March 28, 2024 | Product News

What does the future hold for stone benchtops?

With the ban on the manufacture and supply of engineered stone surfaces effective from June 30, 2024 you may be wondering what the future of stone benchtops looks like. Is there an alternative? If so, is it a solution that offers the advantages of engineered stone with the assurance of meeting new industry regulations? Let’s get an update.

Q. Is there an alternative available to engineered stone?

A. Yes. A new range is already available that offers a comprehensive stone benchtop solution that is fully compliant with Australian government legislation. It’s called the Sintered Collection and it’s from Smartstone, a leading distributor of stone-inspired surfaces since 2002.

The recent launch of these innovative sintered surfaces has been welcomed by stonemasons and other industry professionals, including architects, interior designers and kitchen retailers. It has also already been positively received by homeowners seeking the luxurious aesthetic of natural stone benchtops with Smartstone’s practical benefits – and, of course, with the assurance of full compliance with new industry regulations.

Q. How do these new surfaces differ to engineered stone?

A. Unlike engineered stone, the surfaces in the Smartstone Sintered Collection comprise 100% natural materials and contain no metal compounds or resins as binders. The new surfaces are made using a ‘sintering’ process, inspiring the name of the Collection, which is vastly different to engineered stone manufacture and excluded from the ‘engineered stone’ category under WorkSafe guidelines.

Q. What does the ‘sintering’ process involve?

A. Sintering combines advanced technology with natural fusion techniques which replicate millions of years of the earth’s metamorphic processes. Intense heat and immense pressure (30,000 tons) bind the natural materials to create an ultra-compact, extra-durable and non-porous surface material.

Q. How does Smartstone Sintered Collection performance compare with engineered stone?

A. While both materials deliver extreme durability and non-porous qualities, the Sintered Collection also offers 100% UV stability. This expands Smartstone surface applications to outdoors usage, in addition to endless interior applications.

Q. How is the Sintered Collection superior to traditional porcelain surfaces?

A. Smartstone elevates the qualities of traditional porcelain to an entirely new level by delivering superior performance and enhanced natural-stone aesthetics. Advanced print technology extends from precise natural stone replication on the surface into the body of the slab. The Collection has been independently tested by Australia’s Stone Initiatives, a NATA-accredited evaluation company that specialises in testing for performance, durability and quality assurance. The surfaces are certified resistant to stain, chip, etch, thermal shock, frost, chemicals, mould and mildew.

kitchen benchtops, engineered stone, porcelain benchtops