Thursday, April 27, 2017

Quartz or Engineered Stone Pros and Cons

In our experience, Quartz or engineered stone is becoming more popular than granite for the following reasons:

1) Quartz is non-porous so won't mark like granite will
2) Quartz is and engineered stone (man-made), but contain 90%-96% natural materials (AKA Quartz crystals).

Quartz has colours, resins and other ingredients added for colour and consistency, making it an overall better looking materialProducersManufacturers of Quartz in the UK include Silestone, Hanstone, Caesarstone, Zodiaq (owned by DuPont)Are there differences between these producers that a homeowner would normally care about?Having a non-porous material in your kitchen is good for reasons of sanitation, since bacteria and viruses cannot penetrate into your kitchen counter top.Granite on the other hand can have a wilder and indeed organic feel to it. See below.PriceDepending on which company you buy your quartz from it can vary significantly of course, but generally engineered stone has a price point that is close to granite.

Some colors of granite cost much more, some much less, but engineered stone in general is about equal in price to a mid-range granite slab.Is there a difference in strength?Yes there is. Engineered stone much stronger than granite, while at the same time being easier to shape. Granite tends to be more brittle due to some parts of the slab being denser and having higher or lower iron content in relation to the natural amount of quartz in the matrix.

Drawbacks of quartz
The biggest complaint about quartz products is that if something does manage to scratch or somehow deface the surface of your counter top, it is almost impossible to repair. This is because engineered stones have a surfacing substance applied to them.With granite it is possible to repair a chip or fill a scratch and to cover your tracks by surface polishing the material. Afterward the repair can often be unnoticeable. This is something that is difficult or impossible with many engineered stones.

Drawbacks of Granite
Granite counter tops occasionally need to be sealed because they are actually porous. Also over time each color of granite will tend to shift (get one shade darker or lighter, change hue slightly) as it is mined from deeper and deeper in the Earth. So if you ever wanted to replace a piece or add to your job, the odds become increasingly thinner and thinner of finding a good color match, even of the same color.

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