Posted on: 6 March 2019
Kitchen renovations provide the perfect opportunity to start afresh with a beautiful natural stone benchtop. Two natural materials that are commonly used are granite and marble.
Granite creates a robust kitchen countertop. Being an igneous rock, it has emerged over long periods through the cooling and solidification of lava or magma. Granite is primarily comprised of quartz, feldspar and mica, plus other minerals. The colour of a particular slab varies according to the minerals present within. And the mineral content of a specific slab depends on where it was mined.
Available colours include grey, black, pink, blue and green. The patterning varies considerably as well. One slab might show subtle speckling effects while another displays dramatic, heavy veining. When it comes down to benchtops, this organic variation provides you with options for choosing a benchtop precisely to your taste. Like any natural material though, each piece is unique, so it is best to view it personally before making a final selection.
Because granite is very dense and hard, it is ideal for benchtops, though it does need regular resealing. Granite is also quite heat resistant, but you should still use trivets, as cracking is possible upon exposure to extreme heat and cold. While this stone is relatively low maintenance, it is a heavy material, so make sure your cabinetry can carry its weight. Also, because it is so hard, crockery can break if you drop it on the surface.
Marble is a metamorphic rock comprised mainly of crystals of calcite or dolomite. Metamorphic rocks are those transformed over time through heat and pressure. Like granite, marble varies considerably in terms of colour and markings. Unique to marble, though, is the beautiful translucent quality that makes it so prized as a benchtop material.
Marble is more porous than granite, so it is extra likely to become etched and stained through spills, particularly by acidic liquids such as wine and orange juice. So any accidents should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. A marble benchtop requires regular and committed resealing to maintain its beauty. If you are considering this stone, don't expect it to remain pristine. Over time, the bench will develop a patina, which can be regarded as part of the charm of marble.
Similarly to granite, marble is susceptible to cracking if exposed to temperature extremes so take care when placing hot or cold items on its surface. Also, it is best to avoid harsh cleansers, so just wiping with soap and water is best.Share