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The artificial stone for table-top is good alternative to natural material. On the strength and utilization properties it does not concede to granite. Thanks to big variety of shades and decorative execution of surface, product from artificial stone enjoy not smaller popularity, than similar products from natural analog. From composition material it is possible to learn about features and types of table-tops in detail in this article.
Artificial stone for table-top: advantages and shortcomings
The artificial stone was widely adopted among other materials which are used for table-top. It is formed by compound of acrylic resin or quartz crumb with mineral additives. Depending on the used components distinguish two types of products: acrylic stone and quartz agglomerate.
Material is characterized by number of features on which exceeds natural stone and plastic. Stone table-tops from artificial stone which price depends on type and decorative features of product differ in the increased durability that allows to compare this material to concrete. He with firmness transfers mechanical influences. On the surface of material there are no scratches. The product is capable to maintain heating to temperature of 150 degrees without loss of primitive exterior. Material does not burn. Table-tops are characterized by the long period of operation throughout which the invariable type and color of surface remains.
Thanks to the fact that the artificial stone does not contain time in the structure it does not absorb moisture, smells, does not grow damp, in it microorganisms do not breed. For receiving material use special manufacturing techniques. The raw mix is stamped in special forms by vibration method. Further the pressed products undergo heat treatment that leads to their polymerization thanks to what plates become monolithic.
Material is steady against impact of temperature fluctuations owing to what it can be used in bathrooms. Having smooth surface, he easily washes any cleaning and cleaning agents which are incapable to affect esthetic type of product. Therefore it is reasonable to use for kitchen stone table-top from artificial stone.
Thanks to seamless manufacturing techniques of product, smooth monolithic surfaces without visible joints and seams turn out that gives opportunity to connect table-top to washing, window sill or table. Material is released in wide color range. Here it is possible to meet models on which surface the drawing, emblem or photo is applied. Owing to plasticity of material the product can be executed in different configuration and also with registration of end faces of different form.
The main lack of table-tops from artificial stone is their high cost in comparison with products, more available at the price, from ceramic tile, porcelain tile, medium density fibreboard laminated by chipboard.
Characteristic of table-tops from acrylic stone
Today acrylic table-tops enjoy wide popularity.
They are made of modern polymer which part are:
- mineral fillers in number of not less than 70% of lump;
- acrylic resins for communication of components;
- aluminum hydroxide;
The main advantages of material are:
- homogeneous structure which excludes formation of microscopic time that increases environmental friendliness of material;
- seamlessness of product which turns out as a result of possibility of its grinding;
- moisture-proofness and vapor-resistant;
- big variety of the flowers and ornaments which are not burning out over time;
- possibility of imitation on surface of type of natural stone or valuable breeds of wood;
- the small weight of product thanks to what it does not need special fixture and strengthening of design of table;
- surface rather warm to the touch;
- ecological security of material;
- easy leaving which is limited to wiping of surface wet sponge;
- possibility of creation of elements of different forms and modifications;
- simplicity in processing that allows to cut, drill openings, to restore and polish surface;
- opportunity to make repairs of table-top from artificial stone which consists in polish and grinding of product in case of formation of visible scratches.
It is possible to distinguish the following indicators from negative characteristics:
- low mechanical stability therefore on surface there are scratches, traces of cuts and dent;
- is affected by acids and strong dyes which can be absorbed in material and it is irreversible to spoil exterior of surface;
- low indicator of heat stability.
Helpful advice! When choosing table-tops from acrylic it is recommended to give preference to products of light shades on which scratches will be not so noticeable. It is better to choose material with the rich stone invoice or the granular drawing.
Features of table-tops from quartz agglomerate
Quartz agglomerate is provided by composition material which consists of quartz, granite or marble crumb in number of 90-96% of lump, polyester resin, dyes and different decorative additives in the form of glass or mirror parts.
Material is characterized by number of distinctive advantages:
- the increased durability;
- long life cycle without loss of primitive technical and esthetic characteristics;
- resistance to mechanical damages;
- moisture resistance;
- material hygiene that is consequence of lack of time where microorganisms can develop;
- immunity to influence of acids;
- short-term resistance to high temperature;
- it washes easily and cleaned;
- does not need special leaving using special means;
- has the wide range of color schemes.
Treats shortcomings of material:
- high cost;
- long process of production;
- very cold surface;
- expensive and labor-consuming mounting of product;
- conditional thermal stability;
- on dark glossy surfaces visible prints are formed;
- susceptibility to application of abrasive means in the form of rigid sponges and brushes which leave noticeable scratches on surface;
- visibility of joints if length of product exceeds 2 m;
- possibility of use only for creation of simple rectilinear geometrical forms.
