Kitchen worktops – granite & quartz – pros & cons

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Carrying on in the series on work tops, Helen Heslop of Le Studio des Artisans explores the advantages and disadvantages of Granite and Quartz work tops.

GRANITE

A granite work top is often seen as the ultimate luxury in work tops! It does however come at a serious price.

The price of granite has nothing to do with its appearance – it’s all supply and demand. If you want a particular rare type of granite that is mined in one place in the world, it’s going to cost a lot more than a granite with a higher supply.

Granite is a common and natural incurring rock that is mined all over the world. It occurs by minerals forming together at great pressure and temperature below the earth’s crusts. It is these different minerals that give granites their colour and veins.

Advantages

A granite worktop is probably the most solid and low maintenance work top that exists.

It will last a life time … and beyond

It’s easy to clean, very hard to scratch, and highly resistant to heat

It’s hygienic – you do not risk bacterial contamination with granite, as long as you keep it clean of course.

Disadvantages

As it does last a life time make sure you love the colour or will not grow tired of it – it’s expensive to replace!

Each slab is different (which gives its’ uniqueness) but you find that there are veins or colours that stand out. Not a good choice if you wish to have a uniform look.

Granite itself is expensive but the installation is too! Make sure you always get experienced fitters to get the perfect finish.

It is very heavy so it may require additional structural support – check with your fitters.

Once fitted to the cabinets, it’s very difficult to remove and may damage the cabinets if you wish to remove them.

QUARTZ

Quartz, or engineered stone, worktops are made from mixing natural quartz crystals with binders, pigments and resins.. Quartz is a good alternative to granite for buyers who want something more uniform and without such a hefty price tag.

Advantages

Durable and non-porous. It is heat resistant (although not as resistant as granite) but you should still be careful about putting very hot utensils on it.

Available in a wide array of colours, thicknesses and finishes and the uniformity of colour and pattern means that what you see in the showroom is what you get.

Does not require sealing.

The seams tend to be less visible than for granite.

Hygienic, low-maintenance, stain-resistant and easy to clean with just regular soap and water.

Disadvantages

Higher price than laminate but generally comes in cheaper than granite.

Very heavy (cabinets may need to be reinforced).

Needs professional installation.

You can see the seams in the joints of the lighter shades but this is still less than granite.

Visit the Showroom to see a wide range of Silestone Quartz finishes and colours.