Is all natural stone suitable for benchtop applications?
All natural stone can be used for kitchen benchtop applications. Some natural stone performs better in the kitchen. Try to factor in how much use your kitchen gets when choosing your benchtop.
What are the recommended stones for benchtops?
Granite and marble (in that order) are the most popular and durable natural stone used in kitchen benchtop applications.
What is the difference between marble, limestone and granite?
These stones vary in density, colour range and general look. It is best to discuss your individual application and tastes with us. Granite is the densest in our natural stone selection, followed by marble, which makes them good options for kitchen benchtops.
I've heard that marble is porous and not good for a benchtop. Is that true?
Marble is more porous than granite or natural stone. If the stone is sealed and well maintained it should last a lifetime. Italian and Greek homes have featured marble benchtops for thousands of years. In fact, many families take their prized benchtops with them when they move homes.
Is there a warranty against cracks?
There is no warranty available against cracks from any distributor of natural or engineered stone. These slabs are very resilient, surviving overseas shipping, truck movements and fabrication. Cracks are a rare occurrence and can be a result of moving house foundations or cabinetry, as well as dropping a heavy object onto the surface or standing on it.
How does natural stone perform compared to engineered stone?
Generally engineered stone is more dense, resilient and durable. Having said that, natural stone performs very well when cared for properly. Natural stone can also be used outdoors, engineered stone cannot.
Is there much colour variation in a block of natural stone?
There can be significant colour variation with a slab of natural stone.
Does natural stone need to be sealed? If so, how often?
Yes, natural stone needs to be sealed. It is generally during fabrication or during installation, again six months later or annually, then as required after that. This can vary depending on the sealant selected and the amount of use your kitchen gets.
There are a number of sealers on the market, including those produced by Tenax, Chimica General and DuPont. Your stonemason can recommend the one that best suits your individual needs.
Can natural stone be used outside?
Yes, natural stone can be used outside and is a great option for the popular outdoor kitchen models. Depending on exposure to sunlight and other elements, as well as the care that it receives, it may 'weather'. The performance of the stone should not be affected. Engineered stone cannot be used in outdoor applications.
What thickness does each slab come in?
Generally the slab has a thickness of 20mm, although some stone slabs come in 30mm thicknesses.
Is natural stone transported in blocks or slabs?
Natural stone is transported in slabs.
I've heard the terms book-leafed and book-matched, what does that mean?
Book-leafed and book-matched involves matching the veins of two adjoining slabs (generally marble) to give the effect that the two (or more) slabs are one.
What other applications are there for natural stone?
Natural stone can also be used for splashbacks, wall cladding, flooring, vanities, bathrooms and a variety of outdoor uses.