With interior design trends constantly changing and evolving there are more products on the market than ever – but what’s what when it comes to stone? Which material is best and what are the benefits of each?
Marble’s perennial elegance and natural beauty make it an interior designer’s dream. As one of the hottest and most on trend materials and with hundreds of colours to choose from, where do you start and what do you need to know when using natural marble?!
There is no denying that there is nothing like natural marble. With its crystalline composition, serene veins and huge selection of colour – from soft white to salmon pink, jade green to striking black and gold, it screams sophistication and luxury.
However what makes this material so beautiful, also makes it a less durable worktop choice. First of all, the scientific bit: natural marble is essentially metamorphized calcium carbonate meaning that it reacts to acid, alkali and tannins (for example, tea, coffee, red/white wine, lemon juice and worst of all turmeric) and does tend to scratch easily.
If you still have your heart set on this stunning stone, we normally recommend a honed finish which is a little more sympathetic as the polish is generally the first thing to be affected. This also gives the stone an ultra-tactile finish that’s smooth and soft to the touch.
Before your marble top leaves our workshop, we apply a minimum of two coats of Lithofin Stainstop which is an impregnator that has been specifically designed for our industry to give it a level of protection against liquid penetration giving you a chance to clear up any spills. This is a maintenance product and will need to be reapplied throughout the life of your tops. With the natural marbles, you will need to do this more often than a granite or quartz.
As long as you know the facts and understand natural marble’s limitations, it will always be a timeless classic.
Natural granite truly is one of nature’s masterpieces. Gone are the days when this stone was only available in limited colours and tended to homogenous in its structure… There are now hundreds to choose from, from vibrant red to icy white, fresh green to inky black and every colour in between with a huge variety of patterns ranging from the dramatic to the serene!! We are hugely proud of our whopping stock of more than 75 granite colours, all of which have their own patterns and structures.
Seeing these slabs really is a must when selecting this magnificent material as every batch will vary in colour, texture and tone making them as unique as the project it is for. Selecting this material based on a sample is impossible as it merely gives you a snap shot of the slab and won’t put you in the full picture.
So here’s our low down of this fabulous stone to help you make an informed choice.
Granite ticks a lot of boxes when choosing a worktop as it is extremely hard wearing and stands up brilliantly to heat, scratching and staining.
That said, nothing is indestructible and some granites are more porous than others. As with all our natural stones, we do treat this material with a minimum of two coats of Lithofin Stainstop before they leave us. This is a maintenance product and will need to be reapplied in the future – as a rule of thumb, we recommend that spillages are cleaned up as quickly as possible too.
Similarly, whilst it is exceedingly hard wearing and you would need to go a long way to do it harm from hot pans or to scratch it, to keep your gorgeous granite at it’s best the use of trivets and chopping boards is certainly advised.
Natural granite is a stunning choice for any project. Whether it’s a worktop with bags of character for a traditional kitchen design or something ultra-contemporary for a modern kitchen/diner this material has it all covered.
Arenastone Engineered Quartz:
Arenastone Engineered Quartz is a fantastic worktop choice! Hailing from Italy’s Romeo and Juliet city, the beautiful and historic Verona this gorgeous material has all the charm and elegance of it’s natural stone cousins, whilst remaining consistent in pattern and colour.
So what do you need to know when choosing this material for your new worktops…
Arenastone is made up of approx. 93 – 96% natural quartz and silica, the remaining percentage is made up of coloured polymer resin. During the production process the ingredients are expertly blended, heated, cooled and compressed to create very dense, beautifully consistent slabs. Another fantastic benefit of choosing this material is that they are made to a ‘recipe’ of sorts, so each batch resembles one another – although they do still vary in colour, texture and tone slightly so it’s still best to choose your slabs.
This material is extremely dense making it very hard for liquids to penetrate the stone. However, owing to the resin content if hot pans and/or dishes be placed directly onto the top, it can heat mark. For this reason the use of a trivet and/or cutting mats is strongly advised to protect your worktop.
The technology behind this fabulous material is evolving constantly and we are pleased and proud to have over 40 colours available for selection and have recently added five stunning marble effects as well as the very popular Concreto range (a range similar in look and texture to cast concrete).
From island tops to splash backs, worktops to window cills, Arenastone’s strength and versatility make it a brilliant selection for any setting.