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Natural Stone or Laminate Material for Your Healthcare Practice Benchtops

26 February 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to Design and Durability

Selecting the right material for your healthcare practice benchtops involves careful consideration of factors such as aesthetics, durability, and budget. Natural stone and laminate are two popular choices, each offering unique advantages. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the characteristics of these materials to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and requirements of your practice design and build.

Understanding the Materials:

Natural Stone:

Natural stone, derived from the earth, is meticulously cut and polished to create stunning benchtops. Renowned for its unparalleled beauty and elegance, with distinctive veining and patterns, natural stone adds a touch of luxury and timelessness to high-end healthcare spaces.


Laminate, a composite material crafted through a layered manufacturing process, offers a versatile range of designs. Comprising multiple layers bound together with a binding agent, the top layer serves as the final laminate, providing the desired look and feel. Laminates excel in replicating the exceptional colour, depth, and clarity akin to natural materials.



Aesthetic Appeal:

  • Boasting unparalleled beauty, natural stone contributes to a luxurious and timeless aesthetic. From classic white Carrara marble to dramatic black Nero Marquina, there is a variety for every taste and design style in clinics and surgeries.
  • Laminates excel in replicating the visual appeal of natural materials. With over 120 realistic stone prints and neutral solid colours, laminates offer our designers a vast palette. Laminates are a ready accompaniment to Melamine Doors and panels, increasing the designability of the cabinetry. Including textures like Ravine and Woodmatt enhances the overall visual and tactile experience, making laminates a versatile choice for health practice design and fitout.

Durability and Maintenance:

  • Natural stones are rated on a hardness scale called the Mohs Mineral Hardness scale. The Mohs hardness scale measures a mineral’s resistance to scratching. While marble is known for its stunning appearance and resistance to heat and weather it is softer and more porous than other natural stones. This makes it susceptible to scratches, stains, and etching from acidic substances and has a lower rating of three to four on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Regular sealing is recommended to enhance its resistance to stains and moisture. However other stones such as Granite, depending on the type, are rated six or seven out of 10 on the Scale. This rating means granite can withstand some of the harshest environments with relatively little upkeep.
  • Laminates are highly durable and non-porous requiring minimal upkeep to keep them looking their best. This makes them particularly suitable for high-traffic areas in health facilities where durability and minimal maintenance is a primary concern. In environments where non-porous materials are required such as surgery rooms, laminates are an effective alternative.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Healthcare Practice:

Consider the following factors:

  1. Budget: If budget constraints are a significant factor, laminate may be a more practical choice for your health practice design and fitout. For those prioritizing aesthetics and luxury, natural stone may be worth the investment.
  2. Usage and Maintenance: Assess the specific demands of your space and the sterilisation requirements. Will the benchtop be susceptible to scratch, moisture, heat, or high traffic? Your designer will discuss these factors with you to ensure the correct material is applied in your workspace.
  3. Aesthetics: Align the material choice with your design preferences and the overall style of your space. Consult with our designers to ensure the selected material complements the desired atmosphere. Is natural stone a material your clients will appreciate in this space? Is it a modern reception area where you want Natural marble stone to exude its elegance and luxury, or does the design of your space require the match of materials that are available between laminates and melamine doors?

Fusing aesthetics with functionality is our expertise in practice. With careful consideration of your budget, usage requirements, and aesthetic preferences, you can confidently choose between natural stone and laminate for your healthcare practice benchtops. Our Consilo Designers are ready to guide you through the selection process, ensuring the perfect material is chosen for your healthcare practice benchtops and overall design.