A stone benchtop has the advantage of being low-maintenance and long-lasting while delivering that unmatched sense of luxury and great aesthetics. That said, "stone benchtop" is quite the blanket description as there are different types of stones.
Here is a rundown of the available options when you want to buy a stone kitchen benchtop, and a look at some of the pros and cons specific to each.
Natural Stone Kitchen Benchtop
The two natural stones commonly used in the construction of benchtops are marble and granite. Both have such a broad spectrum when it comes to colour and style. Whatever the colour or pattern, natural stone has a classic and natural look, which guarantees that your stone kitchen benchtop will look sophisticated.
Granite has a very high heat-resistance and is generally quite low-maintenance. Marble, on the other hand, has quite a soft look and is very long-lasting. The biggest con to natural stone as a kitchen benchtop material is that it is highly porous. As such, you will need to invest in extra sealing to prevent staining. Marble is also quite expensive and, thanks to its soft look, more prone to etching and scratching.
Other natural stone options used in the construction of a stone kitchen benchtop include onyx and slate. Both offer so much on the aesthetics front, but they require regular maintenance, such as sealing. Onyx, for example, scratches quite easily compared to other stones.
Engineered Stone Kitchen Benchtop
This type of stone is also known as quantum quartz or Caesar stone. A stone kitchen benchtop made from engineered stone is harder and durable than its counterparts made from natural stones. This is because bonding agents are a part of the material.
Engineered stone is non-porous, and your stone benchtop will not need external sealing. These benchtops are both stain and scratch-resistant. Unlike natural stone kitchen benchtops, those made from engineered stone do not do as well in terms of heat-resistance.
Looking at the pros and cons highlighted, what stands out is the care and maintenance instructions will vary from one stone kitchen benchtop to the next. Ensure that you understand these requirements and commit to being consistent about it before you buy.
Besides that, know what you are looking for, in terms of performance and longevity, and how much you are willing to spend. These details will take away some of the hassle from shopping for a stone kitchen benchtop.