Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? Doing research on countertop materials? If so, then our Countertop Spotlight series will help you. Today we look at lava stone countertops:

Material: Lava Stone

Origin: A new type of countertop material, volcanic lava stone is extracted by hand from open-air quarries (usually in Auvergne, France), then cut into slabs, glazed with enamel, and fired in a kiln at 1300 degrees. During cooling a smooth crackled finish develops, which is the signature look of lava stone countertops.

Finish types: Shiny or matte ultra smooth crackled finish.

Pros: Non-porous; highly resistant to stains, scratches, shock, and temperature changes; low maintenance; durable; each slab is completely unique; available in a wide variety of colors; can be made seamless.

Cons: Very expensive; currently only produced in France (Pyrolave is the primary manufacturer); since it's a newer product its longevity hasn't been tested;

Installation: Professional installation highly recommended. Available prefabricated or custom. 6-7 week lead time for orders.

Price range: $260+ per square foot, most of which is due to the high cost of shipping.

Kitchn Reader Reviews:

The colors of lavastone (French Pyrolave) can't be beat, but as it turns out, lavastone is one of the few materials *more* expensive than quartz! - shawnamuffin
I think the cost is something in the order of over $300/sf. That took it off my list right away! However, a French house in the U.K. magazine Homes & Gardens (Sept. edition) had many, many feet of it, making me wonder if it is significantly cheaper in France. They used it as a bath surround as well as bathroom counter. It's a nice way to add colour. - MonikaOn
Lava is beautiful...goes by the name Pyrolave. I just installed one in a custom color a couple of weeks ago and have sold quite a few over the years. They are imported from France and are a bloody fortune, but they have a very beautiful crackled texture and come in any color, including neutrals. It wears like iron, no issues at all with staining or scratching. - SusiqOn

Other 'Countertop Spotlight' Posts
All About: Stainless Steel Countertops
All About: Butcher Block Countertops
All About: Quartz Countertops
All About: Granite Countertops
All About: Synthetic Solid Surface Countertops

(Images: 1. Couleur Lave via Kitchen Installation; 2. For Residential Pros; 3. Home Portfolio; 4-5. Pyrolave)