Festoni
AN EXPLORATION OF BENCHTOP SURFACES

ENGINEERED STONE (eg. Smart Stone, Quantum Quartz, CaesarStone)

What is it? These products are all very similar being engineered stone made from natural quartz (one of the strongest elements in nature), pigments and polyester resins which are specifically rationed to a required blend.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant, heat resistant, and scratch resistant.
Colours: A huge range of colours from very light and pastel colours through to bright primary colours.
Applications: Benchtops, vanities, wall cladding and commercial uses.
Daily Cleaning: Clean with moist cloth. Stubborn stains or dried spills use any multi purpose cleaner.
Long Term Maintenance: None.


MARBLE

What is it? Marble has both a scientific and commercial definition. Scientific marble was once limestone that achieved metamorphosis from intense pressures and high temperatures within the earth. This altered its crystalline structure and introduced other minerals that produced the valuable colours and veining. Commercially, any stone capable of taking a polish (with the exception of granite) is known as marble. This includes travertine, onyx, serpentine and limestone.
Resistance: It is heat resistant. It is not acid/stain resistant as many foods and drinks contain acids than can etch or dull the stone surface. It is also not scratch resistant.
Colours: Each piece of marble is individual in colour and style.
Applications: Benchtops, vanities, wall cladding, floors.
Daily Cleaning: Use a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Do not use scouring powders or creams.
Long Term Maintenance: May need repolishing.


GRANITE

What is it? Granite is an igneous rock which means that it was once moulten and formed as it cooled deep within the earth. Minerals within granite typically appear as small flecks throughout the stone creating a salt and pepper look. Other types have veining similar to marble. Granite is a dense-grained hard stone. It can be highly polished or finished in a variety of other ways.
Resistance: It is heat resistant. It is not acid/stain resistant as some foods may stain it permanently. It is also not scratch resistant.
Colours: Each piece of granite has its own individual and unique colour tonings.
Applications: Benchtops, vanities, wall claddings, floors.
Daily Cleaning: Use a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
Long Term Maintenance: May need repolishing after a period of time.


STAINLESS STEEL

What is it? Stainless steel is a commercially manufactured metal.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant. It is not heat resistant as it retains heat for a period of time (hot dishes placed on countertop will remain hot). It is not scratch resistant.
Applications: Benchtops, splashbacks, sinks.
Daily Cleaning: Don’t use steel wool or metallic scrapers to remove non-washable deposits or allow dirt to accumulate or to dry and harden. Don’t use cleaners that contain harsh or abrasive chemicals or high bleach contents. Wash with soapy water, rinse with water and dry with clean cloth. Approved stainless steel cleaners are readily available from supermarkets. Clean in one direction only along the original polishing lines.
Long Term Maintenance: Will need to be re-buffed to return the stainless steel to its original sparkling splendour.


LAMINATE

What is it? Laminate (technical name – HPDL) is a mixture of cellulose and fibres and phenol-formalehyde resin impregnated paper mixed and compressed with high pressure presses. These come in a variety of styles and specifications for particular uses. Be guided by your local laminate distributor for your individual requirements.
Resistance: It is heat resistant. Some laminates are acid/stain resistant and scratch resistant – be guided by your supplier expert.
Colours: Endless array of colours, textures and finishes.
Applications: Benchtops, doors, splashbacks, cupboards.
Daily Cleaning: Avoid abrasive cleaners, wax products or bleaching or highly chlorine products. Use a multi purpose cleaner to remove daily grime.
Long Term Maintenance: None.


TIMBER

What is it? Timber tops are not widely chosen due to the fact that they are very high maintenance product and have a bacterial concern with hygiene. To protect the timber, perhaps a glass panel could be overlayed to provide a longer term solution. Timbers chosen for this purpose include Jarrah, Bamboo, Sheoak, Wandu, Tasmanian Oak.
Resistance: It is heat resistant. It is not acid/stain resistant and scratch resistant.
Applications: Benchtops (although not common), doors.
Daily Cleaning: Mild soapy water and dry with clean cloth. Avoid chemical and abrasive commercial cleaners.
Long Term Maintenance: Resurfacing is a common issue resulting in a costly long term exercise.


GLASS

What is it? Toughened glass made for the purpose to use in such areas as splashbacks so that they can be safety installed near ovens and hotplates.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant and heat resistant. It is not scratch resistant as it can be easily scratched.
Colours: Endless selection of colours and textures.
Applications: Benchtops, splashbacks, moulded into special forms.
Daily Cleaning: Wipe over with standard domestic glass cleaner.
Long Term Maintenance: Would need to be replaced eventually as scratches cannot be removed.


CORIAN®

What is it? Corian® is a non-porous special formulation of natural minerals and high performance acrylic. Corian® has the smoothness and substance associated with stone, combined with the workability of fine wood. Corian® sheets are joined together with special adhesive, giving a smooth seamless appearance and creating the impression that an entire area – such as a long kitchen bench has been made from a single piece.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant and heat resistant. It is not scratch resistant.
Colours: Available in 90 colours including whites, pastels, veined and textured colours through to solid colours.
Applications: Benchtops, splashbacks, moulds such as columns, baths, sinks and furniture.
Daily Cleaning: Use soapy water or ammonia based cleaner to remove most dirt and stains.
Long Term Maintenance: Any stains or scratches can be removed using an abrasive cleaner or product like Scouring pads.


FREESTYLE™

What is it? Freestyle™ is a surface manufactured using 100% acrylic resin solid surface. The manufacturer assures that you will have a surface more durable than most marble, granite, stone or timber benchtops and has been engineered to last, offering a 15 year guarantee.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant and heat resistant. It is not scratch resistant.
Colours: Assortment of colours to choose from, including black granite-look through to white.
Applications: Benchtops, splashbacks.
Daily Cleaning: Wipe over with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
Long Term Maintenance: Can be resurfaced if necessary. Freestyle™ has a 15 year warranty.


ASKILAN SOLID SURFACE

What is it? Askilan is manufactured in Germany and is 35% stone and 65% polyester. The product combines the performance and aesthetics of natural stone solid surfaces and offers the consumer a totally non-porous solution for kitchen, bathroom and laundry countertops, splashbacks, walls and even some flooring applications.
Resistance: It is acid/stain resistant, scratch resistant and up to 180°C heat resistant.
Applications: Benchtops, splashbacks, sinks, some flooring applications.
Daily Cleaning: Household liquid cleaner will remove most stains and marks.
Long Term Maintenance: Renewing the surface is possible by washing the surface with a mild abrasive soap, and then finishing with Askilan Solid Surface cleaner.


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