Kitchen Stone Tiles, Benchtops & Splashbacks
Natural Stone has always been the benchmark for beautiful kitchens. When designed by an experienced architect or designer and fabricated by an experienced mason nothing will match the beauty, longevity or practical nature of a kitchen top made using natural stone.
The last 10-15 years has seen man-made slabs become the predominant material in kitchens due to their cheaper price and mass manufacture. While practical alternatives for lower value installations, these “quartz” materials have their limitations and can never match the random beauty and colours of natural stone.
Stone flooring can complement your bench tops or tone with them and there are many types of stones that have been used for kitchen installations. As a high traffic area in the house, thought should be given to finding a durable stone flooring rather than something that just looks great as it may not perform well over time.
Choosing the Right Type of Stone
Colours to match your interior space will be an important part of the selection process, however it should not be the only consideration
Stones have been used for centuries in cooking spaces and is a durable practical material if the correct stone is used. With such a variety of stone in the market there is naturally some stones that are more durable than others.
Granites have been used for many years and are a durable surface that perform well, however the limited colours and changes in fashion have made designers look to marbles and limestone to provide greater visual impact.
Throughout Europe the white marbles from the Carrara region of Italy have been used historically and remain very popular throughout the world. Generally, these marbles will perform best when the surface is a matt (honed) finish and sealed with a quality stone sealer. White marbles are found in other countries, and some perform very well while others are best avoided for kitchen applications. There are many darker marbles that are excellent options for kitchen bench tops. RMS Marble can advise on marbles that will both look great in your kitchen and perform well into the future.
Limestones provide a variety of colours that go with today’s design trends and are being used often. From the lighter greys through to darker colours these limestones will also perform well but do require good sealing with a quality sealer. With limestones it is best to avoid the light colours as these tend to show marks more easily.
Italian Travertine has been used since the Roman era in baths, kitchens, bathrooms and on floors. It remains a quality building product that is durable and suitable for use on counter tops and for vanities. Travertine has a range of colours from light through to dark tones and can be cut to either show the veining or across the grain to give a different look. RMS Marble carries a range of Italian Travertine slabs.
When it comes to adding colour or interest to a kitchen splash-back, Mosaics are the perfect solution. From simple shapes through to custom designed panels, mosaics can be the focal point of the kitchen to add colour and vibrancy to the space.
There are many options of material when choosing mosaics and some mosaics combine materials for greater interest. RMS carry a range of mosaics from beautiful stone mosaics though to Italian Glass and some porcelain options. We can even have custom panels created using your images or design ideas.
Types of Kitchen Stone
Tastes in stone vary widely and homeowners as well as architects and designers are constantly looking for ways to enhance these frequently used spaces, to make them enjoyable but visually appealing.
Marbles, Travertines and limestones have been used to clad bathrooms for centuries. With the correct installation these perform wel,l however selection of the stone combined with the correct adhesives, grouts and sealer should be part of package when buying stone which will be installed in wet areas.
Stone Tiles are typically used for kitchen flooring, but many people also use them for splash-backs. Stone tiles bring warmth and depth to your kitchen. Tiles are available in a range of sizes and thicknesses. When using tiles, the selection of a durable grout and good sealer is key to keeping the installation practical. New technology grouts from Italy perform almost as well as epoxy used in commercial kitchen but are easy for your tiler to install. RMS can advise on the best stone, sealer, and grout options to make your kitchen look fantastic.
Like the Kitchen benchtop, stone splashbacks are the perfect compliment to the kitchen. Often paired with the countertop stone a skilled stonemason can join the veins and markings of your chosen slabs to create a seamless picture with your stone running from the walls, across your countertop and even to the floor.
Perhaps the most often place stone is installed is on the countertop surfaces. These countertops are cut from large slabs of stone and formed by a stonemason who will cut places for your sinks and taps as well as form the edge profile of your stone.
When designing a kitchen benchtop, it is important to consider the size of slabs available in your preferred material and understand each piece of stone will be different. Not all stone can be quarried into large pieces and normally the larger sizes will be more expensive. Stone is also a material that is graded at the quarries like diamonds, with the nicer looking material usually demanding higher prices.
Stone benches provide a beautiful practical surface to work on. Being a natural material stone will add character and pattern to the kitchen space providing a timeless backdrop to the food creations that emerge from the kitchen.
Selecting your Kitchen Benchtop
Deciding on the perfect material for your application.
So you’re renovating your kitchen, how exciting! You’re ready to get started, but you may have a few questions before you are ready to open up your wallet. Hopefully by the end of this article, you will have a better idea of what is the perfect material for your dream kitchen.
“What is popular?”
A lot of clients enjoy knowing what is popular or what is on trend. Currently we have a lot of clients choosing grey and white marble kitchen benchtops. Many interior designers find whites and greys to bring a Zen energy into a living space. In color psychology, grey represents neutrality and balance.
Our company has been in the stone game for a long time, so we have seen colour and pattern trends come and go. And although it is helpful to see what others are enjoying in their homes while you are searching, it is always important to remember that your individual taste is equally important.
Man-made or natural stone kitchen benchtop – “What is right for me?”
This is one of the first questions you will want to get to figure out. The two options have different pros and cons. For example, a man-made benchtop is uniform and the colour and pattern will always look the same; whereas a natural stone kitchen benchtop is derived from nature and is completely unique to you. Both materials require a certain degree of maintenance and cleaning.
Natural stone materials for your kitchen benchtop options include: limestone, marble, granite, onyx, travertine and basalt. Man-made materials for your kitchen benchtop options include: Samsung quartz, Geoluxe (resin-free slabs), Vetrazzo (recycled glass slabs), Cesar stone, or porcelain.
“I heard marble is sensitive and stains, but I think it is beautiful and I want is as my kitchen benchtop!”
A lot of people love the beauty of natural stone, especially marble but are concerned how it will perform. As long as you seal your stone and clean regularly, you are unlikely to experience any issues – even on a white marble benchtop. Acidic substances such as wine and vinegar can etch stone and becomes visible on polished surfaces but on the matt finishes used today, these marks are not apparent. One of the beauties of natural stone is, it can be fully restored after years of use to its original condition by a stonemason.
“How many slabs do I need?”
This is a question best asked to your stone mason. If you don’t already have a stone mason, we have several that we can recommend. The amount of slabs you need depends on a couple different factors: how big the slabs are, if you are installing a splash-back or water-fall ends, how long your kitchen benchtop is and what edge thickness you create.
A crucial aspect to understand with natural stone is slab sizes are not fixed and vary from shipment to shipment. This impacts what can be done and if you will have joins in your installation. Stone sizes vary from around 2m to 3m in length and 1-2m wide. So if you plan your kitchen before looking at stone you may find the material you love is not available in the size you want. Man made stone is produced in standard sizes.
“What information do you need from me to get my project started”
In order to get started on your order, we need to firstly know lead time. If we have the quantity and drawing that you need, we can start to coordinate with your stone mason the same day. Aside from basic details, that is all we need to know to get your project underway.
If you need help getting started, you can always call and speak to someone from our friendly team: (02) 9316 9677. Your dream kitchen benchtop will soon be a reality!
Contact Us Today or Visit Our Sydney Showroom
RMS Marble are one of Sydney’s longest established stone providers so have both the range and understanding of stone to help guide your choices into products that will look great in your kitchen but also provide the long-term satisfaction of having made the right selection of stone type for your needs.