When it comes to benchtops Gold Coast homeowners will find stone is the natural choice for a beautiful finish that can stand the test of time.
The Italians and Greeks have been using stone as a countertop material for thousands of years thanks to the wide variety of exquisite colours and patterns available in this medium as well as its superior strength. While any natural stone can be used as a kitchen surface, some kinds of stone are more suited to this purpose than others. The type of stone used for Gold Coast kitchens is typically granite, marble or onyx.
Pro’s and cons of natural stone benchtops
Granite: Granite is forged deep inside the earth under the volcanic extremes of intense heat and pressure, making it one of the hardest stones in the world. Ideally suited for use in benchtops Gold Coast homeowners will find that it is very resistant to general wear and tear with a higher ability to withstand abrasion and chemical damage than other types of natural stone. Granite has a course to medium texture and is available in colours that range from speckled whites through to browns and glittering blacks. This benchtop material is also fireproof which makes it an ideal choice for those with gas hobs, however it’s still important to use a trivet when standing hot pans on the countertop to avoid damage caused by thermal shock.
Marble: The crystalline structure of marble is less dense and more porous than granite, having been formed from sedimentary limestone that has undergone changes due to immense pressure and heat. Because of the high calcium content in marble benchtops Gold Coast residents will find they are more susceptible to acid damage from food substances such as citrus juice and vinegar. Since the material is so porous it is also important to ensure that marble is well sealed and that extra care is taken with products like olive oil and red wine which can cause staining even on sealed countertops. Although marble is less scratch-resistant than granite, the large variety of stunning colours and forms on offer still make it a very popular choice for Gold Coast kitchens.
Onyx: Onyx is a form of quartz that offers a dramatic and distinctive look for the kitchen due to its ability to be backlit. This translucent stone is available in shades ranging from golden tones to reds and greens with beautiful bands of contrasting colours running through the slabs. While this material is very eye-catching, its downfall is that it’s prone to scratching and etching. Since it’s one of the softer forms of natural stone available for benchtops Gold Coast homeowners should weigh the decision to use onyx carefully as it will certainly require more maintenance and care than other stone options.
Tips for buying natural stone benchtops Gold Coast
The cost of stone tops will vary according to the type, availability and source of the stone. Although natural stone tends to be a little pricier than engineered stone it carries the advantage of being UV stable and is therefore suitable for use in kitchens which are exposed to a lot of sunlight, including outdoor areas.
An important point to note with stone countertops is that the colour and pattern variations that occur across slabs of natural stone can be substantial. Making your benchtop choice based solely upon a small sample piece of stone is not recommended since it could lead to disappointment with the final product. When choosing colours and materials for stone benchtops Gold Coast homeowners are strongly advised to visit the stone supplier’s showroom and/or warehouse in order to view the full slabs of stone and to get an idea of how their template looks when applied to the various options.