Continuing on from my last article, “Not all Stones are Created Equal”, today I wanted to talk about some new stone surfaces that are now available here in Australia.
These are the “new kids on the block” in benchtop materials. At the time of writing, there are two (2) main players of large format Sintered Stone in Australia (Neolith and Dekton). These high-density, low-porosity stone surfaces provide infinite possibilities for benchtops, flooring and cladding – both indoors and outdoors.
Neolith “Estatuario” & “Beton”
This all-natural Compact Sintered Stone surface uses raw materials such as – clays, feldspar, silica and natural mineral oxides pressing them together under immense pressure and baked at 1200°c. Neolith is recyclable suitable for kitchen and bathroom bench tops, flooring, interior wall cladding applications and exterior facades. It has near-zero porosity, making the product hygienic, stain resistant, easy to clean and impervious to chemicals. Neolith is also wear, scratch, heat resistant and its colours, being natural base, do not vary when exposed to UV rays.
What I love so much about Neolith is that this product is 100% NATURAL! No resins or toxins are used in its manufacture, making it one of the most hygenic work surfaces around.
- Slab sizes: 3.2 x 1.5 metres
- Slab thickness: 6, 12 or 20 mm
Dekton is a sophisticated blend of raw materials that emulates what nature takes millennia to produce in just a few hours, through an innovative manufacturing process. Dekton uses exclusive Sinterised Particle Technology, a high-tech process which represents an accelerated version of the metamorphic change that natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years. As a result of this process, and the ultra-compact nature of Dekton, the product has almost zero porosity, is resistant to UV rays and all forms of weather, and is highly resistant to scratches, stains and abrasions.
- Slab sizes: 3.2 x 1.44 metres
- Slab thickness: 8, 12 or 20 mm
Quantum Six “Statuario Six”
Porcelain’s high density and low porosity greatly resist heat, UV fading, staining and scratching, making it an ideal material for use in the kitchen and outdoor environments. Patterns and designs can be sublimated into the surface, successfully recreating the look of timber, concrete, rusted steel and marble just to name a few. One major drawback with porcelain is its brittleness, and great care has to be taken with it as chips and cracks can occur.
- Slab sizes: 3.2 x 1.6 metres
- Slab thickness: 6 or 12 mm
Sintered Stone and Porcelain Surfaces are at the higher end of the benchtop pricing, but less expensive than some of the exotic marbles. Given that they are a very unique and practical product (and come in some colours/styles to die for), do not rule them out straight away…especially if you are creating your dream kitchen AND looking for a low maintenance surface.
I hope this guide has provided you with some clarity, sound advice and a little knowledge, and you are now well-armed to make the right benchtop decision for YOU!