Helpful advice! It is impossible to put too hot subject which will leave visible mark on surface on table-top. For this purpose it is necessary to use special support.
Table-tops from natural stone: what differ from artificial analog in
The table-tops made of natural stone are capable to introduce comfort and refinement in room interior. The natural stone is ideally combined with ceramics, tree, metal and stained-glass windows. Material successfully is in harmony with different styles of registration of interior that allows to use it in finishing of kitchens, bathrooms, halls, living rooms, offices and office rooms.
Products are characterized by moisture resistance, resistance to mechanical, temperature, heat and chemical impacts. These are wearproof and long-lasting coverings which long time keep the primitive color and look. However table-tops from natural stone have considerable weight that does mounting of product by the labor-intensive and expensive process demanding certain skills in installation works.
For production of table-tops use marble, granite, sandstone and onyx. Producers also release mosaic panels which, having great art value, have high cost.
The most wearproof are table-tops from granite, unreceptive to moisture, high temperature, mechanical damages and influence of acids. The product has respectable and noble exterior thanks to what easily fits into any design of the room.
Not less functional is the table-top from molding marble, rich with variety of shades and natural patterns. However the structure of material is softer and porous. Besides it is sensitive to aggressive influence therefore on its surface there will be traces from any substances having saturated natural color or containing dyes. In order that the product for a long time kept original state, it should be processed special means which will increase color liquids resistance of surface.
Helpful advice! Table-tops from marble are not recommended to be established in kitchens.
The smart table-top from onyx is luxury element indoors. Having pastel and soft shade, the product gives to the room cosiness, ease and beauty, and the unique ability of material to pass light does surface especially attractive and magic. It is the most expensive type of table-top from stone.
The cheapest products from natural stone are table-tops from sandstone. They show resistance to influence of moisture and temperature drops. On surface cracks as a result of mechanical influences are not formed.
Producers of table-tops from artificial stone: price of products
From artificial stone about three tens world companies are engaged in production of table-tops. Such brands as Montelli, Corian, Staron, Hi-Macs, Max-Top specialize in production of acrylic surfaces.
Judging by numerous responses, table-tops from artificial stone from the American Corian brand enjoy wide popularity among consumers. The company is the ancestor of the industry on production of artificial hard surfaces (has invented and has patented material of DuPont in 1966). Over the years the producer improved technology, developed know-how. It has led to the fact that the artificial stone from Corian became elite material with unique characteristics and opportunities.
The company uses the newest unique technology of obtaining colors thanks to what products of this producer have the various color palette numbering more than 100 shades.
Other American company Montelli which also specializes in production of high-quality, strong, not porous, moisture resistant, seamless artificial stone on the basis of acrylic is not less popular. Such products differ in lower cost. In catalogs of the company more than 73 color options of product are provided.
The South Korean corporation Samsung has opened division of Staron which is engaged in production of products from artificial stone on the latest advanced technology providing performance of tempering of material in two stages that influences the final durability of element. The table-top has the increased durability, moisture resistance, resistance to influence of high temperature (to 160 degrees).
One more brand from South Korea is the Hi-Macs company releasing hi-tech material with exclusive strength and utilization properties. Products are in wide range of color combinations and design decisions that allows to pick up product under any design of the room.
The good ratio of the price and quality offers Max-Top producer. Products have high strength characteristics. It is provided in classical palette of cold shades which are complemented with color impregnations or the chaotic drawing.
The overview of producers of quartz table-tops from stone: price of products
Quartz table-tops from artificial stone from producers are considered as the best: Zodiaq, Silestone, Caesarstone, Techinistone, Plaza Stone.
The American company Zodiaq takes honourable leading place among other manufacturers of products from quartz agglomerate. 93% of quartz and also polymeric binding components are part of material. Such structure promotes receiving strong and wearproof product with the long period of operation. Feature of products is unique exterior of products.
Use of quartz crumb of different fraction in combination with polymers allows to create the unique composition similar to diamond shine. Such product will become refined addition of any design of the room.
The Italian company Cosentino which is releasing products from artificial stone with high strength and decorative characteristics is not less popular. Feature of products is antibacterial protection of surface which consists in addition in raw materials of small particles of silver. In order that these impregnations did not darken at contact with water, they become covered by the thinnest glass cover that considerably increases quality of artificial stone.
The Israeli firm Caesarstone makes agglomerate which part 94% of quartz crumb are. Products are provided in various flowers and unexpected textural options. Use of special additives-dyes allows to create the shades as close as possible to natural.
