A type of precious stone with layers of different colors . Onyx is an expensive and fragile material commonly used in basins, tabletops, lamp stands, window sills, residential bathroom floors, vanities and wall coverings. The expense and extraordinary beauty of onyx has allowed this material to become popular in high-end designs and applications.

Onyx, like marble, is very porous, making it a much softer stone in comparison to granite. Onyx is therefore more susceptible to scratching, chipping and staining, especially when compared to the durability of granite countertops. However, unlike granite and marble, onyx is a semi-transparent stone often found in shades of white or even clear. This characteristic of onyx makes it a beautiful and interesting feature of any room, especially when used as a lighting feature where the aesthetically-pleasing patterns of onyx stones can be illuminated for all to see. Many homeowners and designers like to use onyx countertops with under-counter lighting to achieve this effect.

Similar to granite and marble, no two onyx tiles will ever perfectly match. The veining pattern found on onyx tiles differs from one to the next, making each one unique. The veining of onyx stones tends to be very intense and concentrated. Onyx slabs are not as readily available as granite slabs, due to their fragility and they therefore have to be purchased in much smaller slabs.

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