During the last years it has been an incredible battle for which material is best to be used when manufacturing a countertop. Initially, granite took the lead for being very cheap and in abundance in the nature.
Slowly, marble worktops cut their way to the top thanks to the extreme beauty and natural outfit of the stabs, but also due to the beautiful colors available to be purchased. Finally, the man put its mind at work and came with engineered stone, called quartz, available in almost endless number of colors and shapes, taking the lead in the kitchen worktops market.
Engineered Stone vs. Solid Stone
All three types of materials have different properties that make them unique. While granite and marble countertops are produced exclusively from natural stone, that can chip, and its color can slightly be modified, the quartz countertops are man-made, resulting in a 92% – 94% quartz composition and a 7% pigments for coloration and resin binders.
Talking about the issue of durability, being natural and beauty doesn’t guarantee you strong properties. While natural stone top can be sealed at installation, the quartz ones do not require this level of care. Compared to granite and marble, quartz worktops are easy to be maintained clean due to their strong texture and non-porous surface. All you need to do is to take a clean towel, some simple cleaning solutions, and weekly wipe out the eventual stains on the surface of the top.
Durability: Granite vs. Marble vs. Quartz Countertops
When it comes to granite, the things are a little bit different. Even if it has a non-porous surface, its texture is not that strong. Extreme heat from pots or pans can easily break or chip the stab, making it impossible to be used. Compared to marble, granite has a lower maintenance time. Being a porous material confers marble a very natural and beautiful look, but this comes with some huge disadvantages. Liquid spills like oil, juice, vinegar or wine can easily penetrate into its texture, leaving nasty stains that need to be cleaned right away. From this point of view, the maintenance time required to be reserved for cleaning and sterilizing the marble countertop kitchen is quite high.
It’s all about price! Considering the properties of each material, here are the sums you may need to take out from your pocket if you want to purchase a worktop:
- Granite : £75 – £175 / installed m2
- Marble : £100 – £200 / installed m2
- Quartz : £80 – £140 / installed m2
Available Designs for Granite, Marble and Quartz Worktops
The styles, colors and patterns available for each material have also been changed during the years. Granite worktops have the most fixed designs from all three of them. The grains contained in the composition might be slightly improved with hues of green, blue, orange, pink or red, typically in shades of medium to dark. The marble countertops have a wider area or colors than granite. The veins that run into their texture confer them a very beautiful and natural look, allowing the customers to associate the stabs with a wide range of environmental elements in their kitchen.
Resuming the quartz, as it is a man-made, engineered stone, the countertops created from this material can have almost every color the client requires. By just adding the right pigments into the composition, it can be obtained gorgeous models and designs and every taste can be satisfied.