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Why is Slab Size Important for Stone Benchtops?

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Before you finalise the installation of your stone kitchen benchtop, stone vanity top, stone splashback, or any other stone application, homeowners must settle on design details such as slab size, edge profile, overhang, sink cut-out, joint form and much more.

When designing your next stone benchtop, it is crucial to consider every minor detail because once the stone has been cut, it is usually impossible to change the parameters later. In this article, we look at commonly overlooked stone benchtop considerations, e.g. slab size.

Slab size is one of the most essential design details of a kitchen benchtop because it is the most noticeable characteristic if the stone is installed improperly. Homeowners should be mindful of slab size because if your kitchen benchtop is very long – say more than 3 metres – there will be an inevitable join somewhere along the way.

The Benefits of Large Stone Slabs

In particular, there are three main reasons why a large stone slab is the best option for installation rather than smaller slabs that have to be joined together. To explore the benefits more deeply, a marble stone benchtop will be used as an example, as marble’s intricate details benefit massively from a larger slab size.

Firstly, a large marble stone slab benefits in cost savings, which is good news for almost everyone, especially for homeowners who are renovating. Builders and developers who buy larger slabs are considerably more cost-effective per-square-metre because the amount of marble stone and workmanship needed is reduced.

A larger stone slab results in lower material costs, so a more expensive stone can be more cost-effective than an inexpensive stone requiring more slabs. For example, home renovators and contractors can select a large natural marble benchtop that is more expensive and unique for roughly the same price as multiple slabs of cheaper engineered stone with a marble stone look.

Secondly, we all know there’s no such thing as too much bench space, for those wanting a large or extra-long benchtop, one larger slab is ideal, as the aesthetics are more seamless. With a one-piece slab, there are no visible joins or design mismatches in the surface, as the slab covers the whole bench section.

For example, matching the veined details on a marble benchtop is extremely difficult. When the slab covers the entire bench surface, it eliminates the need for stonemasons to vein-fit across the marble benchtop and significantly minimising the amount of work needed.

Finally, adequate preparation of choosing a large slab prevents you from being frustrated at the end of the process when you realise, “I didn’t want a join there.” Before any stone fabrication starts, it is essential you know where the joins will be, so you are happy with their positioning.

Our team at Made in Stone makes an effort to fit joins to the designs on the marble stone, but this isn’t always possible with every stone benchtop in our inventory. So, when planning your next kitchen benchtop, discuss the slab size with our team.

The Negatives of Large Stone Slabs

Definitely, the positive outweigh the negatives to install a large stone slab over a small stone slab, although there are a few logistics that might make a large benchtop impossible to fit in your home.

Due to the large size of the stone and the delicacy of the stone benchtop, it might be unfeasible to install such a large piece of material into your home. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:

  • Am I renovating or building a new home? It is easier to get a large stone through an unbuilt house as there are fewer obstacles in the way.
  • Does the stone need to go on the second floor of a two-story house? It might be impossible to get the stone up the stairs.
  • Is the unloading location level or on a slight slope?
  • Do I have any small corridors to navigate through?

So, when planning your stone benchtop installation, keep in mind our tradespeople who will have to physically move these parts into place, as large stone benchtops challenging to manoeuvre.

Typical Stone Slab Sizes

The maximum size available varies depending on the brand. The following are some of the various sizes that are available for the most common types of kitchen benchtops:

  • 3200 mm x 1600 mm – 20% larger than normal slab dimensions, also known as jumbo scale.
  • 3020 mm x 1500 mm – This scale comes in a few different shades of man-made stone.
  • 3020 mm x 1400 mm – This scale accommodates all types of man-made stone.
  • 3200 mm x 1900 mm – Which is the standard dimension for most natural stones like granite and marble stone types. Sizes can differ from slab to slab as these are natural goods. Check with our team to see our natural selection in person.

Caesarstone Kitchen Benchtop

  • Slab size: 3060mm x 1440mm
  • Slab thickness: 13mm, 20mm
  • Warranty: 10 Year limited warranty

Silestone Kitchen Benchtop

  • Slab size: 3050mm x 1400mm (Standard) and 3250mm x 1590mm (Jumbo)
  • Slab thickness: 12mm, 20mm, 30mm
  • Warranty: 25 Year lifetime warranty

Quantum Quartz Kitchen Benchtop

  • Slab size: 3040mm x 1400mm
  • Slab thickness: 20mm
  • Warranty: 10 Year limited warranty

Smart Stone Kitchen Benchtop

  • Slab size: 3200mm x 1600mm
  • Slab thickness: 20mm
  • Warranty: 15 Year limited warranty

Sourcing the Most Durable Kitchen Benchtops in Sydney

Not only will a new kitchen benchtop completely revamp your space to suit your liking, but it is the most effortless kitchen renovation, without requiring much work or an entire remodel. Ready to pick out your next stone kitchen benchtop?

