Granite Counter Tops

A granite countertop with tile backsplash is a popular combination for simple and affordable kitchen updates and designs. Natural stones including granite and quartz, are commonly used for kitchen countertops and other worktop surfaces because of the diverse range of color and durability offered. Granite counters define elegance and add value to any home. As the use of natural stone surfaces for kitchen countertops become more widespread, the cost of granite surfaces will continue to come down.

  • When researching the durability of granite counter tops, here are some facts to consider. Granite is considered very durable, made up from two of the hardest minerals found on earth “quartz & feldspar”. When used on popular worktop surfaces and kitchen counter tops, these two minerals, offer outstanding durability and are easy care for and maintain.
  • The resistance to scratching is largely dependent upon the hardness of the minerals that actually make up the stone. In most granite rocks, the primary minerals, quartz and feldspar, account for about 90 % of the granite rock itself. Both quartz and feldspar rate between a 6 and 7 on the Moh’s scale. Unlike any man made material, polished granite offers depth, clarity and movement.
  • A granite counter is resistant to heat, scratching, staining and chips. HOWEVER, in the unlikely event that your kitchen counters do get a scratch, stain or chip, they can be easily repaired by a local stone fabricator or professional. Granite can be used for both indoor and outdoor use!

Over the past several years, granite and quartz counter tops have noticeably gone down in price making them more affordable than ever. These worktop surfaces are considered a design staple in the kitchen and will certainly add value to your home. Thanks to better slab resources, tooling, automated fabrication technology, long lasting stone sealers and stone care products, granite and quarts selections have been a rising nation wide trend for several years.

Quartz Counter Tops

Silestone Quartz vs. Granite

When you are talking about Quartz counter tops you are typically talking about a product called Silestone which is actually an engineered material made of natural quartz and binding resins. Silestone typically contains 94% quartz. Quartz is the touchest material available on the market for building countertops. It is scratch and scorch proof, so the average kitchen accident will not harm the material. And because it is an engineered material using a binding resin it is much less porous than granite so it does not need to be sealed every 12 months or so.

Granite on the other hand is typically not engineered it is cut directly from mined Granite Slabs. Granite typically can contain around 30% to 40% quartz but it is a natually occuring crystalline material, which allows small spaces and fissures. Even though granite has a very high level of resilience, it is more susceptible to chipping or cracking if handled with excessive force. Moreover, the occasional porous surface can make granite absorbent, which can cause staining and provides a better environment for bacteria growth. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to seal granite countertops regularly.

Granite Needs Regular Maintanence

You may already know, you have to seal granite countertops and reseal them every twelve to eighteen months. No need to do that will Silestone Quartz countertops. Granite has to be sealed in order to fill the pores in the natural stone. If you don’t seal your granite your countertop will be much more suseptible to stains and bacteria. Silestone Quartz is a much less porous product so sealing is not required.

Quartz Is Zero Maintanence

Because of the less porous surface of Silestone there is just not enough room for bacteria and food particles to get trapped, so Quartz edges out Granite in the maintenance category.

Silestone Comes In Beautiful Solid Colors

Silestone countertops are available in some amazing solid colors. You can get the most amazing blue, reds, and browns. I bet that in time you will even be able to get custom colors.

Granite Has Beautiful And Natural Color Patterns

One advantage that Granite has over Silestone and other Quarts counter top products is that the beautiful natural stone patterns that granite has available is not possible to get with Silestone. Silestone does not make a natural stone. Silestone is a combination of resins and crushed stone. If you desire the look of natural stone then Silestone and/or other Quartz counter top related options will probably not work for you.

The Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong either way. Silestone and granite are both beautiful and functional and durable counter top options. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Here at Granite Outlet of Frisco we offer both Granite, Silestone and other Quartz counter top products and we have our own fabrication shop to customize counter tops to your exact specifications.

Marble Counter Tops

Marble is commercially defined as any limestone that will take a polish.  Limestones, and therefore marbles, are composed of minerals of calcite or dolomite.  Marble in its purest state is white; colored marbles are the result of other minerals being mixed with the calcite or dolomite.

Now for those of you who don’t really care what marble is made of, there are some other commonly recognizable characteristics:

  • Marble, no matter what the color, will usually have some type of veining running through it; the veins are usually different in color than the main color of the stone. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.  Some marbles, such as Thassos White will exhibit little or no veining.
  • Marble is relatively soft when compared to other stones, such as granite.  It will scratch very easily.  If you run a knife blade lightly across the surface of the stone and it leaves a scratch, you are very likely to be dealing with marble.  If you need to determine how easily it will scratch, pick an inconspicuous spot.  On dark marbles, these scratches will appear as light lines on the surface of the stone; on lighter-colored marbles it may be difficult to detect a scratch.