Expert Advice on Using Natural Stone in Your Kitchen

by Stacey Sheppard in Kitchens

Nothing adds character and individuality to your kitchen like natural stone. As a building material it is perfect for providing the permanence, durability and longevity that we seek when investing in our homes.

For this reason, it is increasingly chosen for use in kitchens as both flooring and as a work surface. But what are the main considerations when selecting which stone to install, and how should we care for it?

For Simon Hunter, Managing Director of Stone Theatre, there is a set formula for discerning which stone will best meet your needs. The following elements all need careful consideration in order to pick the best stone for your kitchen: intended use, durability, aesthetic, maintenance and colour.

“A honed finish in mid grey is probably the easiest to keep clean and will carry minor marks most successfully.”

Suitability

Intended use is of course key as this will determine exactly what type of stone can be used for the purpose. Jules Archard, Showroom Manager at Surface says: “Suitability is key as some natural stone is more practical than others for kitchens. Granite is hard and relatively non-porous making it a popular choice, whereas a soft and chalky limestone would be less practical as it would cope less well with impact, acids and would be harder to clean.”

 

Durability

Durability and maintenance go hand in hand. If natural stone is properly looked after it should last and retain its quality long into the future. Regularly sealing a stone floor is very important, according to designer Tim Moss. “If correctly sealed it should withstand most things that are thrown at it,” he says. Cleaning a stone floor is also important and should be done using a recommended natural stone cleaner i.e. non-acidic with the correct pH balance, says Archard. “Off the shelf cleaners should be avoided as they could contain ingredients that will damage the stone.”

Practicality

Practicality is something that must also be considered when it comes to aesthetics, colour and the look that you would like to achieve with your work surfaces. “Dark polished stone is most likely to show water marks and a dark honed finish can pick up finger marks and oil splashes more easily,” says Archard. “A honed finish in mid grey is probably the easiest to keep clean and will carry minor marks most successfully. A strongly textured surface is not really practical for work tops as it would be difficult to keep clean.”

“A honed finish in mid grey is probably the easiest to keep clean and will carry minor marks most successfully. A strongly textured surface is not really practical for work tops as it would be difficult to keep clean.”

Expert choice

So what would the experts choose if they were installing stone in their own kitchen? Tim Moss says: “If I were to fit a stone floor at the moment, and budget was not an issue, I would choose Pietra Di Italia from Lapicida, it’s gorgeous.” Archard’s selection is somewhat different. “My current choice would be the return to the ‘Cosmati’ tradition – the Italian method of hand cutting stone to form intricate and complex designs,” he says. For Simon Hunter, it’s the natural quartzite (Moon Rock, White Macuba, Fusion) that wins hands down as it incorporates the beauty of marble with the durability of granite.

 

Stone Theatre – www.stonetheatre.com

Surface Tiles – www.surfacetiles.com

Tim Moss Kitchens – www.timmoss.co.uk

Lapicida – www.lapicida.com


Recommended Editorials