Home Renovation Blog
Expert renovation tips and information about Home Additions and quality Renovations
A kitchen renovation is at the top of the wish-list for most homeowners when it comes to renovations. Kitchens are the heart of the home after all, and there is plenty of evidence out there that a great kitchen adds value to a home.
Over the last 10 years or even more, stone benchtops have established themselves as the gold standard for quality kitchen renovations. It has long been acknowledged that stone benchtops offer the most durable and stylish solution for any new or renovated kitchen. Piggy-backing on this trend, stone splashbacks are increasingly becoming the ‘must-have’ companion to your benchtop.
Suzanne Burke, the General Manager at Amerex Renovations and Additions, discussed all things stone with Nicole Andrews from Australian owned and operated Euromarble. Specifically, we zeroed in on stone splashbacks. Until you start doing the research for your kitchen renovation, you might not have given the humble splashback much thought.
Nicole explains ‘The kitchen splashback has two different – but complementary – roles in your kitchen. First, it is designed to protect against splashes while cooking and handling various cooking instruments, and second, it has an important decorative aspect.’
With a plethora of materials, colours, and patterns available in the market, the task of selecting the right splashback can become overwhelming for homeowners. Your options include the perennial DIY favourite of tiling and glass splashbacks what can make a statement too. However, it is just so hard to go past the class of a stone.
We asked Nicole what makes stone so special. Why are stone benchtops and splashbacks so popular in Australian kitchen renovations?
Stone is a durable and beautiful material that will stand the test of time. Now, given that the role of a splashback is to protect against various foods, heat, and other elements, stone is the perfect material. As a bonus it provides a great barrier against humidity and prolongs the life of the wall underneath.
While stone is a common material for countertops, floors, and most of the bathroom’s elements, it may be considered a surprising choice your kitchen splashback. Stone has an undeniable natural beauty and uniqueness to it, that once you see it used as a stylish interior design feature, you will simply have to have it.
With a wide range of natural stone materials available you are spoilt for choice with selections ranging from marble to onyx, granite, limestone, and more. This provides you with to choose from a wide array of patterns and colour combinations.
Stone surfaces are easier to clean and maintain. Regular wiping with a soft cloth and warm water, along with periodic cleaning with a detergent safe for natural stone, is all you need to keep your benchtops sparkling. General purpose household sprays can damage the stones sealant and are not recommended.
Suzanne adds ‘So, if harsh chemicals are not required to clean stone products, I guess we can add that the cleaning of stone splashbacks and benchtops are kind to the environment too!’
Nicole agrees and goes further ‘Also, because the surface is harder, bacteria and dirt don’t go through. With the right technique and cleaning, your stone benchtops and splashbacks will be always looking like new without too much elbow grease!’
When it comes to maintenance, certain types of stone (granite or marble) require regular sealing. However, if you decide to go with quartz, you’re pretty much set with the maintenance work. As long as you use the proper cleaning technique, the splashback won’t require any other efforts.
Suzanne further adds that ‘stone splashbacks have a huge advantage over tiled splashbacks in that you don’t have any issues with the grout getting stained and are much easier to clean as a solid surface.’.
The benchtop and splashback usually go hand-in-hand and you should find a way for these two to create visual harmony. Otherwise, the overall aspect of the kitchen may be disrupted, creating an imbalance that takes away from the atmosphere. So how do you go about finding the perfect match?
Whether you already have it already installed or you’re remodeling the entire cooking area, the benchtop should come first. This is the area that will support most of the work you do in the kitchen, so it should fit your needs. Most specialists will recommend granite, marble, or quartz for the benchtop because of the durability and beauty of these types of stone.
To create an appealing aesthetic in the kitchen, you will need to find a link between the benchtop and your splashback. Your options are essentially to go for a matching top and back, or to go for a contrast.
If you decide to match your benchtop to the splashback, you will need to be aware that with a natural stone that there will always be some variation in the pattern so a perfect match is unlikely. Suzanne says ‘in my opinion this is the beauty of using natural products such as stone, nothing beats the perfectly imperfectness of nature!’
An alternative is to use contrasting colours can be a way to mix this up. The monochrome palette based on classic black and white always works well. Nicole suggests ‘use similar hues for both areas by selecting stones that work together. For instance, a coloured granite benchtop works nicely with a marble splashback that features a lighter tone.’
Stone products cost more initially, but the price of quality pays for itself over time. Nicole suggests that if you want to save some money, use the same material for both the splashback and benchtop.
Haha, what?! Yep this sounds ridiculous but it is actually quite nifty and clever. A mini splashback (a self-coined term by Suzanne, lol) is where the benchtop runs a few centimeters up the wall. This creates a smaller splashback that protects the area where most of the damage happens.
An Amerex client has recently done this with the sink side of the bench. See the pic below in this Hamptons inspired kitchen.
Those that have worked with the team at Amerex will know that we will always recommend a quality solution. Short term savings don’t usually result in long term gains.
Nicole from Euromarble summarises ‘In our opinion, stone is the most durable and best-looking material you could select for both the splashback and the benchtop’.
Suzanne adds ‘There are pros and cons in all of the different types of splashback options. However, if you are looking for a luxurious look and feel in your kitchen makeover, and a solution that has durability on its side, stone is a great choice for both your benchtop and splashback.’
“ It was an absolute pleasure to deal with the Amerex team for our home renovation.Eric and Kris, Mt Lawley 'We received exceptional customer service'
From Steve Burke, to the office staff and all of the various tradespeople, we received exceptional customer service.
The skilled tradespeople were reliable, obliging & committed to the highest level of quality on our home.
Amerex came in on budget, they completed the work earlier than scheduled & they ensured our renovation ran smoothly throughout. ”
“ Amerex, lead by Steve, have clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance prior to, and during the build. They used skilled tradespeople and quality materials; no corners were cut and I felt confident that the build was of the highest quality.Rachel, Woodlands 'Steve has clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance'
Steve and his team communicated frequently with me along the way and I was involved at every step. I felt comfortable approaching him if I had any questions or concerns, he was always available and acted quickly to resolve any issues.
The team at Amerex were reliable, professional and a pleasure to deal with. In particular Kelly, who would often go ‘above and beyond’, was always positive, and nothing was ever too much trouble. ”
A member of the Amerex team will arrange a time to discuss your
renovation and additions project and assess what stage you are at in the building process.
PO Box 328, North Perth WA 6906
ABN: 67 009 252 680 Builders Registration: 10250