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Topic # 238144 4-Jul-2018 19:55
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Hi - I'm looking to replace my kitchen benchtop and got recommended Caesarstone... it is really expensive though.

 

I googled the product and in product review Australia people had a lot of complaints - so just wondering if anyone's had experience here?

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!


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  Reply # 2049222 4-Jul-2018 20:08
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We've got a silestone benchtop (https://www.silestone.com/nz/) that has been installed now for around 5 years, really good and solid and has suffered no damage even with a 5 and 2 year old running amok.  It was much cheaper than caesarstone though and out of the samples I couldn't really tell the difference... we had it installed as part of a new kitchen so had quite a few different options.


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  Reply # 2049229 4-Jul-2018 20:15
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Sorry can't comment on Caesarstone, but love our Stonex kitchen benches http://www.roxxstone.com/

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 2049238 4-Jul-2018 20:35
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Mum has a caesarstone bench and seems to really like it. I'm personally not fussed on the look though. Hers has largish pieces of quartz in it. On the edges I first thought it has chunks chipped out of it because of the quartz. That might just be hers though. It has lasted well and she only has to rub a sealer on occasionally.

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  Reply # 2049239 4-Jul-2018 20:37
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amepluie:

 

Hi - I'm looking to replace my kitchen benchtop and got recommended Caesarstone... it is really expensive though.

 

I googled the product and in product review Australia people had a lot of complaints - so just wondering if anyone's had experience here?

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

You don't mention what the complaints are?

 

We have it on our bench, and I think it's pretty impressive stuff. Its got tiny microscratches consistent with human life, but restoration to new consists of the joiner sanding the top 0.5mm off and we're away again.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 2049248 4-Jul-2018 20:56
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check if you can pour boiling water on it.

 

 

i.e. boil the veges, then want to pour water down the sick, some hits the bench - what will happen?

 





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  Reply # 2049254 4-Jul-2018 21:00
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We are looking at bench choices atm, so interested in what the difference is and whether this is a coke/pepsi choice? They all appear to be resin and quartz?

Jon



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  Reply # 2049353 4-Jul-2018 23:05
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antoniosk:

 

amepluie:

 

Hi - I'm looking to replace my kitchen benchtop and got recommended Caesarstone... it is really expensive though.

 

I googled the product and in product review Australia people had a lot of complaints - so just wondering if anyone's had experience here?

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

You don't mention what the complaints are?

 

We have it on our bench, and I think it's pretty impressive stuff. Its got tiny microscratches consistent with human life, but restoration to new consists of the joiner sanding the top 0.5mm off and we're away again.

 

 

 

 

The complaints I have found online are: stains/marks easily even with water, chips/hairline cracks within 2-3 years, terrible service with warranties.

 

I don't mind scratches as part of normal use etc, but I think for the price I do hope it is of good quality...




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  Reply # 2049355 4-Jul-2018 23:09
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jonherries: We are looking at bench choices atm, so interested in what the difference is and whether this is a coke/pepsi choice? They all appear to be resin and quartz?

Jon

 

 

 

yea I do wonder that too, because seems most benchtop installer have a low-mid-top range offer, but then they're all engineered stones and claim similar feature (non-porous, strong heat, stain, scratch and chip resistance....)


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  Reply # 2049361 4-Jul-2018 23:29
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What about granite? 


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  Reply # 2049572 5-Jul-2018 10:24
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amepluie:

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

Probably should look at DuPont Corian or LG Hi-Macs as an alternative to "engineered stone".

 

If I'd have wanted a $10k benchtop, that's what I'd have gone for. However I didn't want to spend that kind of $$$, so I made a benchtop out of finger-jointed laminated European Beech panels (about $120 each) from Bunnings, all up cost was about $600.  They're 1" thick - so I doubled up to make 2" edges (cut and reversed to match grain). I thought I was being a cheapskate - but everybody who's seen it has gone on about how great it is (seriously I could start a business - people say they want one).  Very serviceable and mar-resistant too - the timber is extremely hard (which causes some issues working with it), the water-based matt finish I put on it shows no real signs of wear after a year daily use. Re-coating is very simple when needed.


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  Reply # 2049614 5-Jul-2018 11:08
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Fred99:

 

amepluie:

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

Probably should look at DuPont Corian or LG Hi-Macs as an alternative to "engineered stone".

