Engineered stone, alternatives for home renovators

Engineered stone, was introduced into Australia in 2001. A revolutionary product offering an alternative to luxury stone such as marble and granite.

Stone products contain different levels of crystalline silica. When cutting, grinding or polishing, the dust is released. It is the respirable crystalline silica (RCS) released into the air which causes silicosis.[1] 

‘Silicosis is an incurable lung disease caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica, or crystalline silica, which is a particular risk for workers that cut or file engineered stone.’[2] Around 10,390 Australians are predicted to develop lung cancer in their lifetime as a direct result of being exposed to the dust.[3]

The key issue here is preventing exposure to silica. 

Safe Work have, this week, passed down their recommendation to ban the use of engineered stone products in Australia. 

So while we wait for bans to take effect, there is an ethical decision that consumers / renovators / specifiers / home builders need to make. 

Until 1st July 2024, the onus is on each and every one of us to protect workers from this deadly disease. This comes down to the purchasing decisions we make.

There are safer alternatives that provide the Engineered Stone look and more are set to come to market before the ban is in place. 

Here’s just a few.

Betta Stone
Betta Stone is an Australian based company who has invented technology that allows it to use recycled glass and binding agent to manufacture high quality, durable benchtops and Splash backs. The products are Cristalline Silica free and deemed to be safer for workers health. [4]

Corian® Solid Surface is a material made from a formulation of natural minerals, with an acrylic resin binder. Due to this composition, Corian® contains zero silica and as such provides no risk of silica exposure when working at the fabrication level or during installation on building sites. By specifying Corian® Solid Surface, you are making it easier to maintain a safe work site and keeping those working with the material safe.[5]

Smartstone’s New sintered stone

Sintered stone is a surface material which has been rapidly growing in worldwide popularity as a beautiful, hardwearing and sustainable surface choice. It differs from engineered stone in its manufacture and composition, using a ‘sintering’ process that comprises raw materials and uses no resins, adhesives, quartz, or metal compounds. Sintering replicates millions of years of the earth’s metamorphic processes by combining advanced stone manufacturing technology with natural fusion techniques

You could also consider other alternatives such as marble, granite, polished concrete, laminates, timber, or stainless steel.

So, if you are renovating or building a new home, think about the human cost of your decision and research the alternatives before you purchase your benchtop.







If you want chat with Belinda and learn more about how to bring your interior dreams to life with Morgan & Me Interiors you can view her listing here. Morgan & Me Interiors offers personalised guidance sessions to create your interiors scheme over 2 sessions in just 4.5 hours. It’s quick, fun and transformational. You’ll go from not knowing where to start, to having a clear roadmap for your renovation.

Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash