Tips for Installing a Stone Benchtop in Your Kitchen
A stone benchtop is a beautiful choice for a kitchen. Here are some tips for installing stone kitchen benchtops in your home.
Stone benchtops introduce abstract patterns into a space, and they offer a lot of diversity. You can choose granite with a busy multitude of speckles in yellow, brown, grey, and cream. Or, you can opt for a moody, dark piece of soapstone with smooth swaths of grey. On the other end of the spectrum is showy white and black-veined marble.
The finish of the slab will also impact its appearance. A highly polished slab will give a sophisticated look and is ideal for a traditional or French provincial aesthetic. In a rustic or industrial kitchen, you could select a subdued matte surface.
A practical consideration for stone benchtops is that they're quite heavy. If you are replacing an existing countertop, explore whether the cabinets are strong enough to bear stone. If the benchtop is part of a more comprehensive renovation that includes new cupboards, which can be built with strength in mind. Also, think about the thickness of the slab, which will impact how heavy it is.
Stone is also strong, so it allows you to install an under-mount sink. This will create a seamless look as the benchtop will flow to the sink with no rim. It will allow you to simply wipe scraps from the countertop directly into the sink.
Stone kitchen benchtops are a durable option, so long as you're prepared to maintain them. While different stones vary with respect to their resilience, most will need regular sealing to create a non-porous cover. The sealant forms a barrier against food and drink spills, making them less likely to soak in and stain or etch the countertop. Marble is particularly sensitive to acidic things like wine and orange juice.
Rock types vary in how resistant they are to heat. If you want an ultra-resilient option, you could opt for a dark granite slab. Generally, granite is durable, and darker-coloured varieties can be more so.
One of the main reasons you may want a stone countertop is that it forges a connection to nature in a kitchen. Stone also blends well with other organic materials, such as wood; you could install timber flooring or cabinetry. Stone and timber contrast nicely, as rock has a cool aesthetic whereas wood has a warm appearance. Both stone and timber have a timeless quality.