All Your Stone Benchtop Questions, Answered!

All Your Stone Benchtop Questions, Answered!

A stone benchtop is at the very top of many homeowners kitchen wish lists, and for good reason. Not only do stone benchtops look much more prestigious than laminate benchtops and other counterparts, but they also offer superior durability and longevity, two vital qualities needed by a kitchen benchtop to last the test of time.

Last week we shared our Ultimate Stone Benchtop Buying Guide, which was very well received. So much so that we received a surge in question relating to stone benchtops. So we thought the best idea would be to gather the most asked questions and answer them collectively in this post.

If you are interested in getting a stone benchtop in Perth, whether to replace an existing benchtop or for your new kitchen or kitchen renovation, you’ll want to read this article.

What’s the cheapest stone benchtop?

The question everyone wants to know is, what’s the cheapest stone benchtop? Of the various types of stone benchtops, being marble, granite, and engineered stone (or quartz), you’ll find quartz/engineered stone to be the cheapest. It is marginally cheaper than granite and significantly cheaper than marble, which is by far the most expensive stone benchtop.

On average, you can expect to pay around $400 to $600 per square meter for engineered stone (or quartz), depending on the supplier. Granite, on the other hand, you’re looking at more around $700 to $1,700 per square metre mark, and marble can cost as much as $800 to $2,200 per square meter.

Given the price of granite and marble, quartz/engineered stone are clearly the most affordable option.

What’s a cheaper alternative to quartz benchtops?

The prices outlined above show quartz/engineered stone, at $400 to $600 per square meter, to be the cheapest stone benchtop on the market in Australia. Therefore, if you find that quartz/engineered stone is above your budget, the only more affordable alternative would be to do without stone and opt for a different material.

The only cheaper option is Laminex, which will set you back around $120 per square metre. Other benchtop materials such as stainless steel and timber are considerably more expensive than Laminex, costing around $550 and $1,600 per square metre and $900 per square metre.

Are quartz benchtops better than marble?

Yes! And we’re not just saying that because we sell quartz benchtops and not marble. As prestigious and luxurious as marble appears to be, it is, unfortunately, a poor material choice for a kitchen benchtop. Compared to quartz, one of the world’s hardest minerals, marble is much less dense and more porous.

Because it is less dense, it is more prone to chipping, cracking, and scratching than quartz, and because it is more porous, it has a higher absorption rate, making it vulnerable to stains and marking. As such, for marble to perform well as a benchtop, it has to be constantly sealed, which isn’t a requirement of quartz benchtops. Acidic substances and harsh cleaners can cause damage.

Other disadvantages of marble over quartz include the fact that marble, a natural material, cannot provide the design variations and options that quartz/engineered stone can.

What’s the most durable stone benchtop?

Of the top stone benchtop options, marble, granite, quartz and engineered stone, quartz and engineered stone made from quartz are the most durable choice.

The two characteristics that determine the durability of a stone benchtop is its hardness, which is measured on Mohs scale – the lower the score, the easier they will scratch, and the density is measured with a simple formula: density equals mass divided by volume.

The table below shows the hardness and density of the most common stone benchtops. As you can see, quartz and engineered quartz are the hardest, with a Mohs rating of 7. Marble is the lowest, with a rating of just 3-4.

  Hardness (Mohs) Density (g/cm³)
Quartz   7 2.65
Engineered Quartz 7 2.4 – 2.5
Granite 6 2.65 – 2.75
Marble 3-4 2.52 – 2.64

Can you put hot pots on stone benchtops?

Stone benchtops will withstand heat to a degree but to what degree depends on the type of stone. They are heat resistant, not heatproof.

For example, engineered quartz benchtops are made from over 90% quartz mixed with resin, but the resin can limit the temperates it can withstand. Most engineered quartz benchtops will only withstand temperatures of about 150 degrees. Granite can withstand higher temperates than quartz, but that’s not to say a granite benchtop won’t get damaged by hot pots that have come directly off the stove. They can only withstand temperatures of about 150 and 200 degrees, so placing hot pots and items hotter than 150 degrees will damage your benchtop and is not recommended. It will likely discolour and burn the surface.

It’s worth noting that marble benchtops also have the potential to scorch, so as with quartz and granite, you should avoid setting hot pans on top of them. Always use trivets and hot pads regardless of the stone.

Do stone benchtops add value?

Yes, stone benchtops absolutely add value to a home. Whether you choose quartz, engineered quartz, granite, or marble, so long as it’s in good condition at the time of sale, you can expect your home to be worth a lot more. More importantly, you can expect your home to be much more attractive to a potential buyer if it features a stone benchtop.

Conclusion

Stone benchtops are undoubtedly one of the desired products of any kitchen, but they come with a price. Rather than $120 per square metre, which is what you can expect to pay for a laminate benchtop, you should expect to pay onwards of $400 per square metre for stone, with engineered quartz benchtops being the most affordable choice at $400-$600 per square metre.

Aside from being the cheapest, quartz benchtops are also the best option. They’re much harder and not porous like marble, and they’re more durable than granite. Stone benchtops will certainly add value to any home, which is why so many Perth homeowners invest in them.

If you’d like to invest in stone benchtops in Perth, then look nowhere else by Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We have a wide range of quartz engineered stone benchtops available at the lowest prices in town. Contact our kitchen salesperson, Fiona, for a free quote today.