Sintered Stone worktops - what you need to know
When I set up my kitchen showroom I included this ultra contemporary XTONE sintered stone worktop on one of my displays. XTONE is one of the leading brands of sintered stone worktops, and although I understood its advantages and loved the look of the product, I really wanted to learn more about it.
You see, as a small independent kitchen retailer, I believe one of the best ways I can stand apart
is by really knowing about the products I am selling, from kitchen cabinetry to appliances and worktops. It means I can provide expert advice to help my clients make the right choices for their kitchen.
So last month I made a trip over to Valencia in Spain to visit manufacturers Urbatek and their XTONE showroom and production site.
Urbatek is part of the Porcelanosa group, and XTONE is one of the leading brands of sintered stone worktops. Porcelanosa have been selling porcelain floor and wall tiles for many years, but what they have now developed with XTONE is the technology to manufacture large sintered slabs that can be used as worktops in the kitchen, or even as cladding for interior or exterior walls.
So what is sintered stone?
Sintered stone, or porcelain as some will know, is made from 100% pure natural minerals. With the wonders of technology, the process which takes natural stone thousands of years to form is replicated in just a matter of hours to create sintered stone.
Natural minerals are compressed under huge pressure and then baked at an incredibly high temperature to bond them together, without the need for any resins or bonding agents.
The result is an incredibly strong material. And by adding a design to the surface it can be made to look just like a natural stone like granite or marble, concrete, metal or even a natural wood, but with none of the flaws.
Advantages of sintered stone
There are many reasons that this product makes a great work surface for the kitchen; for example it’s resistant to staining and heat damage.
I just mentioned staining, and this (or rather the lack of it) is one of the key benefits that was demonstrated during my factory visit. Natural stone worktops, like granite, are porous and if not looked after properly it is possible for them to absorb stains.
Man-made materials, like quartz worktops, can be affected by excess heat that could lead to discolouration. This was demonstrated at the factory when we were shown these samples of different work surfaces and their heat and stain resistance.
XTONE on the other hand is heat and stain resistant. Combine this with the fact that it is hygienic, easy to clean, impact and scratch resistant, and you can see why it makes it a great choice for a kitchen worktop. It's also 100% natural and recyclable.
Versatile and stylish
Sintered stone is fast becoming a favourite surface with kitchen designers, interior designers and architects alike, and it's not hard to see why. XTONE comes in large slabs, just 12mm in depth, giving it a real contemporary edge suitable for creating slim minimalist worktop designs, stylish cladding for an internal feature and durable, hard wearing yet elegant cladding for external walls.
If on the other hand you want a deep worktop for example, it can be used to create a chunky effect as shown in the picture below. And it comes in two finishes too - Polished for a high gloss, smooth finish and Nature for a slightly textured, matt effect.
Get in touch
If you would like to find out more about my kitchen design service, please get in touch.
The showroom is open by appointment. To arrange a convenient time to visit, call me on 07946 069420, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or click on 'Contact' in the menu.
XTONE sintered stone not your style? Read my blog about Corian for a completely different style of work surface.