Choosing a Benchtop: Stone vs. LaminatePublished on February 14, 2018
- Andrew Carroll
When it comes to choosing a kitchen benchtop, there are two main options to think about. Put simply, stone or laminate?
The truth is, there are pros and cons to each product but here are the factors I think you should keep in mind:
There’s a variety of reasons why someone would favour a stone benchtop. From its tactile appeal, good looks and beautiful veins, it’s easy to see why this material wins hearts.
Unpacked in a little more detail, here’s what is great about stone:
- The ‘unique’ factor
Every stone benchtop is a one-off piece. Just as no two rocks are exactly the same in their formations, veins and look, so are no two stone benchtops. This is ideal for those who want a unique and stylish look for their home.
- A smooth touch
Run your hands over stone and feel its cool surface the smooth appeal speaks for itself. Not only does it look good, it feels good, too.
- A variety of looks
The options – and aesthetics which follow – are seemingly boundless.
No doubt, stone is one impressive material. This is an option for those looking to design their kitchen with a luxurious style.
In saying that, here are some things to also factor into your decision:
- It’s a high-end, quality product with a price point which reflects that.
- Stone is a porous product and care should be taken especially around staining substances like red wine, coffee and turmeric.
- If you’re looking for a quiet benchtop option, stone may not be so great for you. Its resonant properties mean, that you can hear the sound of glasses being put down on it more than with laminate.
- Some maintenance will be required for the surface to continue to look good.
Sometimes, looks are everything and the appeal of laminate, with its good-looking form and functionality is enough to win over even those on the stone-loving side.
This hard-wearing option means business and its cheaper price point is also a winner.
Here are some other reasons why we love laminate.
- The durability factor
Great for families, this is a sturdy product capable of handling all the usual wear and tear that busy family life brings. It’s resist to surface wear, boiling water, staining and more.
- Fits with any style
There’s a huge array of finishes available in laminate. From the sought-after look of veined Carrara marble, to impressive textured surfaces to clean and colourful design, there are a myriad of choices for your benchtop – around 200 actually.
- An eco-friendly material
There are a couple of parts to this. One, the myth that laminate is made of plastic needs to be debunked; rather its components come from layers of paper. Two, the sustainability aspect also comes through in that, laminate can give the look of stone or wood while not actually drawing on those resources.
Laminate is pretty hardy but it’s not without its own kryptonite… avoid direct exposure to steam (or direct radiant heat) as this can cause a possible change in colour.
When designing your new kitchen, I suggest you spend time thinking about the functionality and lifestyle of your family. Does your benchtop need to be durable, is the way it feels important to you and what’s your budget? With a good architectural design, your benchtop will look great whether it’s finished with stone or laminate.