Application Considerations: Kitchen Countertops

Granite Kitchen

There are a number of kitchen countertop types that you can install in your kitchen. We recommend that you choose either granite or engineered stone.

 

When choosing a kitchen countertop type, compare your functional requirements with the durability of each of the countertop types. This will identify the options which are most suitable for your kitchen.

 

Functional considerations:

 

  • Scratch resistance for cutting
  • Heat resistance for hot pots
  • Stain resistance for spilling
  • Chemical resistance for cleaning and spilling
  • Hygiene rating

The stone durability comparison table below will help you select the right stone options.
To compare the durability, look & feel, and pricing of the different kitchen countertops types in more detail go to
Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type

 

Stone durability comparison table

 

DURABILITY Granite (sealed) Engineered Stone Marble (sealed) Synthetic Surfac
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
 

 

Kitchen Countertop Types

 

Granite Kitchen Countertops

 

Granite gives a kitchen a natural modern beauty.

 

It is durable enough to withstand the everyday life of a modern kitchen, easy to clean, hygienic, and will look as good today as it will years from now.

 

Normal kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware can all be used on granite kitchen countertops without the worry of scratching the surface.

 

Granite kitchen countertops have a high heat resistance, so hot pots can be placed directly onto the surface straight from the stove or oven.

 

For a visually stunning and extremely low maintenance kitchen, granite is one of the best countertop materials available.

 

For more information about granite, got to Granite Information Page
To view available granite colours and patterns, go to Granite Gallery


Engineered Stone Kitchen Countertops

 

Engineered Stone gives a kitchen a clean modern look.

 

Like granite, engineered stone kitchen countertops are durable enough to withstand the everyday life of a modern kitchen and will look as good as it does today years from now.

Normal kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware can all be used on engineered stone kitchen countertops without the worry of scratching the surface.

It's non-porous surface makes engineered stone highly stain resistant and very easy to clean.  It's also ultra hygienic, rated one of the top surfaces for hygiene and cleanability (see above).

Unfortunately, engineered stone is not as heat resistant as granite and you will need to avoid placing hot cookware directly on the surface.

 

warning

The following limitations need to be considered:

 

  • Placing hot pots directly on the surface is not recommended - use heat pads

 

Marble Kitchen Countertops

 

Marble gives a kitchen a smooth, soft, luxurious look.

 

Like granite, marble kitchen countertops have a high heat resistance, so hot pots can be placed directly on the surface, straight from the stove or oven. 

 

Marble, like granite and engineered stone, is also rated one of the most hygienic surfaces for countertops.

 

Unfortunately, due to the soft nature of the stone, marble can scratch. The stone is also porous and will stain if spills are not wiped up quickly.

 

warning

The following limitations need to be considered:

 

  • Cutting directly on the surface will damage the surface - use cutting boards
  • Movement of plates, cups and other kitchen utensils can scratch the surface over time
  • Spills can stain the surface if not wiped up quickly

 

Many people insist on installing marble in their kitchens, if you do, be prepared to look after them carefully.

 

Tips:

 

 

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Before installing marble in your kitchen, see what colour options are available in granite and engineered stone first.  The scratch and stain resistance of these stone types makes them far superior for use in the kitchen.

 

 

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If you are determined to have the smooth luxurious look of marble in your home, then rather consider installing marble in the bathroom and granite or engineered stone in the kitchen. This will create a harmonious interesting balance in your home.

 

For more information about Marble, go to Marble Information Page
To view available marble colours and patterns, go to Marble Gallery


Synthetic Surface Kitchen Countertops

 

Synthetic surfaces give a kitchen a modern plastic look.

 

The countertops are seamless, and a selection of integrated sinks and backsplashes are available, making the surface easy to clean. The non-porous surface also makes it highly stain resistant.

Unfortunately, due to the material being composed of plastic it can scratch very easily and can be damaged by heat.

 

warning

The following limitations needs to be considered:

 

  • Cutting directly on the surface will damage the surface - use cutting boards
  • Movement of plates, cups and other kitchen utensils will scratch the surface over time
  • Placing hot pots directly on the surface will burn the surface - use heat pads
  • Pouring boiling water in the sink can damage the material (if the sink is integrated)

 

We do not recommend installing synthetic surfaces in your kitchen. Granite and engineered stone are far superior for use in the kitchen. Synthetic surfaces are better suited for use in the bathroom.

 

For more information about Synthetic Surfaces, go to Synthetic Surfaces Information Page
To view available synthetic surface colours and patterns, go to Synthetic Surfaces Gallery

Other Considerations

 

Kitchen Countertop Backsplashes

 

kitchen countertop backsplash

Backsplashes are installed along the wall area above the countertops to enhance the
overall appeal of your kitchen area. Generally backsplashes are cut from the same slab
as the countertops and sealed to the countertop surface with an epoxy, eliminating the
problem of the grout or caulk line being required.

 

Note: Backsplashes need to be specified if you want them to be installed with your countertops.

 

Benefits of backsplashes

 

  • Enhance the overall appeal of your kitchen
  • Prevent fluids from splashing on and staining the wall
  • Prevent water and other fluids from sinking down the back of the wall
  • Easier to clean the countertop surface

 

Backsplashes height and thicknes

 

Backsplashes are usually specified in one of the following heights:

  • Standard backsplashes: 4" high with eased polished edges
    - Aesthetically appealing when combined with small spashback tiles
  • Full-height backsplashes from the countertop up to the wall cabinets
    - Remember to consider electrical boxes and cutout requirements
  • It is also common to make backsplashes in custom heights to meet design goals.

 

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Ask your stone fabricator for advice on which height and thickness will best suit your kitchen.

 

Kitchen Sinks

 

Choosing the right kitchen sink is essential, because the sink you choose is one you are going to have to live with for a while. Sink cut-out dimensions are unique to each sink and it is impossible to make a cut-out smaller later! So if you ever need to change your sink in the future, you are going to need to find an identical or larger sink to fit in the hole.

 

There are two primary options for your sink type:

 

  • Under-mounted sink

 

Water splashes can easily be swept back into the sink.

 

under-mounted sink

 

Under-mounted sink draining grooves:

 

under-mounted sink draining grooves

 

  • Drop-in sink

 

Note: Virtually all drop-in sinks have a larger cut-out than an under-mounted sink. It will be impossible to make the cut smaller and upgrade to an under-mounted sink.

 

drop in sink

 

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Ask your stone fabricator for advice on which kitchen sink will best suit your kitchen.

Back to Step 1: Choosing A Stone Type

 

After you have reviewed the information on this page please navigate back to Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type to read more detailed information about the different kitchen countertop types.

 

 

Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type

Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type

 

    • Granite, Engineered Stone, Marble, Synthetic Surfaces
    • Durability comparison
    • Look & feel comparison
    • Pricing comparison

 

By the end of this step you should have a clear idea on which stone countertop type will be most suitable for your project.

 

step1

Step 1: Choosing a Stone Type