What is better for countertops, granite or engineered stone?

Corian countertops

Corian countertops

We get asked this question a lot, since many of our jobs are kitchen remodels. We,ve compiled some information to help you decide which would be the best selection for you.

Definitions:

 Granite:  Granite, otherwise known as natural stone. It is mined from stone quarries and cut in slabs.

Engineered stone: Also called Quartz, Is a manufactured product composed mostly of finely ground quartz, epoxy or polyester resins and color.

A third option that resembles engineered stone is Solid surface: Consists entirely of man-made materials, i.e., acrylic or plastic materials colored by resins. These countertops go under the names of Corian, Avonite, LG Hi-Macs, Wilsonart.

Pros & cons:

Pros – Granite: Chips and cracks can be repaired and hidden by surface polishing the material. It is resistant to heat and stains.

Cons – Granite: Is porous, must be sealed; is brittle and harder to shape. Liquids can stain and damage the surface. Even if the slab has been pre- sealed, it should be sealed again after installation, and repeated at least once a year.

Pros – Engineered stone: It is non-porous, bacteria and viruses cannot penetrate into the countertop. Engineered stone is much stronger than granite and is easier to shape. It requires no maintenance.

Cons – Engineered stone: If damaged it is very difficult to repair because of a surfacing substance. It is damaged by direct application of heat.

Pros – Solid surface: Non porous – resists stains and mildew.  Scratches and chips can be polished or be repaired if damaged, as the color goes all thru the material.

Cons – Solid surface: Sharp knives will damage the surface; hot pans will discolor the countertop. 

 

Granite

Quartz*

Solid
Surface

Stone Hardness Measurement

6

7

N/A

Uniform Pattern Repeat

N

Y

Y

Requires Sealing

Y

N

N

Scratch Resistant

Y

Y

N

Mold & Mildew Resistant

N

Y

Y

Heat & Burn Resistant

Y

Y

Y/N

Resistant to Chemicals,
Acids, Solvents, Oils

N

Y

N

Immune to Freezing

Y

Y

Y

Manufacturer’s Warranty

N

Y

Y

       
 

 

   

 So what will it cost?

Research and our experience have proven that there are too many variables to come up with a usable, generic cost per square foot. Price variables include: number of sinks, complexity and size of the countertop, color and pattern selected, manufacturer and thickness of material.

 

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Filed under Corian, Countertops, engineered stone countertops, Granite countertops, kitchen remodels, remodeling

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