5 Alternative Options to Engineered Stone Benchtops

A hot topic in the design and construction industries over the last year is the issue of serious health risks being caused by working with engineered stone products. A popular solution for kitchen benchtops, engineered stones (also referred to as composite stone or reconstituted stone), are made up of a combination of resins, polymers and quartz. Although they are a safe option for the family once installed in the home, the installation process itself can release particles of silica into the air when the product is cut into or grinded. When inhaled, these particles can lead to serious and even terminal illnesses however, there are ways this risk can be minimised to create a safer working environment. As a result of these risks, popular engineered stone manufacturers are now shifting their collections to include a variety of different solutions, further decreasing the risks involved to tradespeople. When planning a new kitchen, having a look at the alternative options to engineered stone benchtops is a great way to create a more conscious design.

Recycled Glass Engineered Stone Benchtops

As noted above, popular manufacturers of engineered stone products are now introducing a wider variety of options, including benchtop products that are made using recycled glass. These low silica benchtops offer the same benefits as traditional engineered stones, being a low maintenance solution for the home kitchen. These modern iterations of engineered stone benchtops will not require sealing while also offering a solution that will minimise the risk of staining or scratching, being an excellent option for the home. Furthermore, these modern benchtops are available in a variety of different designer options that effortlessly mimic the rich aesthetic of natural stones such as marble or granite, allowing for a wider variety of creative looks to be achieved in the home.

Smartstone low silica stone benchtop
Earlier this year, Smartstone released a collection of low silica engineered stone benchtops that are made using recycled glass, offering a better alternative to traditional engineered stone products.

Solid Surface Kitchen Benchtops

Solid surface benchtops (such as Corian) are made using a combination of acrylic resin and natural minerals. First created as a hygienic, non-porous solution for use in laboratories, solid surface benchtops can be shaped and moulded to create any type of shape in the kitchen, offering a benchtop product with endless creative options and applications. Certain colour options can be backlit, providing maximum impact in your design scheme while most colours will also allow for a completely seamless look that eliminates the need for join lines in your kitchen benchtop.

Corian Carrara Crema
Featured in this cafe design, Corian’s Carrara Crema can be used to create stunning custom shapes in the kitchen. The material can even be backlit for maximum impact, creating a stunning visual feature while also offering a luxurious soft light in a design scheme.

Natural Stone Kitchen Benchtops

Natural stone benchtops offer a timeless choice in the home being an incredibly durable and elegant option. From rich and elegant varieties of marble benchtops to sophisticated granite benchtops, there are many luxurious options available to choose from. Natural stone benchtops are porous and will require sealing in order to be best protected against staining; your Stonemason will seal your new benchtop upon installation and offer their advice on how often the material should be resealed and what types of products will best suit your specific stone benchtop.

Carnegie Kitchen Designer
Our Carnegie kitchen design uses a light granite benchtop that effortlessly complements the soft, warm whites of the space. The custom designed kitchen includes a lavish island bench that includes a built-in seating area that acts as a casual dining table for the family.

Timber Benchtops

Another timeless option for the home kitchen, a timber kitchen benchtop will add a strong sense of texture, charm and character in your design scheme. Timber benchtops are available in a wide range of luxurious options; when choosing a timber benchtop, you can select from a vast range of timber species and stains, allowing you to customise your new benchtop to suit your specific design aesthetic. It is important to note that a timber benchtop will be more susceptible to knocks, scratches or marks in comparison to other options however, this will only add to the material’s rich and earthy feel, creating a rustic quality in your kitchen design scheme.

Porcelain Kitchen Benchtops

Porcelain benchtops are becoming increasingly popular, both in home kitchens as well as in commercial settings. This non-porous material offers an incredibly durable solution for the kitchen, being resistant to scratching, staining, moisture and heat. These qualities allow for the ultimate in low maintenance benchtop solutions for the home! Porcelain benchtops will not require sealing and are available in a large range of luxurious options from textured concrete inspired surfaces to lush, high gloss marble look options.

Dekton Porcelain Benchtop Kitchen
Dekton’s unique blend of porcelain, quartz and glass offers a luxuriously low maintenance kitchen benchtop solution that can be used both in the home and in commercial applications. These benchtops can also be used outdoors, making for an excellent choice for an outdoor kitchen.

There are many exciting modern alternative options to engineered stone products for the home, allowing for an endless range of designer aesthetics to be achieved. From porcelain benchtops to timber or natural stone, you have a huge range of luxurious options available to choose from when designing your new kitchen, allowing for a more conscious design that will not pose a risk.

Our team at Perini Design Consultancy will walk you through each stage of the kitchen design process, ensuring a well planned and highly efficient space – Reach out to us here to discuss your project today!

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