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best benchtop material

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  1. #1
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    Default best benchtop material

    I have had laminated benchtops - they're OK but I want something different in my "new" house. Are there problems with wood in terms of maintenance, marking etc? What about stone or reconstituted stone? Can that material stain? And anyhow just what is caesar stone? You see it in all the magazines.

  2. #2
    Concepteur Sybarite's Avatar
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    No benchtop material is perfect and impervious to damage, they all have their weaknesses and disadvantages.

    If you want something really distinctive do a search on polished concrete - it is becoming increasingly popular and can look superb.

    Caesarstone is one of the leading manufacturers of reconstituted stone, just another blend of resin and quartz, mostly quartz.
    Engineered stone and granite can be chipped, scratched, marked and stained although a lot of typical damage can be treated and/or removed - this is particularly the case with engineered/reconstituted stones.

    Timber would have to be one of the more high maintenance benchtop materials.
    Most of the people here who have timber tops love them, but that is because a lot of them are timber/quality-material enthusiasts.
    Timber is one of the easier materials to mark and damage as it is inherently soft compared to say, stone.
    But timber also develops character with age and often the marks, dents and stains add to this.

    My favourite benchtop material is stainless steel and I would definitely choose it above anything else every time.

    Cheers,

    Earl
    Designer - Retail; Exhibition; Kitchen


  3. #3
    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    G'day,

    Timber tops will age with use, how fast depends on the user. It's something you have to go with the flow and learn to like as they change, different finishes on the timber will determine the future maintenance procedure. 2 pak finishes aren't really serviceable in the long term apart from strip and re do, Danish oiled tops can be brightened up with a sand and re oiling but can still leave stains and dings in the timber .

    Caesar, Essa, Quantum and several others are basically the dregs of the mining of quartz mixed with chips of coloured glass, other stones and resins to make a consistent in both size, colour and strength stone product, it's a good product but for the price it'd want to be. Doesn't stain easily, easy to work with comes in about 30 colours and even a few different finishes now too. Smash it with a pan on the edge and it'll prob chip, but can be repaired quite easily...

  4. #4
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    Thankyou Earl and Godzilla. At least I now know what caesar stone is. Hadn't thought of polished concrete. will keep looking and wondering as it's not urgent just yet.
    Maddy

  5. #5
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    On a price/lifespan/cleanability basis, it's really hard to go past laminex benchtops, especially with the huge range available. You have the same sort of use restrictions as fully synthetic tops, but considerably less cost.

    With synthetic stone and real granite, remember that if you place warm plates on it, the plate will cool very quickly.
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)


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