How Do Granite, Quartz and Sintered Kitchen Surfaces Compare?
When it comes to designing a new kitchen, one of the main decisions will be your choice of worktops. The surfaces you select are an integral part of the kitchen and can be quite an investment, so it’s important to do your research about the materials and their properties to see if they will fit your lifestyle. Also be sure to look at samples to be confident in your final decision.
For a sophisticated and timeless look, many people opt for stone surfaces. You may well be familiar with granite or quartz, for example, but there is the option of sintered surfaces too! If you are not as clued up about these different kitchen surfaces as you think you should be, perhaps this guide will help:
Granite is a high quality natural stone; an igneous rock formed deep in the earth under high pressure and intense heat. Granite is sourced from all over the world and as a result, varies dramatically in colour. This surface has been used to make a statement in the home for decades and is strong and resilient too. Although heat and scratch resistant, it can be chipped and stained, so will need sealing.
To appreciate its unique, earthy appearance, you need to see it in person so do go and visit a showroom. A granite worktop is an investment but can repay you in a lifetime of service if you look after it. Look for a provider who will undertake the measuring, templating, cutting and installing of your granite surface to get the best value for your money.
You might be wondering whether quartz worktops are a natural or man-made material? Well, its a bit of both! Quartz is a mineral that is mined from the earth and then combined with man-made polymer resins and pigments and ‘baked’ into quartz slabs. This engineered process creates a beautiful, hard and hygienic surface, perfect for kitchen worktops. The composite stone surface is resistant to scratches and stains as it is non-porous, making it a great surface for high traffic areas in busy homes. Another benefit of quartz kitchen worktops is the choice of colours and finishes from veined marble styles, to elegant and highly polished to more rustic and tactile looks. There is a type of quartz for every kitchen! However it can be susceptible to damage from heat and is not suitable for outdoors.
Sintered stone is ‘next gen’ Quartz in many ways as it has all the charm and style, but with those ever evolving manmade technical elements, the surface is even more chemical and scratch resistant, able to stand up to impact and thermal shock. The sinterised particle technology means it is so highly compressed as to be non porous and it is both UV and high heat resistant, so can be used outdoors as well as in – perfect if you’ve ever longed for a stunning outdoor kitchen! Sintered Stone is also a recyclable material and environmentally sustainable.
New innovations generally come with a price tag and this is a more high end worktop budget-wise, however its many benefits make it a first rate choice. It is particularly clever at mimicking natural stone, but can take practically anything you can throw at it. You can even opt for wood grain finishes if you wanted to move away from a natural stone look, but still desire the incredible properties this new-age surface has to offer. Look for Dekton, one of the most innovative stone surfaces you can have.
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