Natural stone is a piece of art, it is completely unique in its beauty which is unmatched to any other product out there on the market, and it’s no secret that we absolutely love using it in our designs! The use of natural stone in the construction of buildings, monuments, benchtops, and flooring can be traced back to the beginning of civilization. Few cladding materials last as long or perform as well as natural stone when properly specified and installed. Not only is natural stone beautiful, it is also a low-maintenance, sustainable material. A project that uses stone is simply borrowed from the earth; at the end of its long-life cycle, stone can be returned to the earth where its creation began.
From marble, limestone, granite quartzite, there are so many different looks you can achieve in your space, making it the perfect hero piece to bring that wow factor to any kitchen or space for that matter!
But when using natural stone, it’s super important one understands (and appreciates) its inherent qualities, including the slight imperfections and natural aging process. And whether you’re like us and are huge advocates of natural stone or you’re just wanting to know a little more detail about the product in order to make the right decision, we are breaking down some of the key things you need to know to first…
The beauty of natural stone comes at a cost… maintenance. It is a very porous product so with any kitchen mishaps, your benchtops will be the first to show it! And some spills are very much red flags when it comes to natural stone benchtops… Wine, juices, spices (just to name a few) must be cleaned up instantly to avoid any permanent staining occurring.
Acidic products such as lemons and limes are also very risky as they will almost instantly etch the face of the stone… meaning it will change the tactile finish of your benchtop.
And before you think of wiping it up, be careful what you grab – PH neutral cleaning products are A MUST, as just like acidic food, acidic cleaning products will also damage your stone.
The cost of natural stone can be significantly higher than other alternative benchtop products on the market. However, in our opinion – the one-of-a-kind beauty and timelessness that comes with natural stone can not be replicated with any man-made product!
So our tip is to be smart with the placement! When it comes to purchasing stone, it’s generally purchased by the per slab, so be sure to work closely with your stonemason to ensure you’re optimising out your pieces and making the most of what you’re paying for! Be sure to hold onto any offcut pieces as they could come in handy being used in smaller areas like powder rooms vanities. Or maybe you have a coffee table in mind…
One thing to consider before selecting your natural stone, is the type of stone you use as each of them have different qualities. You may love the look of soft marble but may not like the fact that it’s softer.In fact, marble as well as limestone are considered some of the softest stones making it even easier for marking and more susceptible to staining, etching and or scratching.
On the other hand, granite and quartzite are some of the toughest stones and are often considered the more ‘low maintenance’ options when it comes to natural stones on the market. So if you’re somebody that can appreciate natural
stone but high maintenance just won’t fit with your hard working kitchen, try looking into some granite and quartzite options!
If high maintenance is an instant rule breaker for you, and you still want to use natural stone, do your research into the specified stone you want to go with and
understand what surfaces/finishes are available.
Typically, when purchasing slabs, you have the option of going for a polished, honed, leather or acid etched etc., finish. In particular, a polished benchtop won’t be very forgiving when it comes to any marks or scratches, especially with any glancing natural light coming into the space.
Personally, whenever we work with natural stone, we generally opt for a honed or acid etched finish – this means that your benchtop already comes with character and a beautifully tactile finish, which also helps hide those inevitable kitchen mishaps.
Design by YSG Studio