Stone benchtops are a favourite choice for many homeowners as they offer a natural look that is timeless and classic, and which works with any type of décor. They can also provide a solid surface for food prep, so you have less worry about your benchtops holding germs, bacteria and the like. While stone benchtops may be a good choice for many homes, you do need to understand a few challenges in having them installed and ensure you opt for the right type of stone for your home. Note a few things to remember and discuss with your contractor when choosing stone benchtops for your kitchen.
Maintenance and care
Stone benchtops are very durable and very strong, but they do need regular sealing to keep the surface from getting damaged. You may need to seal your benchtops every year or every few years, depending on your use and the stone you choose. Be sure you understand this added cost when choosing a stone benchtop.
You also need to ensure you care for your benchtop properly. As durable as they are, you cannot use them as a workbench as the stone may still crack or break due to excessive pounding, dropping a heavy object on it, and the like. Marble, limestone, and soapstone are softer than granite so they may be more prone to breaking under excessive weight or wear, so ensure you manage your benchtops properly rather than assuming they're indestructible.
Engineered versus natural stone
Engineered stone is made in a factory and is meant to look like natural stone, but it's more durable and may be more lightweight than the real thing. If your kitchen benchtops see a lot of use and abuse, engineered stone might be a good option. You might also find a shade or tone of engineered stone that better suits your taste, as granite in particular has its own unique appearance and obviously cannot be painted over or stained to create a look you like, as you can do with wood or another material. A contractor might be better able to create a specific shade or hue with engineered stone, so discuss that with him or her if necessary.
Consider replacement costs
Most stone benchtops, because the stone sections are very unique, may be difficult to replace with a similar piece if you should damage a section or area. Some contractors will set aside a remnant of granite for your future use or you might buy an entire section and store that remnant yourself, so it can be cut and fabricated to replace a damaged section of benchtop in the future. This can save you from having to get an entirely new benchtop when just one section is damaged.Share