For the kitchen, natural stone or laminates?
Laminates represent the material with the best quality/price ratio for making kitchen worktops. They certainly provide the most practical solution.
Laminates have good technical qualities as they are water-repellent, resistant to scratches, impacts and abrasion and maintain their beauty and shape over the years. Laminates are extremely versatile and come in a wide range of colours and finishes that can even imitate more precious materials like natural stone and wood.
Unfortunately, they do not have the same temperature resistance as other materials, and can be marked or damaged by heat.
Laminates are certainly the material that offers the best scope for creating customised kitchen worktops.
For: resistant to liquids and impacts.
Against: being one of the cheapest materials, they are not particularly long lasting.
Natural stone includes quartz, porphyry, marble (a material that requires more care) and granite (the strongest of them all). Despite their high costs, these materials are the most requested for kitchen worktops because of their undisputed beauty. Being natural in origin, these materials are much less resistant than others and require special surface treatments to combat porosity.
Porosity reduces resistance to humidity, so as time passes, marks can start to appear on the surface. That is why we always recommend customers never to spill acidic liquids like coffee, lemon juice or Coca-Cola on such materials. It goes without saying that aggressive detergents should never be used to clean them either.
For: unrivalled beauty.
Against: delicate and not very resistant to aggressive agents.