In today’s home remodeling or building trends, the two most popular options in kitchen countertops are granite and a brand of quartz known as Silestone. There are several differences, some of which may surprise you.
One main difference between granite and Silestone is that granite must be sealed periodically while Silestone does not. Because granite is naturally porous, you must protect the surface from stains and bacteria by sealing it periodically. Because Silestone is naturally non-porous, you don’t need to seal them. Silestone is also bacteria and stain resistant.
Different Manufacturing Methods
Another difference between Silestone and granite is the way they are manufactured. Silestone is created by missing crushed quartz with silica and other stones as well as resin and coloring. Granite is a natural stone created by nature. It is an igneous rock that is quarried in large blocks before being transported to be fabricated into slabs.
Granite is more heat resistant than quartz. Pots taken directly from the stove should not be placed directly on the surface of the counter as the resins used to bind the countertop are less heat resistant than the quartz included in the material. Granite is literally forged in the fire inside the Earth so it is far more heat resistant than Silestone.
Silestone is more than just resistant to bacteria. When it is manufactured, microbe killing agents are baked directly into the countertop. The purpose of the agents is to prevent bacteria and viruses from growing, something they can do by the millions in just a matter of hours, thereby keeping your family. Granite does not have the same microbes and, if the countertop is not properly sealed, bacteria and viruses can seep into the surface where they are able to multiply. This makes Silestone a much better choice for surfaces where you will prepare foods for your family and friends.
The same surface that keeps bacteria out of the counters helps make Silestone more stain resistant as well. Acidic materials, red wine, coffee and tomato-based sauces can stain granite countertops, especially if they are not sealed properly. You must be careful to wipe up some stains as quickly as possible. Although you should also wipe up stains quickly on Silestone, it is not as urgent as it is on other types of stone. If your child spills a cup of red juice on the counter and doesn’t mention it until the next morning, you will probably see no noticeable difference on your Silestone counter while a granite counter may stain. Even if something does stain your Silestone counter, a little elbow grease and soap will lift the stain fairly quickly. You may also check with your Silestone fabricator to learn about specific quartz cleaners that are available for difficult stains.
No matter how careful you may be, your countertop could suffer from a chip or scratch. Home improvement stores sell products designed to repair granite counters. You simply fill the damage with epoxy, let it cure and the problem is virtually undetectable. Unfortunately, Silestone requires a professional to repair any damage. Even fabricators are reluctant to make repairs as the resin makes this difficult. It is difficult to polish the repair and blend it properly, even for experts. Often, so much heat is generated during the polishing process the resin in the countertops melts.
Cost of Materials
Although prices vary depending on the type of quartz countertop you select, granite often costs less than Silestone. It Is sometimes possible to find quartz counters that are less expensive than granite, but it may take some shopping around and choosing a thinner slab or different style.
Granite can withstand direct sunlight so it works well in outdoor kitchens. However, Silestone is not as sun-friendly. Direct sunlight can lighten dark colors and turn whites yellow in Silestone. This is because the resin and pigments do not tolerate UV rays well.
If you are considering either Silestone or granite for your home improvement project, contact us today by filling out the easy online form or give us a call today to learn more.