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Recent Posts

What is sintered stone?

16.07.2018
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What makes modern kitchen worktops cutting edge?

 

Modern Kitchen Worktops

 

There’s more choice than ever before, so you may be wondering: which kitchen worktops are actually worth the hype? Which ones are truly cutting edge and which are old materials in new clothes? At Surrey Marble and Granite we’ve carefully curated our collection of natural and engineered stone to ensure that our customers get the best kitchen worktops, tiles, flooring and other stone products. We aim to be totally jargon free, but in case you’re wondering what some of the cutting edge terms in design magazines mean, here’s a quick glossary.

 

 

Natural stone worktops

 

Marble, granite, limestone, slate and other natural stones are mined out of the ground and cut into worktops with minimal processing. The natural beauty of the stone will show in your kitchen, bathroom or flooring. Each slab is unique as it’s formed by natural forces underground over thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of years. This makes pattern matching tricky but ensures your finished worktop will be unique!

 

 

Quartz worktops

 

Quartz is a natural material – one of the toughest around – but it doesn’t come out of the earth in convenient slabs ready to be cut into a worktop. Instead, quartz worktop manufacturers make up slabs out of small pieces of quartz and a small amount of resin. The resin is often dyed, which is what gives brands like Okite their stunning colour range. Quartz worktops are typically 93-98% quartz, so they’re still tough as rock.

 

 

Processed or engineered stone

 

Quartz worktops are processed (or engineered) stone worktops as they’re manufactured from stone particles and act very much like stone when complete. If you buy an Okite worktop, it’ll look different from natural stone but it’ll have many similar properties such as being heat, water and stain proof as well as hard to damage. Not all engineered (or processed) stones are made from quartz however: Dekton is made through sinterised particle technology. Manufactured stones are much more consistent in colour and texture, so pattern matching is easier.

 

 

Sinterised particle technology

 

This is how Dekton worktops are made, and its one of a number of proprietary stone manufacturing methods. Most work on the similar principles however: they mimic the formation of stone in the earth’s crust by creating extreme heat and pressure which forces the particles to bond together. The alternative is to use resin as a sort of glue, which is how quartz worktops are made.

 

 

Sealed or unsealed

 

Some natural stones, including marble and limestone, are porous. This means that they have microscopic holes in them, like a sponge does, where minute particles of food or liquid could lodge. Sealing closes up these holes, creating a smooth surface that doesn’t stain. It’s generally recommended to seal all natural stones, even non-porous ones like granite. Processed (or engineered or manufactured) stones are already sealed, so they don’t need to be sealed after they’ve been cut to shape.

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Marble bathrooms have been popular since the Golden Age of Hollywood, when screen goddesses like Elizabeth Taylor or Vivien Leigh were often shown in a marble bath or at a marble vanity. Granite worktops, while popular in kitchens from Berkshire to Aberdeen, have been ignored in the bathroom, which is a same as it’s a versatile material that can create a truly elegant look.

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There are many techniques that can be employed in stone based projects to fit with design and preference. Just as the choice of stone used has a great bearing on the overall finished appearance and feel of the room, so too can the fitting and masonry methods used. Where stone matching is used it is important to be aware of the extra extensive planning involved.   Pattern matching   On small areas or rooms it is possible to continue the same pattern at the seams as stone can be cut […]

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Creating a beautiful, practical home can be challenging. Getting the look you want while staying within your budget can seem impossible. At Surrey Marble and Granite we work directly with you, which means that you’re in control of the look, the quality and the budget, and at the same time know you’re getting expert work and direct-from-quarry prices.

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