When choosing a stone for a countertop in your home or office the first, most important step is to select the right stone type. There are four main stone types, all are considered premium “high end” products.
Synthetic Surface (Corian)
What to consider when choosing a stone type
Below you will find information about each of the above to help you decide which countertop type is right for you and your application.
Where will the stone be used?
What will the stone need to be able to withstand?
For example, if you’re putting countertops in a kitchen, you’ll need to consider scratch resistance for cutting, heat resistance for hot pots, stain resistance for spilling and of course hygiene.
The stone durability comparison table below will help you select the right stone options.
Stone Durability Comparison Table:
|DURABILITY||Granite (sealed)||Engineered Stone||Marble (sealed)||Synthetic Surface|
Although some of the surface types are rated 5 stars for resistances, this does not mean that they are impervious to damage. We recommend that you take care of your countertops, regardless of which surface type you choose. For more information, see our care and maintenance tips.
All surfaces can scratch - use cutting boards and avoid scraping heavy object across the top.
All surfaces can stain - clean up spills as soon as possible.
If you intend using chemicals on the surface, we recommend that you confirm with your stone fabricator that the surface type is resistant to the chemicals.
Each stone type has different aesthetic characteristics, and within each stone type there are many different colours/patterns. Choosing the right look and feel depends on your personal style preference. The stone ‘look and feel’ comparison table below will give you a good idea of the aesthetic differences between the stone types.
Look & Feel Comparison Table:
|LOOK AND FEEL||Granite||Engineered Stone||Marble||Synthetic Surface|
|Colours & Patterns||Natuarl speckles with networks of interlocking crystals Note: some granite colours have very consistent surface patterns whilst others exhibit "movement" and colour variation.||Very Consistent surface pattern with man-made appearance.||Natuarl smooth stone. Note: some marble colours have very consistent surface patterns whilst others exhibit veins patterns whilst others exhibit weins of monerals through them.||Very consistent surface pattern with a man made plastic synthetic look.|
|Touch||Solid smooth cool stone feel||Solid smooth cool stone feel||Solid smooth cool stone feel||
Room temperature plastic feel
|EXAMPLES||Granite||Engineered Stone||Marble||Synthetic Surface|
|Examples of different stone type colours and patterns|
Our online stone colour galleries feature close ups, full slab photographs, and application examples of available stone colours in South Africa.
In Step 2: Choosing a Stone Colour you will make a list of your favourite colours.
In Step 3: Viewing Stone Slabs at Showrooms we will assist you in scheduling appointments to view the slabs at the stone showrooms.
Natural Stone vs. Man-made Stone
One of the main benefits of using a natural stone is its unique and beautiful appearance. Some natural stone patterns have very consistent surface patterns whilst others exhibit “movement” and colour variation. Man-made stones display a highly uniform surface pattern.
Stone prices vary, depending on the type of stone and the colour. To give you an idea of how the stones compare to one another, see the pricing comparison table below. Pricing is based on an estimated cost per square meter for material and installation.
Installing quality countertops will not only improve the long term experience of your home or office, but is also an investment into an asset, and will generally improve the value of the property.
Stone Pricing Comparison Table:
To help you choose the right stone type, please read more about the application that is specific to your project:
We are in the process of adding pages relevant to the following application types:
Granite is a natural stone of immense beauty, and the most durable of
all natural materials used for home and commercial countertops.
It is scratch resistant, heat resistant, stain resistant, water and
chemical resistant, very easy to clean, and available in many colours
and patterns. Granite’s timeless aesthetic appeal and extreme
durability makes this stone a classic, enduring choice for any surface.
NEXT STEP > More about Granite...
Engineered Stone Summary
Engineered Stone is the latest must-have for sleek modern functional
countertops. Combining the durability of natural stone with a variety of
man-made uniform colours and patterns, this surface is becoming
increasingly popular for high-end applications. Engineered stone gives
your countertops a luxurious, elegant, modern look and feel.
Unfortunately engineered stone does not have as high a heat
resistance, and hot pots should not be placed directly on the surface.
NEXT STEP > More about Engineered Stone...
Marble is a smooth luxurious natural stone, and one of the softer
natural materials used for countertops, which makes is prone to
scratching and staining. While marble does need extra care, it's rich
colours and beautiful veining brings an elegance and a warm
ambiance to any style decor.
NEXT STEP > More about Marble...
Synthetic Stone Summary
Synthetic is a man-made plastic material that gives countertops an
ultra modern, clean look and feel. It comes in many colours and
designs, including natural stone look-alikes. As these are plastic they are
prone to scratching and vulnerable to damage from heat.
NEXT STEP > More about Synthetic Stone...