If you are looking for high-end, affordable natural or engineered stone for your next bathroom vanity or your next kitchen benchtop, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online.

With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered stones, Natural Stones and Porcelain Materials from Made in Stone. Call us today and ask us about our wide range of offcuts to choose from to help save some $$ in your renovations.

As a local Sydney stonemason, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity top, bar, outdoor barbecue area, fireplace, columns, etc. Our team are available to assist you. Speak to the stone experts today!

The Most Durable Kitchen Benchtops

By News

When it comes to selecting a kitchen benchtop material, it pays to do your research. Most kitchen benchtop suppliers might ensure a material is “scratch-proof”, but true durability is based on many factors.

Some considerations you might find helpful when certifying the strength of your next stone kitchen benchtop includes, scratch-resistance, stain-resistance, heat-resistance, water-resistance, and crack & chip-resistance.

It is crucial to weigh up a stone’s durable nature before purchasing your kitchen benchtop material because having the right stone benchtop could become your home’s best investment – after all, your kitchen benchtop is the hardest working surface in your home!

Natural Stone Kitchen Benchtops

As the name suggests, Natural Stone is naturally formed and quarried from the earth; as a luxury material, Natural Stone has been used as a sturdy and beautiful surface for hundreds of years. However, in terms of durability and scratch-resistance, natural stone does not hold well under intense use and is susceptible to premature deterioration if not properly cared for.

Among the natural stone varieties, a popular choice is a marble benchtop, especially in high-end luxury kitchens where the price is no concern. However, a natural marble benchtop is generally more porous and delicate than most types of stones. More than likely, your marble benchtop will have multiple heat-stains and water-stains within the first year of installation.

However, at Made in Stone, we have a solution!

As some varieties of engineered stone benchtops can be produced to have a marble-look and still offer the durability of a manufactured stone. No matter your homes aesthetic, engineered kitchen benchtop surfaces and engineered vanity tops are the most affordable option for durable and practical installations.

Engineered Stone Kitchen Benchtops

Engineered stone benchtops are carefully tailored to ensure the material can withstand the intense use an everyday kitchen benchtop receives. Most types of engineered stone materials offer high durability and great hygienic qualities, such as water, heat and stain -resistance, as well as being an easy to clean surface that does not require much on-going maintenance or re-sealing.

Engineered stone also offers more design flexibility, endless finishes and multiple slab thicknesses. There are two categories of engineered stone, either a quartz base or a porcelain base; both types of engineered stones are composite materials.

Engineered stone can be used in both vertical and horizontal applications, including splashbacks, joinery, furniture and flooring, allowing for endless possibilities of innovative designs for your kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovations.

Quartz Stone Kitchen Benchtops

Quartz stone benchtops are a type of engineered stone that is processed by combining incredibly hard natural quartz chips with powder polymer resin. One quartz slab has at least a minimum of 93% natural forming quartz, offering non-porous and hard-wearing qualities. Whilst holding a CSIRO Certification for resistance to extreme heat, chemicals and stains, as well as the National Sanitation Foundation’s Food Safety Certification.

Quartz stone benchtops are highly resistant against scratches and chips, but complete durability is not guaranteed; although overall, Quartz is more robust than Natural Stones. Two of the most popular types of quartz-based engineered stone we supply at Made in Stone Includes:

Silestone, the best option for those who desire the aesthetic of natural stone, as Silestone caters to a natural aesthetic but offers much more durability with engineered Quartz characteristics.

Specifically, Silestone holds non-porous qualities, resistance to stains, scratches and even bacterial growth. At Made in Stone – Sydney’s premier choice for Silestone – we offer more than 90 Silestone colours and three texture options.

In particular, Silestone Calacatta Gold Vanity has a marble-look, which is a popular design for luxury bathrooms. Visually a marble benchtop works superbly in bathrooms as the shiny, sleek material compliments the glass surfaces used in the bathroom. Silestone Calacatta Gold recreates the classic grey veins from marble but adds more interest than a traditional white vanity top, creating a beautifully elegant space while still looking open and clean.

On the other hand, Caesarstone is another reputable brand for quartz-based engineered stone. Caesarstone is resistant to cracks, scratches and stains, with low maintenance and non-porous qualities. Although, similar to most quartz-base kitchen benchtops, Caesarstone surfaces cannot endure extremely high heat, occasional heat contact is okay, but the Caesarstone surface may change colour over time with temperature changes.

Porcelain Stone Kitchen Benchtops

Porcelain stone is known in the industry as the most luxurious kitchen benchtop material, as a denser, less porous and more durable stone than quartz stones. Porcelain kitchen benchtops are constructed at a very high temperature from powdered clay and coloured pigments, with a wide variety of textures and finishes available, from gloss, matte, timber, concrete to rusted metal.

Porcelain is also extremely dense, non-porous, very resistant to heat and resistant to stains; generally, porcelain lasts for a longer time than other kitchen benchtop materials.

