High-quality engineered stone benchtops are a great way to boost the quality of your kitchen. Made from crushed quartz and resin, engineered stone benchtops provide a wide range of benefits that make them an excellent alternative to natural stones.
Because their colour is added artificially, engineered stone benchtops can be made in a huge variety of colours and patterns. If you’ve already had a browse, you’ll have seen hundreds of different varieties – so how do you choose?
The good news is your choice only comes down to a few factors because all of these stones are made using a similar method. Most properties barely differ between two different stones, so you don’t need to worry about which one is more durable or if one is more waterproof than another – they’re all pretty much identical in how they perform.
To be clear, all engineered stones are:
- Hard to mark and scratch
- Resistant to impact damage
- Waterproof and non-porous (hard to stain)
- Resistant to citrus acid
- Hygienic and easy to clean
Instead, you just need to focus on three key factors:
Factor 1: Colour and Pattern
Engineered stones come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, from pure white to stones with a single colour, up to stones with two or even three or more colours in them. Your choice comes down to personal taste, but if you’re not sure what will suit your kitchen your best bet is to go for something neutral.
A neutral tone will match anything in your kitchen and should still work even if you decide to change some of your other décor at a later date; if you decide you want a splash of colour you can always repaint your walls or get some more colourful accessories.
Of course, you don’t have to play it so safe! You might also want to consider bolder colours that contrast with other elements in your room. Typically, you’ll want a more neutral wall colour in this scenario – bold benchtops and bold walls can be overwhelming.
Factor 2: Price
Another factor that will influence your choice is the price. Engineered stones vary in price from as little as $100per m2 to as much as 1000 per m2, so the stone you choose will have a big impact on the overall price of your new benchtops.
The cheaper engineered stones have just one colour; expect to pay more if you want designs with two or three colours. You’ll also pay a premium for the whitest stones since these are hard to make. The most expensive variants are those designed to look like natural stone since these require considerably more labour to produce.
Factor 3: Brand of Stone
It’s a good idea to pick a well-known brand with a good reputation. Lesser-known brands and newer companies might charge a little less, but you pay for that in uncertainty. Without a proven track record, you might be left disappointed if you need to claim your warranty and that company no longer exists.
Medici recommends five high-quality brands: Empire Stone, Caesarstone, Essastone, Q Stone and Quantum Quartz. Between these brands, you can find hundreds of different engineered stones at all price points.
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