Marble, Granite, Porcelain or Engineered Stone?
Your stone bench
At Livingstone we appreciate the importance and value of your new kitchen bench and bathroom vanity tops. Being one of the final pieces in the puzzle of your new home, or renovation project, it is like the icing on the cake. It is important for benches to look great decoratively, but they have to be functional, practical, durable and easy to maintain also. The wonderful characteristics of stone, especially of engineered stone and porcelain, ticks all these boxes. It is easy to clean and maintain, does not get stained and marked by everyday use, looks modern and luxurious, and will certainly stand the test of time when treated with a little love and care.
Your main options will be Engineered Stone, Porcelain, Marble and Granite.
Pros and cons - Quartz, Granite & Marble
The pros and cons of engineered stone benchtops(caesarstone and other quartz brands) in a nut shell are as follow: Pros - four times the flexural strength of granite, high stain, chip and crack resistance, non porous(will not absorb water), low maintenance(easy to clean), wide range of colours to choose from and samples are readily available. This is your highest quality stone benchtop material on the market. The cons - very hot pots and pans could cause thermal shock(posssible cracking or surface could feel less "smooth") although this is really easy to avoid, and secondly exposure to direct sunlight/UV could cause slight discoloration over a long period of time. This is highly unlikely due the fact that quartz benchtops are used mainly for indoors applications. Caesarstone consists of 93% quartz and 7% polymer resin, and the same is true for most other engineered stone brands.
When it comes to granite, granite is usually highly heat, UV and scratch resistant, and a wide range of beautiful natural colours are available for you to choose from. Granite is certainly a good choice for high traffic area applications in your living space. Depending on the specific material(granite is natural stone quarried and imported from all over the world and each polished slab and different colour material will have a unique composition, and therefore unique characteristics and colour variation), certain strengths and weaknesses will be present and note should be taken regarding the fact that this is a natural product with it's own natural character. No two slabs of granite will be the same and variations in colour and composition are aspects to consider and embrace when deciding on this material for your project. The quartz percentage in typical granite kitchen benchtops is about 20%. It is very hard, but not as hard and strong as quartz benchtops(since quartz is the closest mineral to diamonds for hardness), and chances of possible little cracks, chips and breakage are higher, but rest assured it is in almost all cases something that can be repaired, and we can surely assist should it be necessary. A wide variety of stunningly beautiful colours are available on the market, and if you are after an earthly, natural type of stone look, this might be the material for you. Granite is porous and will absorb liquids, however we seal all granite kitchen benchtops and vanity tops professionally to prevent this as far as possible. We will guide you regarding this and provide all necessary information on how to clean and care for your stone bench, which is really easy, and requires minimal effort.
What we do
From kitchens, bathroom vanities and furniture to light commercial, we work with both homeowners and businesses.
We have successfully completed thousands of projects in the past 14 years, and always aim to bring the highest quality and service to the table.