Stone Benchtops – the Finishing Touch to your New Kitchen
There are two classes of stone benchtops: natural and manufactured. Manufactured stone products, also called engineered stones, are available in different brand names, but they all have one thing in common: they are made of crushed stone and other minerals found and mined from the earth’s surface and is combined with resins and formed into slabs.
Different Brands of Engineered Stone Benchtops
A few of the more popular brands of engineered stone kitchen benchtops are Caesarstone, QuantumQuartz and Corian. The Italian-made Caesarstone is strong and durable, thanks to a combination of quartz, organic pigments and reinforced polymer resins. Kitchen benchtops made of Caesarstone are resistant to heat, scratch, chips and stains. The choice of colours includes classic whites, creams and beiges, sand and brown, as well as bold colours such as purple, blue, rose and raw quartz.
QuantumQuartz, an engineered stone manufactured using the Breton patented process, is made of over 93% natural quartz and the rest consists of a bonding agent, pigment and additives. The stones come in 50 different varieties, as well as an extensive range of colours. The more popular colours are whites, creams and beiges. QuantumQuartz is popular as a kitchen benchtop finish because it is chip, stain, scratch and heat resistant, as well as very hygienic and non-porous. In addition, it does not need sealing.
The seamless, non-porous homogenous Corian surface material from DuPont is made from natural minerals and acrylic resins. Its seamless joins hides the join and edges in long benchtops. The hidden seams also hinder the growth of bacteria in cracks, making it super hygienic and ideal for food preparation sections of a kitchen. The Corian range has been expanded to include more colours and patterns. The range now has neutral grey, whites and creams, beiges, and organic earthy colours. There is also a range of extra dark colours as well as a limited collection of funky coloured shades.
Many kitchen cabinet makers and designers use engineered stone benchtops as a finishing touch to their kitchen projects.
How to Care for Engineered Stone Kitchen Benchtops
Stone kitchen benchtops are popular not only because they exude a classic feel to any kitchen, but also because they are durable and easily maintained. Despite their low-maintenance requirements, engineered stone benchtops need care, so you can enjoy and use them for years and years.
Caesarstone requires daily cleaning by wiping the surface with a cloth dipped in warm water with a mild detergent or with a quality spray-on cleaner that can easily be wiped off. For very stubborn dried spills and stains, use a cream cleanser and scrubber or a soft damp cloth to make sure the stone is not damaged. Do not use products that contain strong chemicals and solvents that can destroy the stone’s physical properties.
Any stains caused by food, beverages, permanent markers or paints on QuantumQuartz surfaces must be wiped off immediately using any commonly available multi-purpose cleaners or household detergent. For stubborn dirt and stains, wipe off the stained area repeatedly and use household scouring pad to get rid of the stain.
For Corian kitchen benchtops, all you need is warm soapy water, ammonia-based household cleaner for regular cleaning or Deep Cleaner for DuPont Corian to remove the toughest problems.