As both a cook and a designer I often get asked about which materials are best for kitchen benchtops. My answer is always honed marble (my personal favourite varieties are statuary or Carrara) or soapstone. I really enjoy their mellow appearance set against the polished fixtures of my kitchen and its semigloss-painted cabinets.
How a Caesarstone Benchtop is Fabricated & Installed
Your New Caesarstone Benchtop
From Factory To Installation
A store man uses a bar code scanning system to pinpoint the exact location of your slab in the warehouse, including the specific colour and batch number assigned to your order.
The slab is then loaded onto a truck using an overhead gantry crane and tightly secured onto an A frame for transportation to your chosen stone mason. A check measure is done to work out the exact dimensions of your kitchen, including the placement of sinks, cook tops and overheads.
The fabrication process begins by loading the uncut Caesarstone slab onto the production line using a vacuum lift system.
An overhead camera captures an image of the slab, which is used to plan out the position of the pieces needed to make the bench top. The slab is then fed into a bridge saw, ready for cutting.
After the main pieces are cut, a vacuum list on the cutting head is used to move large pieces before the saw begins to cut the mighty joints. A mighty apron allows you to create the appearance of a thicker edge profile without the added weight and cost of a solid slab.
A constant flow of water keeps the blade and stone cool during the cutting process, which is later recycled and reused. Once the cutting process is complete, the slabs are ejected from the machine and any off cuts are removed before a worker marks each matching side, ready for gluing.
Special clamps are positioned along the edges of the stone and colour match glue is applied to the joint before the pieces are designed and the clamps are tightened.
Once the glue has dried, the Caesarstone is fipped over and any excess glue is carefully removed with a razor blade and the joint is inspected. The Caesarstone then moves onto the next station, where the edge will be cut and polished to the desired profile, in this case, an Arris edge design.
A stonemason carries out this part of the process by hand over several stages using a wedge edge polisher. Computer software is used to program the CNC contouring machine to make the necessary cutouts for the sink top and cook top.
A plumb bob indicates where suction cups should be placed. Then vacuum lines are connected and the stone is lowered into place. The machine selects the appropriate tool and starts by making several shallow plug holes over the perimeter of the cutout, which will later be used to attach the undermount sink.
Two holes are then cut into the stone, one for the tap and another parlored hole, which will be the starting point for the sink cutout. Since the edge of the stone will be visible with an undermount sink, several polishing stages are then required to create a smooth, highly polished finish which is then ready for installation.
Caesarstone Benchtop Installation
It takes couple of workers to lift the finished bench top into place, ready for the installation of the undermount sink.
The sink is thoroughly cleaned and a bead of silicone is applied to the outer edge before being carefully aligned onto the under side of the Caesarstone Benchtop. The sink is secure using fixings which are screwed in with driven plugs, glued into the holes created earlier on the CNC machine.
With the sink in place, the bench top is flipped over and any excess silicone is removed. At this point, a plumber can install the tap, then a bead of adhesive is applied to the top of the kitchen cupboards before the Caesarstone Benchtop is aligned into its final position.
Any small gaps are filled with colour match silicone and after a thorough clean the installation is complete.