How to choose a kitchen worktop: manmade or natural stone?
PUBLISHED: 09:47 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:28 27 April 2016
You've heard people talking about granite and quartz for use as kitchen worktops, but what are the differences and how do you pick what to use in your kitchen?
Granite is a natural stone with good strength and low porosity which makes it perfect for kitchen worktops. There are hundreds of different sorts of granite in different colours.
The markings also vary from small to large and depend on the mineral and rock content of the area where the granite formed. Granite is fairly easy to care for, as long as spills are wiped up promptly and should last for years.
Marble is a softer stone and can be used for kitchen counters but is much more likely to stain. If you are prepared to seal it regularly, wipe any spills as soon as they occur and like the idea of it developing character with age, then it is definitely for you. If the idea of a worktop that will develop an antique patina as it ages is not to your liking then avoid marble.
All natural stones will have variations in tone and markings depending on where they’ve come from in the rock seam. These are part of the beauty of the stone, but if you want something more uniform, then you should consider quartz instead.
Engineered stones such as Silestone and Caesarstone, are made by mixing particles of quartz or marble with resin and colouring. They started out as an alternative to granite for kitchen worktops for those who did not want as much variation. They demand about the same level of care as granite.
Cosentino, the manufacturers of Silestone, have recently introduced a new material called Dekton, which is very hard wearing, scratch and heat resistant. This can be used for kitchen worktops, although again the finish is very uniform and it does not resemble a true natural stone.
See for Yourself
The best way to choose the stone for your project is to go and look at different types of stone, ideally in as large a piece as possible. stoneCIRCLE’s Newbury Showroom is an ideal place to start. It has a large indoor gallery where you can view the biggest selection of full size slabs in the South East and get expert advice from the staff about what stone would best suit you.
There are also displays of products that have been made out of the different types of stone to help you visualise what can be done in this beautiful adaptable material.