Due to porcelain’s high durability, this type of stone can be easily cleaned with just water and a brush without risking any damage. At Made in Stone, we are proud to be suppliers of two market-leading porcelain stone brands, including:

Dekton is perfect for large kitchen benchtop surfaces, offering high UV resistance, scratch resistance, stain resistance, fire and heat resistance, abrasion resistance and resistance to freezing and thawing. Unlike quartz-based kitchen benchtops, porcelain’s controlled manufacturing process means your Dekton bench will not change colour over time.

In addition, Neolith is another extraordinary porcelain stone perfect as a kitchen benchtop material. Neolith is scratch-resistant, resistant to high temperatures, easy to clean, waterproof, suitable for heavy traffic, resistant to UV rays, 100% recyclable, 100% natural and hygienic. With endless applications and styles, Neolith is changing the way architectures think about kitchen benchtop designs.

Sourcing the Most Durable Kitchen Benchtops in Sydney

Not only will a new kitchen benchtop completely revamp your space to suit your liking, but it is the most effortless kitchen renovation, without requiring much work or an entire remodel. Ready to pick out your next stone kitchen benchtop?

If you are looking for high-end, affordable natural or engineered stone for your next bathroom vanity or your next kitchen benchtop, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online.

With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered stones, Natural Stones and Porcelain Materials from Made in Stone. Call us today and ask us about our wide range of offcuts to choose from to help save some $$ in your renovations.

As a local Sydney stonemason, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity top, bar, outdoor barbecue area, fireplace, columns, etc. Our team are available to assist you. Speak to the stone experts today!

How to Choose the Best Bathroom Vanity Top

By News

Bathroom vanities have a tough job. They must be durable against the everyday morning rush, with high resistance to water, soaps and cosmetics, while needing to exude a sense of luxury as a beautiful focal point in the bathroom.

Stone is an excellent choice for a vanity top, its qualities uphold well against intense bathroom use, and with so many different types of stones available, there is a perfect match for any bathroom style.

At Made in Stone, we want to make your bathroom feel as high-end as possible and suit your unique style. We often get asked – what stone should I use for my bathroom vanity top? This is why we have put together this handy guide, so you won’t have any bathroom regrets by knowing the necessary features to consider when selecting your stone vanity top.

While your bathroom’s aesthetics is an essential factor to consider, as you deserve to get the style you like, the structural requirements of your bathroom vanity are much more critical. However, nowadays, with the advancements of technology, there are endless amounts of stone styles and colours that hold very well in a busy family bathroom. The most important qualities your bathroom vanity should have include:

  • Obviously, the bathroom gets very wet, so a non-porous material is a must when choosing your bathroom vanity stone. Making your vanity easier to clean, has a low slip resistance and is less likely to stain.
  • Resistant against stains, scratch, mould and mildew. Even though your bathroom benchtops will never endure as much pressure as your home’s kitchen benches do, it is still important to select a material with superior durability and strength. As a high-quality stone will be a more cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Easy cleaning. No matter what stone you pick – natural, engineered, porcelain, etc. – you still need to be cautious about how you clean the surface. Most bathroom cleaners hold harsh and abrasive chemicals which can prematurely damage your bathroom vanity and strip off the finish, avoid these and don’t scrub with rough brushes. Instead, opt for plant-based cleaning products with a pH-neutral cleaner and a soft cloth when cleaning up germs, spills and water.

Engineered Stone vs Natural Stone for Bathroom Vanities in Sydney

Above all, the primary consideration for selecting the best stone variety for your bathroom vanity is a non-porous stone (Engineered). As benchtops get innately wet, if a stone can’t handle frequent contact with water, the vanity is likely to deteriorate quickly and prematurely. If you do choose natural stone, you will have to consider the cost of frequent maintenance, as the stone will need to be resealed often.

While natural stone has been the go-to for gorgeous benchtops for centuries. Modern technology has improved the resistance and durability of natural stone, whilst still offering the stunning beauty of natural materials.

Engineered stone is a scientifically developed stone that contains a minimum of 93% natural forming quartz. Unlike natural stones, Quartz is naturally waterproof and does not require any sealing. Hence, engineered stone is a widely recommended material for bathroom vanities in Sydney, because it is completely non-porous.

After all, man-made stone alternatives are manufactured with Quartz, one of the hardest minerals on earth. Engineered stone surfaces have superior durability compared to Natural Stone tops, whose resistance against scratches are high. Engineered stone surfaces are certified using the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards.

Porcelain Bathroom Vanities

As the hardest and most durable clay material available, porcelain is also beautifully aesthetically with a soft-looking appearance. Structurally and visually, porcelain offers the best of both worlds. No matter your bathroom style, this stone has the customisability to seamlessly blend in or be the standout piece in your new bathroom.

