Q: What are the drawbacks of Silestone quartz countertops versus granite?
My wife and I are redoing our kitchen. We've been looking at different alternatives for the countertops. We recently looked at some Silestone quartz countertops and really loved the look and ease of use. What are the pluses and minuses to quartz counters, particularly Silestone? Clearly, these are durable and no fuss, no muss. But, will we regret these counters when we go to resell the house? Do people really care if it is granite or do they just care if it is stone (i.e. not Formica)? What other options should we consider? Thanks.
There are really only two benefits to installing Granite over Quartz. Granite is currently less expensive and it has a more natural beauty IF you like the look of the veins, striations, and color variations.
Quartz is a combination of a manmade and natural product. Here is a case where nature is not always better. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals making the surface virtually scratch resistant (Granite is softer and scratches). Quartz countertops are dense and non-porous. Granite on the other hand is porous and requires some yearly maintenance. Even with the maintenance, spills need to be cleaned up as they occur especially with wine, olive oil and even liquid soap. I have seen all three penetrate the surface and leave a noticeable "stain" in the Granite surface. Due to Granite being porous it is susceptible to mildew and bacteria adhering to it. Silestone has Microban, an antimicrobial, product added in during the manufacturing process to help eliminate the adherence of mildew and bacteria. The overall Quartz product is stronger allowing for larger overhangs without supports needed beneath it (consult with the installer).
Quartz has a brilliant shine similar to Granite.
Due to Quartz countertops being manmade they have a consistent color throughout the entire product. This could be considered a drawback if you like the veins, striations, and color variations.
If purchasing Granite, it is imperative that you select your countertop from the stone yard so you know exactly what you are getting. With Quartz, you can easily select your countertop color from a small sample piece knowing it will be the color that you will receive.
There has also recently been the Radon scare with Granite. Radon, which is a radioactive gas, is trapped in the granite which can be emitted into your house once installed.
I recommend all of my Clients to use the Quartz in all of their Countertop needs.
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A: Quartz is the better product
In terms of resale value for your home, Silestone or any quartz product can be a unique selling point. In my opinion, granite has been overused and promoted- what I am seeing is that most of my clients prefer Quartz over granite. It give you a consistent color, great seams, and some of the colors available do not compare to natural granite. It is still a Stone, just a reconstituted stone. It is heat, scratch & stain resistant and is denser than granite which give you more design flexibility on islands and overhangs.
There is a natural beauty to granite, which a man-made stone cannot replicate, that is the veining and color swirls. I think it is all personal preference, but do not fret that using Silestone will hurt your chances for resale. If anything it will help you sell.
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I have a silestone counter top which I understood to be able to handle heat better than granite. I recently had a pot that had burned dry which I took from the stove and placed on the silestone countertop. I now have a slight mark from the outer edge looking slightly lighter than the rest of the countertop. Also, I can feel a slight difference in this area. What can I do to fix this if anything?
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