Onyx is gaining popularity as an interior design material for properties in the top end of the residential and commercial market. Onyx is quite rare, compared to other natural stones, which is partly responsible for the relatively high prices it commands. It is also considered to be a semi-precious natural stone, along with alabaster and lapis lazuli.
Its main attractions are translucency, colour and natural pattern. Translucency makes onyx a unique natural stone and helps create outstanding interior designs. Onyx is typically highly polished to enhance its natural translucency. It comes mainly in white, yellow (or honey), brown, pink and green colours. The most popular colours are currently white and honey, the latter being chemically similar to white onyx with an addition of iron oxides. White onyx originates mainly from Persia and honey onyx is quarried mainly in Turkey.
Natural patterns of onyx form unique and intricate designs. When lit up, patterns become almost three dimensional. Back lit onyx panels are very popular interior design elements, especially when made of yellow or brown onyx. They are particularly recommended for bars and restaurants where lighting is usually dim. However, even in a well lit room such panels will stand out. The richness of the pattern is very important. Other popular items often combined with appropriate lighting include lamp stands, table tops, bar stands, skirting, windowsills and stair risers. Even a small item can make a lot of difference to a room.
Onyx also used for wall cladding and various stonework, including bath surrounds and vanity units. It is similar to marble in this sort of applications. In many cases, marble or limestone may be more appropriate. Your natural stone supplier should recommend most suitable materials, giving consideration also to the technical characteristics of different natural stones. It has to be said that onyx is quite a delicate natural stone. Thin panels made of onyx could also be experimented with as an alternative to stained glass windows, gain due to translucent properties of onyx.