 

If I'd have wanted a $10k benchtop, that's what I'd have gone for. However I didn't want to spend that kind of $$$, so I made a benchtop out of finger-jointed laminated European Beech panels (about $120 each) from Bunnings, all up cost was about $600.  They're 1" thick - so I doubled up to make 2" edges (cut and reversed to match grain). I thought I was being a cheapskate - but everybody who's seen it has gone on about how great it is (seriously I could start a business - people say they want one).  Very serviceable and mar-resistant too - the timber is extremely hard (which causes some issues working with it), the water-based matt finish I put on it shows no real signs of wear after a year daily use. Re-coating is very simple when needed.

 

 

Keen for pics of that actually, if you don't mind. Off topic, but I was eyeing up Bunnings beech panels to make a TV cabinet and bookshelf but wasn't sure about how hard/easy it would be to work. And I thought they were pre-waxed?


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  Reply # 2049763 5-Jul-2018 13:19
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It looks a bit "busier" in the photo than it does in reality.

 

No - the beech panels - or at least those ones - aren't waxed or finished.

 

It's as hard as hell (smoke comes off power tools even with sharp blades) and of course it expand/contracts with humidity - so it'll bow if you're not careful. 

 

There's about 300mm overhang from the cabinets underneath on two sides - so you can sit in bar stools comfortably and eat.

 

I used the same panels for a bench for my coffee setup:

 

 

As well as replacing a desktop on an old built-in desk in my adjacent office, and as a bench over washer/dryer next to laundry basin:

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2049797 5-Jul-2018 13:39
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^ Looks really nice.

 

We are looking at replacing our formica benchtops (about 8 years old) with a wooden set. We had macrocarpa in a previous house and were happy with that.

 

I don't have the skills or tools (if I had the tools and workshop, I'd be keen to give it a go though) needed to build those, but my brother in law does - I might look into it - thanks.


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  Reply # 2049803 5-Jul-2018 13:48
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Nice work there Fred! I'd really like a bench top that could be treated as a giant butcher's block so I could just chop and cut food on it and wipe it clean. Make it thick enough that it can be sanded and refinished for years to come. Is that practical? Friend has a benchtop made out of some kind of bamboo and it seems bulletproof.

 

We have had Stonex in two houses so far. Seems to be good and reasonable price. Haven't managed in either house to gouge burn or stain it. It can have small flaws such as specks of different colour in it, and it can have small chips from manufacture and installation. However these are easily filled in (but leave a visible speck).

 

[add]

 

What I do not like is bench tops that are super hard - granite and marble. Feel like you'll smash a glass just gently placing it on them!

 

 


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  Reply # 2049814 5-Jul-2018 14:07
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Fred99:

 

amepluie:

 

I have heard prime-stone is a cheaper alternative? anything else I should look for?

 

 

Probably should look at DuPont Corian or LG Hi-Macs as an alternative to "engineered stone".

 

If I'd have wanted a $10k benchtop, that's what I'd have gone for. However I didn't want to spend that kind of $$$, so I made a benchtop out of finger-jointed laminated European Beech panels (about $120 each) from Bunnings, all up cost was about $600.  They're 1" thick - so I doubled up to make 2" edges (cut and reversed to match grain). I thought I was being a cheapskate - but everybody who's seen it has gone on about how great it is (seriously I could start a business - people say they want one).  Very serviceable and mar-resistant too - the timber is extremely hard (which causes some issues working with it), the water-based matt finish I put on it shows no real signs of wear after a year daily use. Re-coating is very simple when needed.

 

 

 

 

I'd steer clear of Corian. I'm told the bench top material in our current house is corian and we hate it. It stains easily, already has an impact chip in it which has had a repair done but perhaps a poor one, is hard to keep clean and it has a ring burned into it from a hot pot lid that the previous owner must have put down on it which I can't seem to clear up.

 

 

 

In our previous house, we had a Silastone bench and it was much better. Much much more stain resistant and easy to clean and in 5 years of use, we never managed to damage it other than a glass salt shaker falling on it from 1m up. That caused a chip out of the surface but it was easily and invisibly fixed by Lustre.

 

 

 

As for natural granite, being a natural product it is porous. I've seen very expensive granite benches that have numerous circular marks and stains on them from wet cups, food etc so be prepared for granite to develop an ever changing look as you use it. The Silastone bench looked as new 5 years after installation.


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