When installing a kitchen benchtop, you'll face various decisions, a prime one being what material to install. Read on to discover what benefits a stone kitchen benchtop offers over three competitors: timber, laminate and stainless steel.
Timber Is Not As Colourful As Rock
Being organic substances, both natural stone and timber come in various shades and hues, but a rock benchtop provides you with vastly more colour options. You could go with white marble that displays dramatic black streaks or dark rock with glints of vibrant green, blue or gold, for instance. Alternatively, tawny tan and yellow granite, pale pink travertine or dusky blue slate provide different options. While a wood benchtop, depending on the tree species, is available in browns, tans, reds, blonds and other shades, you won't have the same variety of both earthy and vibrant colours to choose from that you have with natural stone.
Laminate Can't Replicate Stone's Organic Essence Nor Its Toughness
Another contender for a benchtop material might be laminate, which, similarly to natural stone, offers a vast array of decorative hues. Modern factory laminate techniques can create virtually any colour a designer can conceive of. However, what a factory can't replicate is the organic texture and quality of natural rock itself—no matter how hard it tries. A marble or granite benchtop carries an unmistakable earthy, organic essence that a laminate benchtop lacks.
Additionally, rock is the tougher of the two substances, and once sealed, it can last for many decades. On the other hand, with laminate benchtops, water can leak into the joins near the sink and swell the particle board or MDF within.
Stainless Steel Is Not As Versatile As Stone
What does stone have over stainless steel? While steel benchtops impart a sense of lightness and airiness in a kitchen with their polished surfaces and minimal joins, they don't provide the versatility of natural stone. Rock suits many more kitchen styles because of its colour variations, so you could install a white or black stone benchtop with little patterning in a modern kitchen, or you could place striking marble in a traditional kitchen. Alternatively, you could install a grey granite bench with minimal veining to enhance an industrial design. Stone benchtops allow you to match the stone with a particular style. The seamlessness of stainless steel benchtops might suit a modern or industrial kitchen, but steel benchtops don't flatter the many decor options that stone does. Stainless steel isn't colourful like stone and doesn't have the same chameleon quality to be subtle and earthy or striking and vibrant.