The Benefits of Engineered Stone Countertops
This material is often referred to in the industry as quartz, but the name engineered stone gives you a better idea of what it is.Unlike natural stone countertops that are cut from pure granite, marble or sandstone, engineered stone counters are made from quartz crystals held together with a resin binder. They have a similar appearance to natural stone, but they possess benefits not available with natural materials. Let’s take a look at the advantages of engineered stone countertops.
Engineered Stone Countertops are Very Attractive
The quartz material is compressed into slabs that have similar color and texture to natural granite and slate. One difference you’ll notice is that the color is more uniform
than the variations in hue you’ll find in most slabs of natural stone.
While those who appreciate the character of natural stone may view this as a disadvantage, the benefit is that the engineered stone used throughout your kitchen will match perfectly.
Colors available for engineered stone kitchen counters include earth tones across the entire spectrum, rose, grays and more. Most of the color comes from the natural color in the quartz, though colorants can be added to achieve the desired tone.
Engineered Stone Counters Wear Very Well
The finished material is very hard – nearly as hard as granite. It has the advantage in that it won’t crack as easily as granite or slate does. It is very resistant to heat, so a hot pan won’t leave a scorch mark. The surfaces are resistant to scratches and cuts, though it’s still recommended you use a cutting board on top of them.
Cleaning is Easy
One of the downsides to natural stone countertops is that they are porous. This leaves room for bacteria to get into fissures and pores where it can be tough to eradicate. The surface of quartz countertops won’t absorb liquids, making clean up easier and more effective. If you work with raw vegetables, fish or meat in your kitchen, then engineered stone will prove an asset to food safety.
Surfaces Won’t Stain
Natural stone is susceptible to staining from oil, wine, juice and other substances if not properly sealed or if the sealant wears off. Engineered countertops stand up to these materials very well. They’ll look better longer than their granite, marble or sandstone counterparts.
You’ve Got Lots of Options
Sandstone kitchen counters come in a wonderful array of colors and styles, so you’ll certainly find several that will go very well in your kitchen remodeling plans. Some of the leading brands are Silestone, Caeserstone, Cambria, Okite, Technistone and Icestone.
If you love the look of natural stone but want counters that don’t require the same level of care, engineered stone countertops are a fantastic alternative.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are relatively new, but they’ve found a loyal following because of their many good qualities such as their attractive appearance, durability and the fact they don’t have some of the weaknesses of natural stone. Also called engineered stone countertops, quartz countertops are here to stay. Here is a look at their strengths and weaknesses. Reasons to Consider Quartz Countertops Quartz is a manufactured product and can be very attractive. The manufacturing process allows a much wider range of colors than you’ll find in natural stones such as marble or granite. The appearance of the finished engineered stone is rich, even luxurious. The finish has a depth that can’t be produced with solid surface materials like Corian.
Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant. Like other hard surface countertop materials, quartz is non-porous so it resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbor bacteria or viruses. You can always be confident that you are getting your quartz countertop absolutely clean, and that’s a great benefit in both the kitchen and the bathroom.