Alike all engineered stones, porcelain is an excellent choice for a bathroom vanity due to its non-porous structure – with an absorption rate of <.5% – and a higher durability against scratches, stains and bacteria. Although, porcelain is a cut above the rest, as it is uniquely heatproof! Meaning you can place a hair straighter directly on the bench with no damage to the benchtop, an excellent quality for bathrooms under intense use.

At Made in Stone, we provide many sought-after suppliers for their styles, colours and finishes, so your vanity top is guaranteed to complement your décor.

Sourcing the Best Stone Bathroom Vanity in Sydney

Not only will a new bathroom vanity completely revamp your space to suit your liking, but it is the most effortless bathroom renovation, without requiring much work or an entire remodel. Ready to pick out your next stone bathroom vanity?

If you are looking for high-end, affordable natural or engineered stone for your next bathroom vanity, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online. With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered, Natural Stone and porcelain materials from Made in Stone. Call us today and ask us about our wide range of offcuts to choose from to help save some $$ in your renovations. Don’t just take our word for it, check out Made in Stone’s gallery and discover photos of recent luxury outdoor kitchen benchtops.

As a local Sydney stone mason, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity, bar, outdoor barbecue area, fireplace, columns, etc. Our team are available to assist you. Speak to the stone experts today!

What is the Best Material for Outdoor Kitchens in Sydney?

By News

Outdoor entertaining areas have been increasingly popular for many years now – and for good reason, when Australian weather is so amazing! However, Sydney can be notorious for unpredictable weather; making choosing an outdoor kitchen benchtop is difficult.

Alfrescos are multifunctional spaces, from a casual entertaining spot, a spacious dining area and a functional prep area. Kitchen benches are the most hard-working surface in the home, so you need a material that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor cooking, on top of weather considerations, whilst catering to your family’s unique lifestyle and needs.

With over 25 years of experience at Made in Stone, we pride ourselves on giving customers great advice. So, let’s unpack how the most common kitchen benchtops react to Sydney’s unique climate, helping you make the best decision for your next outdoor kitchen benchtop.

Engineered Stone vs Natural Stone for Outdoor Kitchen Benchtops in Sydney

Generally natural stone is the preferred option for outdoor kitchens, even with some wear and tear, natural stone holds up excellent against the challenging Sydney elements.

As natural stone kitchen benchtops are constructed by nature, they are highly resilient and durable under general outdoor use, and therefore can often last decades with very little maintenance. Whilst holding ultraviolet (UV) resistance which minimises the risk of these benchtops breaking down over time due to the prolonged exposure to Sydney’s sun.

Engineered stone is not generally a recommended benchtop material for outdoor kitchens because manufactured stone does not hold well when in direct contact with the weather. But this largely depends on your homes, specific weather and structural elements. For example, if your outdoor area is fully enclosed and not in direct sunlight, engineered stone can be an okay option for a Sydney outdoor kitchen benchtop.

However, with recent technological advancements, Dekton stone is now so advanced, it has altered the way the industry uses manufactured stone in outdoor areas. At Made in Stone, we have seen Dekton become the most popular option for exterior kitchen benchtops in Sydney, even overtaking natural stone.

Dekton an upgraded material from Porcelain and Quartz, and its best trait is high resistance to UV rays, which is usually a characteristic that only natural stone holds. Dekton stone is ultra-compact with superior durability that will not fade in the sun, does not need sealing, will resist scratches from food prep, heat from barbecues, extreme cold and stains from liquids.

With Dekton you get the durability of natural stone, with the style of manufactured stone. As a result, Dekton is the perfect material for exterior application. Generally, this ultra-sophisticated material is versatile for every space in a Sydney home, even under intense use and in high-traffic areas.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Kitchen Benchtop in Sydney

If your house is next to the ocean, saltwater creek, or saltwater pool, the high wind and salt levels will slowly corrode and rust your outdoor kitchen bench. If this is the case for your home, installing a stone with a high density of limestone or sandstone is necessary, as they have the highest resistance to salt compared to other natural stones.

For example, the natural stone granite has incredible resistance to salt, as well as tremendous strength and density, making it a perfect choice for your outdoor kitchen benchtops. No matter what natural stone you pick, all cabinetry and benches should be correctly sealed and waterproofed to ensure the elements cannot penetrate your kitchen benchtops.

Your outdoor kitchen benchtop also needs to endure high levels of grease and food spills; most stones with high resistance to spillage are of the manufactured stone variety. Although many natural stones are non-porous, meaning the stone does not absorb liquid or air, quartz is generally the best non-porous stone as spills and stains can be easily wiped off the surface.

Sourcing the Best Exterior Kitchen Benchtops for Sydney’s Climate

Don’t just take our word for it, check out Made in Stone’s gallery and discover photos of recent luxury outdoor kitchen benchtops.

If you are looking for high-end affordable natural or engineered stone, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online. With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered and Natural Stone from Made in Stone.

