When it comes to kitchen countertops, the choices are many. But those who love natural stone have the three most popular materials available to select from: Granite, Quartz or Quartzite. For you to make the decision, it’s a good idea to know the basic facts about the best materials for your kitchen countertop.
Granite is a natural stone that is cut into slabs and polished for a beautiful finish. Its appearance varies depending on the location and time it was mined, so no two granite slabs are the same. Since Granite is a product of nature, different levels of gloss, spots and veins may occur as well as variations in its natural color. Colors range from near-white to greens, blacks and shades of blue.
Granite is one of the hardest and most heat resistant stones available for countertops. It is also one of the least absorbent and stain resistant materials. However, damage and staining is possible if material is exposed to direct, extreme heat and spilled liquids are left sitting.
Granite must be sealed because it is porous. This means it has minute spaces or holes through which liquid or air may pass. Unsealed granite is more susceptible to moisture, dirt and cleaning chemicals. Coasters and trivets can be used on countertop areas for hot items like pots and pans. Cleaning it with a pH-neutral cleaner or warm water is also advisable.
Quartz is an engineered stone made from a mix of quartz in various grades and sizes, and pigments and resin as binder. Since quartz is manufactured, the colors, designs and finish are more consistent or patterned. It also has a lower level of gloss than granite.
Quartz is harder than Granite and more durable. However, since it is not porous, it is more prone to damage from heat exposure. A trivet or hot pads are recommended to prevent heat damage.
Most Quartz products require little maintenance and no sealing, except brushed finishes. Quartz is easier to clean, so a soft cloth using a gentle soap and water can be used for a long-lasting countertop.
Just like Granite, Quartzite is formed by nature consisting of a high percentage of quartz minerals. The stone is mined and sawn into slabs, which are then polished and sealed. It has a high gloss level. Quartzite is also available in a wide range of colors, although generally found in white to gray.
Since Quartzite is one of the hardest surfaces available, it withstands heat very well. However, it is not less prone to denting and chipping.
Although Quartzite is more heat resistant than any other countertop surface, using coasters or trivets on countertop areas is necessary. Sealing can also be done after installation because small fissures may be visible on the slabs due to the high amount of pressure used during the processing of the stone. Cleaning with pH-neutral cleaner or warm water should be done for care and maintenance.
Ready to renovate or remodel your kitchen? Call Burgin Design • Remodel at (714) 558-1094—we’ll handle your project every step of the way.