customizations are generally only possible with Corian solid-surface or concrete countertops.
Apart from this, you can also get lava countertops in custom colors. These made-to-order countertops may put an even bigger dent in your wallet, but the results are often worth the extra cost.
Kitchen countertops can be cheap or expensive. But most fall into the middle range. If you’ve ever wondered which is the most expensive, you’ve found it.
Lava stone is the most expensive countertop material. A lava stone countertop costs more than even the most expensive marble or exotic granite.
Its high price is a shock to the kitchen remodeling budget for most consumers. Lava stone countertop prices are so high for a few reasons:
Luckily, as more suppliers and manufacturers focus on this material, the price will decrease.
Also, you have plenty of alternatives available. Granite, quartz, and marble are still the most popular materials and are readily available with known maintenance needs and repair options.
It’s best to use a quality Stone Cleaning Spray (pH neutral, optical brighteners, dries streak-free) or hard surface cleaner like Better Life to clean lava stone.
Avoid using soap as a regular cleaner. It is counterproductive. It won’t harm the surface, but using soap as a “regular” cleaner will leave a soap scum buildup that dulls the shine and finish. This soap film will make the counters look dingy and harder to clean.
A warm water and soap mixture is commonly recommended as a cleaner for most countertop materials because it is (usually) non-damaging.
And, of course, you’ll use soap around sinks. Just don’t clean the entire surface with it.
Never use anything abrasive on the surface (i.e., scrapers, scourers, wire wool, abrasive scrub pads commercial, powder cleaners).
Additionally, always use cutting boards to prevent knife marks on the kitchen countertops.
One of the best things about lava countertops is that they do not require special maintenance beyond regular cleaning.
Unlike other countertop options, these countertops do not need sealing, waxing, or polishing.
It is tough to stain and is resistant to acidic foods, drinks, and most cleaners.
However, abrasive cleaners and scouring pads can dull or scratch the finish.
Keep in mind that, unlike other materials, enameled lava stone is still relatively new as a countertop material.
Although lava stone has been used for centuries for architectural purposes in France, its durability as a kitchen countertop has not been extensively studied or proven via wide use, as is the case with other materials.
Pyrolave has performed extensive testing, and there’s no evidence to suggest that glazed lava stone countertops won’t stand up to daily use and abuse and perform well even as an outdoor countertop.
Repairs are not a frequent or common issue. As previously stated, the material is highly durable and hardy and can even resist heat with ease. However, should your kitchen or bathroom countertops ever get damaged, restoration to new condition is difficult or even unlikely.
Installation of lava stone countertops is not an easy task, and professional installation is recommended to avoid remodeling project mistakes. Given this aspect, it can often push up the initial price point of the volcanic countertop.
For this reason, Pyrolave (the primary manufacturer) markets and sells only to countertop fabricators, kitchen dealers, designers, and architects.
Also, outside of Europe, it may be exceptionally difficult to find a qualified installer.
Buying a lava stone slab is tricky depending on your country. All lava stone countertops come from Europe. Specifically France and Italy.
But the companies listed below do have offices or representatives in other parts of the world.
Pryolave does have a representative in the USA that can help answer any questions and coordinate your countertop project.
Raw natural lava stone color is a light to medium gray with a loose speckled pattern. However, the glazing process creates any custom color you can imagine, from pastels to deeply saturated red, green, blue, black, white, gray, yellow, purple, orange. Or leave it natural gray.
Yes, lava stone countertops are extremely expensive and cost more than any other type of countertop on average. Starting at $250 per square foot, only the rarest and exotic granite or marble may be more expensive.
Yes, Pyrolave is very expensive. Pyrolave countertops prices run $250 - $300 per square foot. Pyrolave makes countertops from lava stone, the most expensive countertop material available.