We know the choices you have for selecting your kitchen countertop can be overwhelming. Apart from deciding what color kitchen countertop you prefer, you first have to choose what type of kitchen counter material works for you and your family. What are the advantages of granite kitchen countertops? What exactly are quartz countertops? How do solid surface counters compare with quartz and granite countertops? What is the best kitchen countertop material for my lifestyle?
Let us help you make a better informed decision on what type of kitchen counter to choose. We gladly provide you the following kitchen countertop comparison with some valuable information about granite counters, quartz counters and solid surface counters along with some insightful characteristics of each.
Solid Surface Countertops (LivingStone®)
- Man-made LivingStone® solid surface is a 100% acrylic material which is colored by resins.
- Uniform appearance, consistent pattern and color. The final product should be very similar to what you see in the showroom.
- Seams are inconspicuous to invisible.
- Durable but not indestructible. It is mold and mildew resistant. LivingStone® is renewable. It is susceptible to heat damage and burns. Avoid exposing the surface to harsh chemicals such as paint removers/thinners, acetone based cleaners, stove/drain cleaners, etc. If these come in contact with the surface, quickly wash off with water, using the appropriate safety measures to avoid injury.
- Virtually maintenance free. Needs no sealing.
- Must be professionally installed.
Quartz Countertops (Engineered Stone)
- Natural but not perfect. Granite is a natural product used forkitchen counters. It iscrystalline in structure, so it always has tiny pits or spaces between the various mineral crystals. It also contains natural fissures that may appear to be cracks, but they are not structural defects and will not impair the function or durability of the material.
- Appearance not uniform.
Movement is a term that is used to describe the shift in color and pattern in natural stone. Granite counters do not have a uniform pattern or color. The appearance can vary widely between slabs, and even within a single slab.
- Samples may differ from the actual stone. The sample of the granite color may differ from the slabs currently available for your kitchen countertop. They may have been mined from a different part of the granite quarry or they may have occlusions or color variances that give them a different appearance.
- Seams are visible. It is impossible to hide the seams in granite countertops.
- Must be sealed.Granite is a natural stone product that has a certain degree of porosity and must be sealed before use with a solvent-based product which leaves only negligible surface residue and is not considered to be a health risk. The stone must be resealed at least once every three years.
- Can discolor. While granite counters are ordinarily considered to be stain-resistant, some pigments or oils can be absorbed into the surface. This could cause discoloration. The sealer does not prevent this discoloration, but it slows it down to allow more time for clean-up.
- Durable but not indestructible. Granite countertops are extremely durable, scratch resistant, and impervious to water and heat. If not abused, it will hold its luster forever. However, because it is a natural rock, it can be chipped and broken if abused, and is very difficult to repair.
- Must be professionally installed.
- Man-made non-porous material, made from a mixture of 93% quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. It has the strength of granite, but is more flexible - making it somewhat easier to handle.
- Needs no sealing.
- Mold & mildew resistant. Extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.
- Uniform appearance.It has the general appearance of natural stone, but with a consistent pattern and color. (The final product should be very close to what you see in the showroom.)
- Seams are visible. As is the case with natural stone, seams are visible; howeverthe darker colors tend to minimize the seam.
- Durable but not indestructible.It is resistant to stains caused by wine, fruit juices, liquid food coloring, tea, nail polish and remover, and felt-tip markers.
It can be damaged by high heat and prolonged exposure to heat. As with any other stone or surface material, strong chemicals and solvents such as Drano®, Liquid Plumr®, oven cleaners and floor strippers will damage the surface.
Continuous long-term exposure to direct sunlight (UV rays) may result in slight discoloration of Quartz Stone countertops. Most indoor applications will not apply.
- Must be professionally installed. Is much heavier than granite.