The Czech producer Techinistone produces the smooth polished granulate of the improved hardness and high mechanical strength. The main advantage of material is saving the identical drawing on all products of specific model.
Quartz agglomerate from the Italian Plaza Stone brand combines high quality and acceptable cost. About 96% of granite and quartz crumb are part of material thanks to what the product is characterized by the maximum durability, wear resistance and durability.
Table-tops for kitchen from artificial stone
The table-top in kitchen is the main working surface connected with cooking. It is affected by moisture, fat, soot, aggressive chemicals. Therefore special requirements are imposed to surface.
It has to be:
- moisture resistant;
- resistant to mechanical and aggressive influences;
- capable easily and quickly to be cleaned without loss of original state.
The artificial stone which is the most suitable type of table-top for kitchen conforms to all above-mentioned requirements. In addition to utilization properties, important factor which influences material selection are the esthetics. Table-tops for kitchen from natural stone differ in the small range of flowers and drawings. Besides it is very heavy to pick up two pieces of granite or marble with identical pattern therefore the surface from several plates will not seem monolithic. On it joints and seams will be noticeable.
The kitchen table-top can be executed from artificial stone in any color, form and decorative registration of surface. When choosing product it is possible to meet products imitating stone, tree, metal and other materials. Plates from one collection have the identical drawing therefore seams and joints at table-top are imperceptible, and from acrylic they are not on products just. The cost of such products is much lower than natural analog.
Table-top from artificial stone to the bathroom
The artificial stone is ideal option for production of furniture for the bathroom including table-tops. Owing to lack of hygroscopicity material is hygienic that is important for such specific room. The artificial stone is inert and non-toxic material which at any temperature is not inclined to allocation of harmful evaporations.
In the environment with the increased humidity the product from acrylic is the most optimal variant thanks to what is characterized by the increased moisture resistance and does not inflate from water. In the course of production of table-top from artificial stone the face side of product is polished that adds to surface brightness and gloss.
Products from quartz stone are characterized by durability and presentableness, from acrylic – variety of difficult lines. Today it is possible to order table-top from artificial stone of any form that originality and stylishness introduces in room interior.
The product is unpretentious in leaving: rather periodically to wipe surface with wet rag with use of not abrasive cleaning agents.
It is possible to make of acrylic not only table-top for the bathroom. The wash basin of any form can be executed from artificial stone that will allow to create perfect furniture ensemble indoors.
In small-size rooms it is possible to arrange the wash basin with table-top in corner, it will occupy minimum of space and it will be very convenient in operation. Interestingly and at the same time functionally the multi-level model which will become the successful decision for family with small children looks.
Helpful advice! In the wash basins which are lower than the level of table-top it is possible to wash little pets.
Production of table-top from artificial stone the hands
Production of surfaces from artificial stone is difficult and multi-stage process which demands the expensive equipment and the equipment that it is unreal to reproduce in house conditions. However it is possible to make table-top the hands, having used molding technology. Here the equipment minimum is required.
Creation of artificial stone the hands is carried out in timbering which gathers on smooth metal or glass surface. The template of future surface is made of the sheet chipboard which is established on assembly table. To it end-to-end put walls from chipboard of strips which fasten emphasis on thermoglue then the template is taken out.
The timbering is cleaned from dust and becomes covered by thin uniform layer of wax which is used for prevention of sticking of liquid acrylic structure. According to the instruction for production of liquid stone production of raw mix is carried out. In certain ratio acrylic gel, mineral crumb and hardener mix up. By means of gun spray with big nozzle liquid mix is applied on inside face of timbering with layer no more than 1 mm. After drying of surface the second sphere 3 mm thick is put.
The second stage consists in filling of acrylic resin in timbering layer of 5 mm. The surface is leveled by the palette. Earlier made template from chipboard is cut off on perimeter on 6 mm, from it angular edges also clean up. The model is put on the filled-in acrylic layer. On it the load is established so that the template completely has not squeezed out pitch under itself. In 30 minutes the load is removed then filling of the second layer of acrylic resin is carried out so that it has filled all gaps between edges of timbering and the sheet chipboard, creating table-top edges. In 24 hours the timbering is removed, the product is ground and polished. Table-top cost from artificial stone will be much more low prices of factory product.
On the basis of numerous responses, table-tops from artificial stone are in the rating of popular surfaces which, thanks to good technical, utilization and esthetic characteristics, are used in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, cafe and restaurants. Being characterized by variety of colors and textures, products ideally fit into any interior of the room.