Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type

choosing a stone type

Stone Types

 

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.

 

Granite

 

Granite Summary
Granite is a 100% natural stone with networks of interlocking crystals, granular rock consisting of quartz, feldspar and mica. Granite is formed from the rise of molten magma deep beneath our Earth’s crust hundreds of million years ago. It is mined from granite quarries around the world in large blocks that are then cut into slabs, polished and distributed to stone suppliers.

 

 

Engineered Stone

 

Engineered Stone
Engineered Stone is a man-made stone consisting of 93% crushed quartz and 7% resin. Numerous manufacturers have entered the market with their own unique brands.
Popular brands imported into South Africa are:
- Caesar Stone
- Quarella
- HanStone
- Traffic Stone

Marble

 

Marble Summary
Marble is a 100% natural stone with patterns of mineral veins. It is not as hard as granite. Marble, a metamorphic rock, is formed from limestone that has crystallized gradually over time by heat and pressure in the earth's crust. It is mined from marble quarries around the world in large blocks that are then cut into slabs, polished and distributed to stone suppliers.

 

 

Synthetic Surface (Corian)

 

Synthetic Stone Summary
Synthetic surfaces are a man-made thermosetting plastic composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. The material contains no natural stone.
The surface can be thermoformed by heating it to 149°C, allowing unique shapes to be created. A popular brand imported into South Africa is Corian.

 

What to consider when choosing a stone type

  1. 1: Durability and functional requirements
    2: Look and feel
    3: Stone Pricing and Your Budget

Below you will find information about each of the above to help you decide which countertop type is right for you and your application.

Consideration 1: Durability and Functional Requirements

 

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
Scratch Resistance
Scratch Resistance 4.5 star 4.5 star 3 star 2 star
Heat Resistance
Heat Resistance 5 star 4 star 5 star 1 star
Stain Resistance
Stain Resistance 5 star 5 star 3 star 5 star
Chemical Resistance
Chemical Resistance 5 star 5 star 4 star 5 star
Hygiene Rating
Hygiene Rating 5 star 5 star 5 star 4 star
 

 

warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Consideration 2: Look & Feel

 

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 Granite Example 1 Engineered Stone Example 1 Marble Example 1 Synthetic Stone Example 1
Granite Example 2 Engineered Stone Example 2 Marble Example 2 Synthetic Stone Example 2
Granite Example 1 Engineered Stone Example 3 Marble  Example 3 Synthetic Stone Example 3

 

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.

Consideration 3: Stone Pricing and Your Budget

 

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:

 

Stone Pricing Comparison Table

 

Consideration 4: Application Specific Considerations

 

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:

 

  • Bathroom Countertops & Vanities
  • Shop Countertops & Reception Areas
  • Stone Floors
  • Stone Walls
  • Indoor Accessories
    • Fire Places
  • Outdoor Accessories
    • Braai Areas

Stone Summary

 

Granite Summary

 

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 Summary

 

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...

Step 2: Choosing a Stone Colour

Step 2: Choosing a Stone Colour

 

    • Granite colours gallery
    • Engineered Stone colours gallery
    • Marble colours gallery
    • Synthetic surfaces colours gallery

 

Don’t miss out on available stock - make a list of your favourite stone colours before scheduling appointments to view the slabs at the showrooms.

 

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Step 2: Choosing a Stone Colour