My mom wants to put in new countertops and has asked me the best choice
between quartz and granit. She plans on contracting the work out and I'm
wondering a few things about advantages of one over the other regarding:
1) sealing which requires a sealant or do both?
2) which is easiest to cut/shape
3) due to material, which is generally cheaper?
4) which will last longer regarding wear and tear? Knife cuts etc?
5) Is there a third choice that has the same properties as either granit or
quartz that she should research?
6) Are there other considerations?
Thanks for your help,
1.Granite needs annual sealing - but no biggie - takes 10 min. using the
wipe-on silicone products.
2.They both require skilled off-site cutting with wet-cut diamond blades,
and therefore have a high labor component to the final cost, if you farm the
whole job out...
3.Similar prices, but I prefer the granite, as it is real rock, vs "quartz",
which is actually crushed quartz imbedded in plastic resin matrix. But then,
being geologist, and like real rocks in my kitchen!
4. My neighbor had fading, chipping, and disaggregation with DuPont Zodiaq
quartz, and had it replaced on warrantee. You want a product line with a
fairly long history. Rumor has it that Dupont has corrected their
formulation since 2002, when my neighbor had his difficulties.
5. Huge no. of choices out there, including copper stainless, marble,
granite, gneiss, laminate, butcher block, etc etc. And in many cases it is a
personal and emotional choice, not purely practical. Your mom may wish to
visit some countertop suppliers to get a feel and look of a lot of different
tops. For granite, there are many showrooms around, many with model
Another good info source is google. Try going to Google Groups and
searching the phrase Quartz vs Granite. Many of the hundreds of arguments
there are from this newsgroup.
DJay...I just completed a total remodel of my kitchen and was faced
with the same decision. My wife and I ended up choosing Silestone,
which is a quartz product. In a head to head comparison, the quartz
coutertops win hands down. They do not have to ever be sealed or
polished, will not scratch with a knife and are not affected by heat.
Think about it...quartz is the second hardest natural substance
known...next to the diamond. Cost is about the same.
That's overstating a bit:
"Silestone is resistant to heat and can withstand moderately high
temperatures for brief periods of time without being damaged. As with
any natural stone, however, certain exposure to heat may cause cracks
due to thermal shock. Always use a trivet to place hot items on
Silestone. Do not use crock pots or electric skillets while in direct
contact with Silestone natural quartz surfaces."
Point of order...
Corundum - the abrasive on most "sand"paper is far harder than quartz.
If it is blue (and other colors) it is called sapphire; if red, ruby.
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There is a wide range of prices for both materials. Both Granite &
Silestone are very hard and very heat resistant. I'd estimate that
they'd both last equally long. The reason you should use trivets with
both is the danger of thermal shock in which sudden expansion can cause
cracking. Both Granite & Silestone are composed of hard quartz with
softer materials in the mix, but Silestone has a signficantly higher
percentage of quartz than granite.
It is stronger and less likely to crack. You can get longer overhangs.
It is non-porous and not susceptible to mold. It has a more uniform
and predictable pattern of rock and thus makes seams less noticable.
It will not stain and doesn't need sealing. Lack of material flaws
makes machining less problematic. You can get some very bold colors
not available in granite.
Susceptible to UV radiation damage, and should be protected from direct
Flow of grain is considered pretty by a lot people.
It is porous and can stain. It needs to be sealed regularly. Granite
has inherent material flaws in the form of cracks and pits of varying
sizes. It is important that you personally pick out the slab of
granite you want if you go that way, so you don't get an unwanted
surprise in the form of blotches, cracks, and pits.
In my opinion, Silestone is far more beautiful than DuPont's Zodiaq.
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