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Concrete or stone: Which is right for your kitchen surfaces?

Date Wednesday, 19 October 2016 6:13 AM

Is natural stone the best material for your benchtop?

Concrete in the kitchen: It's a new design choice that is taking Australia by storm. But is it right for your own home design? We take a quick look at the pros and cons of this new trend to see what's the most apt option for your property.

The case for stone

When people think of kitchen surfaces, particularly islands, they will often immediately jump to granite, marble, or one of the other traditional materials for benchtops. Durability and elegance all rolled into one, there's a reason that natural stone is one of the most popular materials in the kitchen.

However, it's very expensive, and can be susceptible to common acidic materials such as citrus fruits. Without the proper sealing, you can also end up with permanent stains from spills of wine or coffee. It can be high maintenance, but many people think it is well worth the additional cost. Some stones, marble in particular, can have an entirely unique colour and/or veining, changing your surface from something purely functional into a real statement piece for your home.

What about concrete?

Unlike natural or engineered stone, concrete can give your kitchen an industrial feel.

If you follow any kind of interior design experts, magazines or websites, you'll be discovering just how popular concrete is becoming - particularly among DIYers. Yes, there's an abundance of guides for DIY concrete benchtops out there, but let's assume you want the best result and get  the job done professionally: What can you expect from a concrete benchtop?

First of all, there's the look. Unlike natural or engineered stone, concrete can give your kitchen an industrial feel. It's a far cry from the opulence of marble, but it has its merits in some home designs. There's also the fact that while the trend is still young, it may be considered a unique feature of your home.

This being said, concrete suffers from the same issues as natural stone. Staining is a problem if you don't get it resealed often, though the typically lower cost can somewhat alleviate that burden. However,  the surface can also develop cracks over time, as well as chip easily. Not an ideal scenario for somebody who wants something that will last. In that regard, natural stone has concrete beat.

But if you like a wide choice of different colours, a more matte look and don't want to go off the deep end in pricing, concrete could be the right choice for you. Make sure you ask your G.J. Gardner Homes expert when designing your new home to see if concrete is an available material for you.

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Images and photographs may depict fixtures, finishes and features either not supplied by G.J. Gardner Homes or not included in any price stated. These items include furniture, swimming pools, pool decks, fences, landscaping. Price does not include all facades shown. For detailed home pricing, please talk to a new homes consultant.