Engineered Stone or Natural Stone in your Kitchen?
Stone in your kitchen adds a touch of beauty that is also a practical choice for your workspaces. Hard, durable, and unique – stone benchtops are a fantastic option for surfaces. But should you choose natural stone or engineered stone? While both have advantages, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks to each.
Crafted by nature and refined for your home, natural stone has been a prized material for centuries, and its value is still just as high in modern times. Natural stone comes from quarries all over the world, with each piece unique. The best types of natural stone for your kitchen are hard and durable, and generally resistant to scratches and stains.
Why Choose Natural Stone?
Natural stone is tough and resilient. Formed from extreme natural processes, it is resistant to wear and tear from everyday kitchen use. Natural stone also has the benefit of being heat resistant, UV resistant, and is unlikely to suffer the same chips and scratches that less durable materials can be prone to over time. Excellent UV resistance means it can be used for outdoor areas with a reduced risk of wear and tear.
Visually, the striking individuality of natural stone is an unbeatable option for your kitchen. Natural stone is a fantastic aesthetic choice, with unique grains and features that combine to form a visual centrepiece of the room. There are many different types of stone to choose from which instantly upgrade the style of your kitchen.
However, natural stone is not the right choice for every kitchen. It can be significantly more expensive, which reflects the rarity and care that goes into crafting the perfect stone slab. If well cared for, its hardiness compared to alternatives can make it cost-effective in the long term.
Being a natural material, you might find your natural stone benchtop can be more porous than alternatives, which makes staining a possibility. The same goes for those chips and scratches – natural stone is a hard material, but you will still need to take care. If your benchtop is damaged or you want to add more natural stone to your kitchen, the unique colours and patterns can make it more difficult to find a match.
Engineered stone is a stone that is manufactured in a factory. The main element is quartz and the other components are man-made, binding the engineered stone together.
Why Choose Engineered Stone?
Quartz is the hardest mineral on earth, making engineered stone benchtops both attractive and durable. A scratch, chip, and stain resistant surface that is more hygienic, engineered stone is quality-controlled and certified to withstand the wear and tear in your kitchen. It is able to be customised to the colour, shape, and size that you require, and therefore generally more affordable.
While the unique grains and colours of natural stone are a drawcard for many kitchens, they make it more difficult to match and replace. If you need to add more engineered stone to your kitchen later on, the batch numbers and quality control processes mean that you can choose a stone that is a perfect fit – even years later. Usually you will buy a specific slab of natural stone, but engineered stone can be ordered and made to your specifications. A high-quality engineered stone surface will provide an attractive, durable surface that can be crafted to suit whatever space and purpose is desired.
The price of engineered stone is generally reflective of its quality. Cheaper options are far less likely to provide the same benefits as natural or well-crafted engineered stone. They often have a more uniform appearance, and lose the distinct beauty of stone that is crafted by nature.
Heat damage can be an issue, so you’ll need to protect your engineered stone from extreme temperatures. Some have visible seams, which can detract from the appearance of your stone surface. Household cleaners can also be an issue – some types of cleaners can interact with the engineered stone and cause damage.
Engineered or Natural Stone in Your Kitchen
Kit Kitchens work with your needs to provide a customised kitchen that suits your life style, space, and aesthetics. Whatever choice of material for your kitchen, we can offer our decades of experience to help you select the right fit. Stone surfaces are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and are generally resistant to the usual wear and tear that occurs in your kitchen.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you upgrade with the best choice of stone for your kitchen.