As your local Sydney based stone supplier, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity, bar, outdoor barbecue area, pavers, fireplace or columns. Our team are available to assist you, speak to the stone experts today!

6 Chic Ways to Use Marble in Your Home

By News

Marble is a form of limestone which is famous for its luxurious aesthetic and durability, with a large variety of colours, patterns, styles and types available, this natural stone exceeds the variety of engineered benchtops. Due to its unique qualities, marble stone makes unique centrepieces in your home, that are sure to make big impressions on your guests, with no two pieces cut precisely alike.

Historically, marble surfaces have been used for hundreds of years as sturdy and beautiful stones, classically seen in iconic architectures from ancient Greek and Roman cultures, to the primary material used in the Taj Mahal. Marble is a natural stone that will never go out of style.

At Made in Stone, there are six chic ways we recommend using marble, the perfect ways to bring natural elements into your modern home.

Marble Kitchen Benchtops

Modern kitchen countertops are now a multifunctional space, from a casual gathering spot, a spacious entertaining area and a functional food prep area. Although every year at Made in Stone, we are asked to construct more elaborate island counters, allowing more guests to fit into the space. A large marble kitchen benchtop is the ideal entertaining area to nibble on snacks, enjoy drinks and accompany the chef without getting in the way of their cooking, making kitchens feeling less tight and cluttered.

Marble stone is now a popular option for kitchen benchtops as the surface is effortless to clean. Marble’s natural ability to be cold, making the surface perfect for people who do a lot of baking, and it’s completely heat resistant ability eliminates the worry of damaging the stone with hot pans.

Marble Backsplash

Backsplashes are a simple way to update the look of any kitchen simply; marble makes for a perfect backsplash in the kitchen, bathroom or outdoor areas. As these spaces are prone to spillage and staining, marble is ideal due to its stain-resistant and easy to clean qualities, whilst enhancing an elegant and luxurious look.

Marble Flooring

Marble flooring is excellent for Australian homes as marble does not absorb heat, which is beneficial in summer as the floor will naturally cool homes instead of circulating hot air. When it comes to winter, you can style the floor with a shaggy rug and allow the space to stay warm.

The shiny effect of the stone gives a similar aesthetics to mirrors, which allows more light to shine into rooms, brighten up the whole space and create the allusion that the area is bigger. Marble is also a low maintenance alternative to most conventional floors, like timber.

Custom Marble Furniture

If you have an extensive renovation project, chances are you’ll have odd pieces of marble left over; this is a perfect chance to design and build custom furniture for your home. A popular request is a marble dining table or a marble coffee table, which make unique masterpieces whilst creating a cohesive theme throughout your house.

The ideal custom table would have a complete slab of marble on top with accents of other natural materials as the legs, from wood, metal or glass. The combination of natural elements with the smoothness of natural marble stone is sure to impress.

Marble Bathroom Vanities

Marble’s natural shiny texture makes the surface very resistant to soap scum, making marble perfect in bathrooms for easy cleaning. Visually marble works superbly in bathrooms too, as the sleek material compliments glass surfaces often used in the bathroom, from the mirrors to shower screens. The classic grey veins in the marble add more interest than traditional plain white bathrooms, creating a beautifully elegant space while still looking open and clean.

Marble in Outdoor Spaces

Natural stone is a perfect choice for alfresco and outdoor kitchen benchtops, as it holds heat resistant qualities. Even in direct sunlight, the stone won’t burn bare feet or hands unlike most outdoor floorings like wood. Similarly, natural stones offer UV resistance which minimises the risk of these benchtops breaking down over time due to prolonged sun exposure.

Where to Source Quality Marble

Marble is not a cheap stone; however, it is an investment that will last forever and put a value on your home. While the most popular shade of marble is white, there are many other gorgeous colour varieties of marble, for example, dark marble is an excellent way to warm up the appeal of a room.

If you are looking for high-end affordable natural or engineered stone, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online. With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered and Natural Stone from Made in Stone.  As a local Sydney based supplier, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity, bar, outdoor barbecue area, pavers, fireplace or columns. Our team are available to assist you, speak to the stone experts today

Natural & Engineered Kitchen Benchtop Sydney | Made in Stone

Whats the Difference Between Natural Stone & Engineered Stone?

By Bathrooms, Caesarstone, Caesartone, Dekton, Kitchen Benchtops Sydney, News, Silestone, Smartstone

With advancements in technology, engineered stone is becoming more and more common. Many of our customers ask what exactly are the differences between Natural Stone and Engineered Stone benchtops? Firstly, both of these options offer an array of benefits that are worth weighing up when considering which type of stone to use for your kitchen. The qualities of Natural and Engineered Stone are explored in depth below, to assist you with determining which kind of stone will best satisfy your functional and aesthetic requirements.

