I am trying to decide if I should go for granite or quartz. After some research on the Internet I was left more confused, so I headed over to a local worktop company and picked their brains. I got talking to Matt Morley from Medusa Stone in Basildon – they are just around he corner from 5 Elements Martial Arts! – and he gave me some good pointers.
Granite will provide you with a classic glossy finish, and because it’s sourced through natural means it’s become an attraction for lots of buyers who want a more unique finish.
Natural granite’s appearance varies a lot between slabs and often even in the same slab, but to lots of buyers this is a draw because they know their worktop will be a one-off. You will need to keep that in mind when the pattern of your worktop doesn’t look exactly like the one you saw in the showroom.
A granite worktop isn’t indestructible, but is solid and extremely durable. A worktop made of granite used for basic day-to-day use and without receiving any heavy damage, can last a lifetime. It’s resistance to both hot and cold makes it an ideal surface for a kitchen worktop, putting hot pans or plates onto the granite is generally OK – very hot pans can sometimes cause cracking, so be careful.
A granite worktop is also really easy to clean by simply using a damp cloth, although lighter coloured granite may need special products for cleaning a few times a year. Learn more about granite here.
In the worktop market quartz is quickly becoming one of the most popular and sought after surfaces. Different variations of quartz have a number of different names such as Silestone, Zodiac, Luxore, Arenastone, Caesarstone and Prestige Quartz. The main factor setting many of them apart is the colour palettes. This gives you plenty of options when deciding on a specific colour for your kitchen. Also the pattern of engineered quartz is consistent, so you will be getting a surface very close if not the same to what you saw in the showroom.
A quartz worktop has a glossy finish similar to granite, but unlike granite it is non-porous and doesn’t ever need to be sealed. This makes it a very low maintenance material, which is ideal for the kitchen. Quartz is just as durable as granite but has the benefit of being a lot more flexible, which is a massive help during installation.
Both granite and quartz are extremely durable surfaces with a glossy finish, which is perfect for any kitchen. Each of them will have specific benefits depending on what you need. In terms of presentation, the granite offers a more unique one-off surface for those who want an exclusive kitchen, and quartz will offer you a consistent pattern so you know you will be getting exactly what you picked out in the first place. It comes down to preference and either way you will be get a worktop that is sure to last.
Whichever you chose, first make sure that the chosen surface matches well with the rest of your kitchen. A good kitchen fitter will be able to supply samples to try out. Just remember, no surface is perfect, but granite and quartz are pretty close.
Update: After all that, I opted for a laminate. Why? About £3000 cheaper! Maybe one day I will upgrade …