there is a huge difference in price. why would stone be better?
Assuming the bench is in a kitchen... Stone will patina and tell a story over time, chips stains and wear, so the materials around it will need to stay the course. Stone is for keeps and can be polished. Laminex will date the room, with colour and style, such as when it became mainstream in the 1960-70's. A well preserved kitchen from the seventies can be cool. It really is a style choice, as kitchens are replaced whether they were built to last or not. Stone works for a natural look and Laminex for a manufactured look. So if a kitchen needs to be colourful, the range of colour available in Laminex is limitless. Perhaps the most counter design thing to do would be to use Laminex to make a stone bench.......
Thank you Michael.
Hi again Michael! This is my kitchen. I would like some advice please on the choice of colour you would recommend for a new bench top. I have a raised kitchen bench on the opposite side and am making it breakfast bar. Should I make a feature of the breakfast bar bench ( the sink will be in this bench as well) with stone and have a neutral laminate on the bench pictured or keep both bench tops the same. I would like to choose a darker colour, matching the darker colours in the handmade tiles of the backsplash. My husband thinks a lighter colour would suit better. Thanks, in anticipation, Carmel
Hi mithencl, I consider a stone benchtop in all three places, in a colour matching one of the darker shades in the tiles would look stunning. All the best, Michael.
Thank you Sharon. Your comments were most helpful. Being able to keep the bench clean is one of the big issues to consider for me. I am renting at the moment and the black laminex made to look like granite looks constantly smeared no matter how often I wipe it down. Is your laminex a light or dark in colour?
Thank you so much Marina for your informed suggestions. It's such a big decision. I don't want to get it wrong!! I LIVE in my kitchen and have waited years to have a chance to make it my own!
I don't believe there is any perfect product for kitchen benchtops - they all have pros and cons.
Laminates can't be beaten for price. Any joins should be very hard to see. There is a huge range of colours/textures etc. Disadvantages are that the colour is only a few millimetres thick so any scratches etc will show and cannot be repaired. They will stand day to day use but you wouldn't want to cut something directly on the surface!
Stone or quartz solid surfaces are much more durable (but manufacturers still advise not to put hot things on them).
Disadvantages are the cost; any joins will probably be quite visible (its a bit like grout in between tiles but not quite so wide); and they can be very cold to touch.In regards to cleaning, with any product (benchtop, doors, panels etc) the darker and glossier it is, the harder it is to clean. So if you want to make it easy on yourself for cleaning, stick with something light.