Natural Stone Benchtops

Natural Stone, as the name suggests, is a naturally formed stone that has been used as a sturdy and beautiful surface for hundreds of years. This stone is quarried from the earth with no unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals in the home or to the environment during production and disposal processes. Natural Stone is a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications.

Natural Stone is an aesthetically pleasing choice, as it provides a reflects the natural environment. It is constructed by nature, highly resilient and durable under general use, and therefore can often last decades with very little maintenance. Natural Stone is the perfect choice for alfresco or outdoor kitchen benchtops, as it holds heat resistant qualities. Similarly, Natural Stones offer UV resistance which minimises the risk of these benchtops breaking down over time due to prolonged sun exposure.

Visually, a significant benefit of Natural Stone is the large variety of colours, patterns, styles and types available, which commonly exceeds that of engineered benchtops. Due to its unique qualities, Natural Stone allows for unique centrepieces in your kitchen or bathrooms, that are sure to make a big impression on your guests, with no two pieces exactly alike.

Made in Stone is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of Natural Stone products. We offer innovative design elements such as lit Onyx New York Marble which creates a speciality surface that is nothing short of breathtaking.

Find high-quality luxury materials for your kitchen from Made In Stone, including:

Engineered Stone Benchtops

While Natural Stone has been the go-to for gorgeous benchtops, modern technology has improved upon the resistance and durability of man-made stone alternatives, whilst still offering stunning natural beauty. Engineered Stone is a scientifically developed stone which is a minimum of 93% natural forming quartz.

Engineered Stone surfaces are completely non-porous because they are manufactured with quartz, one of the hardest minerals on earth. Engineered Stone surfaces have superior durability when compared to Natural Stone tops, whose resistance against scratches and chips is high but cannot be guaranteed. Engineered Stone surfaces are certified using the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards. Some of these include CSIRO certification for resistance to extreme heat, chemicals and stains, as well as the National Sanitation Foundation’s food safety certification.

Engineered Stone is quality controlled to a specific recipe, offering identical products within each batch. This allows for consistency in style and colour, even if you require additional or replacement stone many years later. Natural Stone, on the other hand, displays large variances between each product, making matching surfaces difficult.

Engineered Stone is particularly ideal stone option bathrooms, as it has low moisture absorption, making it perfect for indoor wet areas. From kitchen benchtops, splashbacks to bathroom vanities, Engineered Stone is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial interiors.

Choosing your Next Kitchen Benchtop Sydney

When deciding between Natural or Engineered Stone for your kitchen benchtops or bathroom vanities, do not choose based purely on appearance – but also on how you will be using the surface. As we use these spaces every day, it is essential to ask yourself and your family the following crucial question: Which stone will equally suit the practical needs of my family whilst seamlessly improving the overall style?

If you are looking for high-end affordable natural or engineered stone, contact Made in Stone today on (02) 9756 4599 or get a FREE quote online. With over 25 years of industry experience, you know you will only get the highest quality Engineered and Natural Stone from Made in Stone.  As a local Sydney based supplier, we cater to any customer requirement, whether you need a stone installation for your kitchen benchtop, bathroom vanity, bar, outdoor barbecue area, pavers, fireplace or columns. Our team are available to assist you, speak to the stone experts today!

Silestone-kitchen-benchtops

Natural Stone vs. Quartz (Differences and Similarities)

By News

Natural Stone vs. Quartz

Several factors need to be considered in choosing the best countertops for your kitchen. One of the major concerns that you need to think about is the material that brings into play when looking for kitchen benchtops.

What most people look for in terms of material is natural stone and engineered stone such as quartz.

Natural stones and quartz both vary in their individual specifications. They have their own strength and weaknesses that make one stand out from another.

 

What is Natural Stone?

Natural stones are found in nature and are formed by the natural process. They are quarried directly from the earth in large slabs and wedges. Once they are all polished, fabricators cut it down according to the different specifications of countertop in the market.

Granite and marble are the best examples of natural stone countertops which are pure in nature. They are extremely resistant to heat and offer an incredible variety of colours and shapes for your kitchen benchtops. For this reason, they are considered to be the most commonly used natural stones.

One of the advantages of a natural stone is its uniqueness and beauty that cannot be paralleled by any man-made stones. For benchtops to last long, proper care and maintenance are necessary. Offers ageless beauty when properly sealed.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is also known as engineered stone. It is not found naturally, rather is made from quartz crystals, mixed with resins and pigment for colouring. Some of the most commonly used engineered stones are Silestone, smartstone and quantum quartz stone.

Quartz countertops are fully customized and known for its non-porous mixtures. It is composed of 93 % natural quartz. Hence, it is more resistant to scratches, stains, bacterias and viruses. It is easy to maintain and it offers a wide variety of colours to choose from.

However, quartz countertops are less grand and opulent than other natural stones. It does not produce a natural unique pattern and style unlike natural stone but, it can still add aesthetic beauty to your kitchen because of its excellent colour choices.

