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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone
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Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite


The biggest quartz slabs, Trendstone XL.

Quartz Slabs Just Got Bigger | Trendstone XL

Reconstituted Stone Slabs in an increased size, so your quartz kitchen tops can be bigger without the hassle.

The biggest quartz slabs, Trendstone XL.

Trendstone XL – the world’s biggest quartz reconstituted stone slabs.

It is rare to get any sort of slab past the 3-metre long mark. Long slabs are desirable in many cases, as smaller slabs have limits on what you can do. With Trendstone XL, there is less wastage, less labour required and turn around time faster. This all means saving money for everyone involved, the stonemasons, builders and the end user.

Trendstone XL is only available in Australia at Victoria Stone Gallery in Dandenong, Melbourne. Customers, both trade and private, can buy from us. Bulk orders for projects are welcome. Trendstone XL is open for other distributors to make contact, if interested, please reach out to us here at Victoria Stone Gallery.

<p><strong>Please include attribution to www.victoriastonegallery.com.au with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href=’https://victoriastonegallery.com.au/quartz-slabs-trendstone-xl/’><img src=’https://victoriastonegallery.com.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Trendstone-XL-jumbo-quartz-slab.jpg’ alt=’Trendstone XL, the biggest reconstituted quartz slabs.’ 540px border=’0′ /></a></p>

ThinkGlass Countertop photographed by John Stillman
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Marble Countertop – Where The Kitchen Starts

Granite and Marble Countertop in the Kitchen.

In a well-designed kitchen, prep space is key. The countertop often stands out simply because it covers so much space, especially as the kitchen becomes a primary living area, and islands become the norm.

“We know the countertop and island are playing a much more prominent role in kitchen design. And now everything starts with the stone or marble countertop,”. Says Nick Harris, v.p. of marketing at Caesarstone U.S. in Northridge, CA.

“Designers are working with homeowners to make sure the workspace is visually appealing. But also utilized to its fullest potential. Simply put, the goal for today’s kitchen is form and function, with sleek, orderly and multi-purpose living spaces,” says Mar Esteve, director of marketing for Neolith by TheSize, headquartered in Almazora, Spain.

Because surfaces are so prominent, there is great demand for variety, and the field has never been wider. Manufacturers are creating new colours, patterns and even new materials that allow homeowners to personalize their space with surfaces that perfectly suit their desired style.

Aesthetically, neutral tones are on top. The look of natural materials – stone or wood – is often a top priority. Finishes are trending toward a textured, matte appearance rather than high-gloss, shiny surfaces. At the same time, designers are getting creative with mixing and matching materials to give the space a unique flair. Creative edging choices, such as waterfall edges that reach from stone or marble countertop to floor, are also on the rise.

NATURAL AND NEUTRAL

The kitchen’s large and growing expanse of countertop space has many designers and homeowners looking to blend these surfaces seamlessly into the overall design rather than drawing too much attention to themselves. This creates a trend toward neutral tones and lends itself well to the earthy colours of natural stone or wood.

WATERFALL EFFECT

A pull toward the natural world is not only prompting designers to lean toward materials that have the appearance of natural stone or wood, but also to mimic the way that elements flow in nature. The waterfall edge on a kitchen island presents surfacing material in a clean, continuous line from the top of the counter to the floor, much like water cascading off a mountainside.

“Waterfall islands are a big trend in the design industry,” says Massimo Ballucchi, marketing director at Stafford, TX-based Cosentino North America.The increase of square footage in kitchens has allowed for these spaces to include islands and additional surface space.

Becker says, “Kitchens are increasingly becoming the showpiece of the house. And we’ve seen an uptick of islands becoming the central point of the design. Designers are using this as an opportunity to experiment with waterfall edges, extra-large seamless surfaces and using different materials. Including colours and textures, in the same space.”


LESS SHINE, MORE TEXTURE

Regardless of material choice, matte finishes and increased texture are increasingly being chosen for surface finish. “Textures are becoming more popular in both engineered and natural materials. Ranging from a matte or honed finish to a textured or leathered finish,” Congress states.

Becker agrees: “Leather- and matte-type finishes have become increasingly popular throughout the last year. And will continue to grow in 2018.”

This trend is consistent across a range of materials. “Texture is slowly moving from ‘look at me’ glossy on stones to matte with subtle textures for stones” adds Chmiel. “Honed or slate looks for stone remain popular,” she adds.

MARBLE COUNTERTOP? GRANITE? QUARTZ?

There are many factors to consider when choosing which material to use in a countertop. Design and colour are the first considerations, says Mays. Then homeowners are looking at durability and how easy the surface is to clean and sanitize.

“When you consider all of these needs, it’s clear why quartz and laminate are the materials that are leading the market,” she states.

Quartz has that natural stone look and feel, as well as the easy cleanup and scratch and stain resistance, so it has been a big draw for homeowners.

But we’re also seeing laminate as an in-demand material. Homeowners are drawn to laminate because of its lower price point, and with advanced printing technology, today’s designs can also provide that natural, neutral style that’s been trending.” 

Kath sees quartz continuing to grow more and more among those who can really afford it. With consumers able to research and easily learn what options exist, and what’s best for their lifestyle, they tend to choose quartz because of its beautiful appearance without the worry.

Read the full article at www.kitchenbathdesign.com and have a browse at our online catalogue for your new granite or marble countertop!

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