There is no doubt that stone is the product of choice for benchtops in new homes right now. But there is a wide range of stone products to select from, and it’s important to get the one that’s going to last the distance. Your kitchen benchtop is one of the hardest working parts of your home, so you need to make the right decision.
Here are some handy tips so you know which questions to ask.
Engineered or Natural Stone?
While many people like the idea of having a beautiful piece of natural stone as their kitchen benchtop, they can be surprised to learn that natural stone requires sealing & maintenance and its porous nature means that natural stone won’t necessarily maintain its stunning look for long. The alternative is an engineered stone
The benefits of using engineered over natural stone for your benchtop include:
The two main engineered stone brands in Australia are Caesarstone and Essastone.
What is the Difference between Caesarstone and Essastone?
On the surface, both products may look similar but subtle differences make all the difference. It’s these small differences that made Start Right Homes choose one over the other.
Caesarstone is made from 93% quartz, one of nature’s hardest stones. The quartz has organic pigments and polymer resin added to make Caesarstone scratch and stain resistant. It also means the benchtop will be resistant to heat, cracking, chipping and abrasions from household chemicals. There are multiple collections of Caesarstone to choose from, from the classic white’s to the industry leading products such as the new raw industrial concrete’s. The ideal slab thickness for cost effectiveness and durability is 20mm.
As well as kitchen benchtops, Caesarstone is also stunning as a splashback and as bathroom vanity tops. Choose the same colour or a contrasting colour for your benchtop and splashback. You can use the Caesarstone Online Visualiser tool to help you decide which look you prefer.
How to Clean Caesarstone
It’s a common question. New homeowners often ask how to keep their Caesarstone benchtop looking like new. The good news is Caesarstone is less porous than other stone products, making it less likely to stain.
A clean cloth with soapy water is all that is needed for regular cleaning. Beetroot juice, coffee, tea, and cordial marks can be treated with Caesarstone’s cream cleanser or spray cleaner.
Caesarstone offers a 10-year limited warranty. Simply register your warranty online to receive a free cleaning kit.
Essastone is made from up to 95% quartz and like Caesarstone is an engineered stone product. Produced by Laminex, Essastone can be used as benchtops, splashbacks, parts of furniture, fireplace surrounds, wet area partitioning and internal cladding. The colour range is extensive including marble and concrete looks and available at different price points.
It is a common misconception that stone copes well with hot pots and pans, just like Caesarstone, thermal shock cracks can occur in Essastone if there is an extreme temperature change or prolonged heat applied. Always use a trivet.
While Essastone is scratch resistant, the more porous nature of the product means it is prone to some scratches and chips from everyday use, as well as being prone to damage from food stains. Liquid from fruits and vegetables as well as food colours and curry should be wiped up immediately to avoid staining.
How to Clean Essastone
No special cleaning is required, just use a sponge and water or a non-bleach, non-abrasive cleaner. Acidic juice or colours left on the surface can stain. If you have a stain on the Essastone, try spraying with a glass and surface cleaner.
The Start Right Homes’ Choice
We understand how important it is to have a beautiful benchtop. It's not just the star of the kitchen but the whole home.
We did plenty of research on all of the options and decided that Caesarstone was the material of choice for our clients. Its range of industry leading colours, patterns, durability and resistance to staining was ideal for our clients seeking a quality product that would last the lifetime of their home. Our clients agree that our range of 17 standard colours to choose from means they can make the right choice every time.
If you would like more information about how to make a feature of your benchtops, ask an experienced Start Right Homes consultant by calling (08) 6189 8795 or contact us online.