Natural Stone and Quartz Similarities

Natural stone and quartz are both good for your kitchen countertops. Whether large or a small kitchen, both can offer aesthetic beauty which can last for a long time if properly taken cared of. Natural stone and engineered quartz are easy to clean.

Both natural stone and engineered quartz offer beauty and durability.

Natural Stone and Quartz Differences

Natural stone and quartz, however, have also important differences. Before planning to install countertops for your ideal kitchen, you should also consider these:

Durability

Both natural stone and engineered quartz offer good durability. However, both differ according to the strength and hardness.  Quartz is significantly stronger than natural stones. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that natural stones are not good for your kitchen. The only difference is that engineered quartz are man-made. They are made in labs and properly processed in order to produce a strength and durability for your kitchen.

Natural stones, on the other hand, are purely natural and quarried to produce a slab and size which can be good as countertops.

Appearance

When it comes to appearance, both stones also vary. Natural stones produce natural unique patterns, unlike engineered quartz. If you want a unique countertop with its own irregularities, patterns and colours, natural stone like granite is the perfect fit for you. Natural stones’ colour can last long because it is purely natural. It is much like a work of art that you cannot easily find elsewhere.

On the other hand, engineered stones can give you the consistency of design and pattern that natural stone cannot provide. You can select countertops with its exact pattern and colour. It is designed to achieve a very specific and uniform pattern, movements, natural variations to its colours and appearances.

Although engineered stones provide consistent pattern and design, its colour may become dull over time. When exposed to too much heat, discolouration may occur.

Maintenance

Natural stone and engineered quartz are easy to clean. However, when it comes to maintenance, quartz may win this time. Quartz is a non-porous material which is not easily affected by acids brought by juice spills, coffee stains and scorches. Its durability makes the material resistant from scratches. But, it does not make the quartz countertops resistant from heat.

So, you might need to be careful in putting your hot pans on your quartz countertops.

Natural stone is a great investment for your home if you want to add beauty to it. But, it should be properly sealed for it o last long and to avoid replacement more often.

Natural Stone is a porous material. Therefore, it absorbs more liquid that makes it even harder to maintain.

Conclusion

Proper care of both natural and quartz stones will, of course, a great way to make it last for a long time. Both are excellent in their own strength. However, the choice is still in you.

They are both beautiful and durable and have great competitive market value. They may be expensive than other countertops but the price is worth it. Engineered stones are suitable for a very busy kitchen and where high traffic usually happens. Natural stone, on the other hand, produces unique and ageless beauty to your kitchen benchtops.

Both have benefits but the right material for your specific needs and styles will always depend on you.

If you’re still confused about what material to choose from, you can contact us now for more information.

Why should I choose Silestone for my Kitchen?

By News, Silestone

Choosing the best benchtops option for your bathroom or kitchen is tough, particularly with kitchens.   Choosing the right benchtops with all the alternatives on the market, like marble and granite is a challenge, but when comparing features like staining and scratches, Silestone fares well.  Silestone is manufactured from quartz, which provides many colour tones, styles, and finishes for kitchen benchtops and bathroom treatments, complementing many home styles and decorating tastes.

 

What is Silestone?

Silestone is a manufactured material made from natural quartz crystals that are used to make benchtops, sinks, floors, shower trays, and wall cladding for bathroom and kitchen remodelling. Known for its durability and non-porous structure, the material is hard and more resistant to scratches, stains, bacteria, and viruses than other benchtops surfaces. Easy to maintain and customize, the homeowner can achieve a high-end look without the accompanying high-end maintenance. Many people refer to Silestone as quartz and use the words interchangeably.

 

How is Silestone made

Silestone is comprised of natural quartz crystals, with the remainder of raw ingredients being polyester resin, colour agents, and antimicrobial protection, among other items. The polyester resin is what binds and holds the quartz crystals together, creating the Silestone surface.

Silestone resembles granite and marble but shines a little brighter because the quartz crystals give it more sparkle than the naturally occurring materials. The look from start to finish is engineered, and each manufacturer has a colour palette, size, style and finish options that it makes available to customers.

 

silestone-textures-sydney

Why Silestone is a Good Choice for Quartz Benchtops Colours for Kitchens

Is Silestone they Scratch Resistant?

Silestone is scratch resistant and scorch resistant. Quartz is one of the most durable materials found in nature. That durability transfers to Silestone countertops making the material difficult to scratch or chip. The material is less hard and formal than marble or granite, softening the overall feel of the kitchen countertop. Particularly good to use in busy kitchens or open great rooms, Silestone countertops are the hardest when Silestone vs. granite is compared.

Is Silestone a Non-porous Surface

The Silestone countertop surface is non-porous. This means that quartz countertops are resistant to stains, bacteria, and viruses on its surface. Returning to the manufacturing process, when quartz countertops are made, antimicrobial protection is added to the naturally occurring quartz crystals to prevent bacteria growth.

