There are so many materials available in the market for kitchen countertops that it becomes difficult to select a suitable one according to your needs. From granite and quartz countertops to marble and corian countertops, the market has an abundance of countertop varieties. A comparison of the various countertop materials clearly brings out the strengths and weakness of each.
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Quartz Vs Granite
The following points of quartz vs granite countertops comparison must be kept in mind at the time of purchasing countertops for your kitchen.
- Granite is a natural stone that is mined from stone quarries. The large slabs of granite are cut into thinner slabs, polished and then fabricated into countertops. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are engineered stone products. Quartz slabs are not obtained by quarrying but are manufactured. Quartz countertops are produced by mixing crushed quartz and other minerals with resin. The quartz content is 93% while resin binder content is 7%.
- Granite countertops come in a plethora of patterns and colours which impart a natural stone look to the kitchen. Quartz countertops are also manufactured in host of patterns and colours although they are more uniform in appearance and do not exhibit the same kind of natural beauty as granite.
- Granite is porous in nature. Hence, granite countertop needs to be sealed during installation and needs to be resealed regularly. This is not the case with a quartz countertop which does not need sealing and resealing.
- Granite countertops get stained by oil, juice, coffee, etc. if not properly sealed. It can also harbour bacteria in the absence of sealing. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are resistant to staining due to resins used in them. Quartz countertops also do not harbour bacteria.
- Granite countertops can chip and crack more easily as compared to quartz countertops. Thus, quartz countertops are stronger than granite countertops.
Caesarstone is one of the top brands of quartz countertops in the market. Founded in 1987, Caesarstone is the first company dealing in quartz surfaces to have received the ISO 14001 certification. The points of caesarstone vs granite comparison is same as that of quartz and granite countertops since caesarstone countertop is a quartz countertop.
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Corian Vs Granite
If the choice is between corian vs granite countertops, the following points will help in making a decision.
- Granite is a naturally occuring material which is mined from the earth, cut into slabs, polished and fabricated into countertops. Corian, on the other hand, is a solid surface countertop made in laboratory by combining 60% alumina trihydrate with methyl methacrylate. 2% fillers and dyes are also added to impart colour and texture to it.
- Granite countertop is resistant against scratches and can also withstand the high temperature of a pot or pan placed on it without undergoing any kind of damage. Corian countertop, on the other hand, can be easily scratched by knife and other sharp objects. It also cannot withstand high temperatures and will burn if a very hot object is placed on it.
- Granite countertop can stain if not resealed every 1-2 years or not cleaned properly. Acidic elements such as lemon juice also create tough stains on granite in the absence of sealing. Corian countertop, on the other hand, is stain resistant and does not need sealing due to presence of acrylic in its composition. It is also resistant against acidic elements.
- Granite countertop is susceptible to chipping especially at the weak corners. Corian countertop, on the other hand, does not chip easily.
- Cost of granite countertop starts at $40 and can reach up to $200 per square feet. Corian countertop, on the other hand, also has a starting cost of $40 and can reach up to $150 per square feet.
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Marble Vs Granite
Both marble and granite are natural stones. Marble is a metamorphic rock which is made of recrystallised carbon. Marble is formed when limestone is subjected to intense heat and pressure due to shifting of tectonic plates of earth. Granite is an igneous rock which is made of compressed quartz, mica, feldspar and other materials. Granite and marble are both commonly used for making countertops. Some points of difference between them have been listed here.
- Granite countertops come in medium to dark shades of various colours such as orange, pink, green, blue and many more. The granite countertops also have a granular appearance. Marble countertops, on the other hand, are characterised by veins running through the surface and are available in various shades of white, black, pink, etc. Various kinds of patterns are more visible on marble countertops as compared to granite countertops.
- Granite countertops are more resistant against chipping and scratching as compared to marble countertops. This is because granite is a harder material than marble. Even though both granite and marble countertops are porous and require sealing, marble is even more prone to damage by acidic liquids and foods. Thus, even when the marble countertop has been sealed, it is important to clean it immediately when it comes in contact with acidic food or liquid.
- Granite countertops require lower maintenance as compared to marble countertops.
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Factors to consider when choosing countertop material
- The countertop material should be in accordance with the kitchen traffic. Quartz countertop is best for a busy kitchen because it can handle high kitchen traffic for long periods of time. Granite countertop is suitable for a kitchen with less traffic. Therefore, you must assess the level of traffic in your kitchen before deciding on the material.
- The maintenance level of every kind of countertop must be determined. The countertop must also be stain resistant so that the kitchen looks clean at all times. For example, granite and marble countertops need sealing to remain stain resistant while quartz is inherently stain resistant and does not require sealing.
- The aesthetics of the countertop must complement the kitchen interior. Natural stone countertops such as granite and marble impart a natural ambiance to the kitchen while artificial materials such as quartz, stainless steel, corian, etc. impart a modern look.
- Cost of the material must suit your budget without compromising the functionality and aesthetics of the kitchen.
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