Surface materials are the most remarkable features in residential and hospitality design. They play a crucial role in defining the final selling price of a property. However, the focus is no longer just on the price of the type of stone, but now it is a matter of style, design, usability and understanding the needs of the end-user. For this reason, it is very important to understand the qualities of the surface materials in order to achieve high returns on investment and maximum customer satisfaction.
These are the 4 large-format surface materials you should know about:
Natural Stone Slabs
Engineered Stone Slabs
Corian Acrylic Polymer
1. NATURAL STONE SLABS
A common misconception is that stone is the most expensive surface material, but this is not always the case.
There are a few quick areas to consider when specifying natural stone:
- Natural stone slabs are unique and vary in coloration, veins and natural fissures.
- This stone can vary with an easy entry price point from grade A to G.
- Its price varies based on the country of origin, its density and the mining of the stone itself.
- No two pieces of stone are alike meaning that you have a substantial variation in terms of colour and veining.
Stone slabs can have imperfections as they are mother nature’s products and they tend to be porous. This makes natural stone slabs softer than other surface materials and easier to scratch.
This product can be ordered with different finishes such as honed, tumbled or polished.
2.ENGINEERED STONE SLABS
Engineered stone slabs are safe and quality-control products as they are man-made.
They are highly desired in the residential sector as it was manufactured in response to the need for a more consistent look than the one obtained through natural stone slabs.
This product is extremely resistant to scratching and porosity and it is an environmentally friendly material, but it requires a stone fabricator to cut and install and this can make engineered stone slabs a bit pricey. This is why many people opt for natural stone: being those more popular, they feel safer in retaining a higher property value.
Engineered stone slabs have greater colour selections to choose from. The product usually comes in a polished look so if you want a matte look it will need to be custom ordered and at a premium price.
Porcelain slabs are a new product and trend in the market. These panels are super-efficient and sustainable.
They come in different sizes and thicknesses, so it is easy to use the same colour or material on your floor, walls and bench tops.
Prices for porcelain panels mainly depend on the country of origin but they are usually economical and also recyclable.
Porcelain is non-porous, it resists heat, stains, mould and fungus.
These benefits add an extra level of hygienic protection, which makes porcelain panels the perfect material for your kitchen and for food preparation.
If you are looking for a very clean effortless look, I highly recommend this product.