Is Silestone Easy to Clean

Silestone is easy to maintain. Silestone mimics the beauty and feel of granite and marble, but it does not require sealing or special maintenance. Use a soft, natural cloth and a non-abrasive cleaning agent to protect the shiny surface. No need to wipe or scrub hard. But you do need to wipe often, especially with spills and stains. Make sure heavy objects are not dropped on the Silestone. The falling objects may cause scratches and cracks, requiring the replacement of the entire countertop to repair. Use cutting boards when using knives and trivets when placing hot items on the Silestone countertops for best results.

Is Silestone Stain Resistant

The non-porous surface of the quartz countertops is highly resistant to staining especially when Silestone vs. granite countertops are being considered. Wipe away spills from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar without fear or permanent and unsightly food and beverage stains.

Is Silestone High Impact Resistant

Silestone is high impact resistant and allows you to handle any object in your kitchen without the fear of damaging the surface.

 

 

Cleaning

Cleaning Caeserstone Benchtops

By Caesarstone, News

Cooking and preparing food is a daily task that is most often done, on your benchtops. Caesarstone benchtop surfaces require very little maintenance.

For everyday maintenance, you should wipe the surface down with some warm soapy water and a clean, lightly damp cloth. Just give the surface a light wipe down to remove any debris or leftover food materials.

Over time you might find that your benchtops might get stained by something that is more difficult to clean off, for example red wine, beetroot or coffee stains. Caesarstone has it’s own line of cleaning products designed just for cleaning these surfaces!  If you find your benchtop with a spill of red wine or coffee, food products that tend to stain surfaces, use the following steps to clean the surface with the spray cleaner.

  • Wipe away any of the residue remaining from whatever caused the marks.
  • Spray your surface with the Caesarstone spray cleaning solution.
  • Wipe clean!
  • Dry with a clean dry cloth.

If the above cleaning doesn’t remove the stains from your benchtop, you can try the Caesarstone cream cleaner. This product is used for removing more stubborn and dried stains from the benchtop surface. Use the following method for cleaning a more stubborn stain from your benchtop.

  • Use a Scotchbrite non scratch foam scrubber, and wet it with warm water.
  • Apply your Caesarstone cream cleaner to the coarse side of the Scotchbrite pad.
  • Squeeze the Scotchbrite pad to create a foamy lather on the sponge and let it drip onto the surface where the stain is.
  • Lightly clean the stain in a circular motion, taking care not to apply too much pressure, or to stay in the same spot for too long.
  • Leave the lathered soapy mixture on your bench surface for around 2 minutes.
  • Remove the excess soap suds using a clean damp cloth, rinse the cloth and then repeat the process several times to make sure you have removed all soapy residue from your benchtop.
  • Now brush off the surface with a dry clean cloth as a finishing step. Your surface should now be clean!

Here’s a few more tips to keeping your Caesarstone benchtop in good shape.

  • Always use a cutting board when cutting food on your benchtop. Never cut directly onto the quartz surface itself.
  • Never place hot pans onto your benchtop surface. Always use a cork or wooden pot holder on the benchtop surface.

 

Follow the above steps for cleaning and usage of your benchtop, and this will ensure that your benchtop stays in top condition for as long as possible!

You can purchase Caeserstone cleaning products from THIS LINK.

 

 

Smartstone

Smartstone Care and Maintenance

By News, Smartstone

Smartstone quartz surfaces are designed to offer high performance
with low maintenance, and being non-porous it will never need
sealing or waxing. Only a little commonsense is needed to care
for your Smartstone surface.

Stain Resistance
Smartstone has been tested by the CSIRO, and due to its low moisture absorption, is resistant to stains caused by wine, fruit juices, liquid food colouring, tea and spices with strong colours.

Damaged Benchtop Edges Or Surfaces
A damaged benchtop edge or surface (including the stone edge for an under-mount sink) is not indicative
of defective material.
The Smartstone 15-year Limited Warranty does not cover edge or surface damage, such as chipping or scratching caused by wear and tear or negligence.

Stubborn Stains and Dried Spills
For dried spills, remove solids first. A wet cotton cloth is recommended for any stubborn stains. Avoid forceful scrubbing as this may result in a loss of shine. Rinse well with water.
It may be slightly more difficult to remove stains from the surfaces in Smartstone’s Naturale Collection which are not sealed or highly polished.
Do not use bleach on or near a Smartstone surface.
Smartstone is intended for interior applications only. Smartstone should not be used outdoors. The Smartstone Limited Warranty does not cover exterior applications, where Smartstone is exposed to weather conditions. Exposure to direct sunlight may result in a colour change and it is therefore recommended that exposure to direct sunlight is limited.

Heat Resistance
Placing hot items directly onto your Smartstone benchtop is not Recommended. Although Smartstone has high heat resistance, excessive localised heat may result in damage to your Smartstone due to thermal shock.