When it comes to stone countertops granite and marble are two popular options. Quartz is another popular stone for countertops, as it is very strong, and relatively scratch resistant.
Granite is one of the hardest materials available for use as a kitchen bench top. It provides durability and character to kitchen surfaces and is traditionally black in colour. It is often found in more classic designed kitchens.
Marble is a stunning addition to any space but the downside is that it needs extra care and maintenance in a kitchen environment. As a stone it is softer and more porous, and has a tendency to stain, scratch and even crack. However, with regular maintenance and sealing, staining can be minimised but may still occur.
Engineered Stone also known as Composite Stone or Quartz Stone has become the materials of choice over the last few years.
The product is a mixture of chipped-up quartz stone and occasionally granite and or glass, mixed with resins to form a combination that is moisture resistant and extremely tough. The product is available in slab form and varies in thickness from approximately 6mm ~ 30mm.
Thinner products are typically built up with a timber base to a finished thickness from 40mm ~ 60mm.
There are a number of different brands of engineered stone, all of which have their sets of available colour ranges:
Engineered stone is highly abrasion resistant, very stain resistant, however on the downside, it is not as heatproof as most natural granites.
When looking for an engineered stone worktop, you should look for a stone content of no less then 90% as the more resin content used makes for a bench top that is too soft and less durable.