Granite or Silestone Counter Tops?

When it comes to kitchen counter tops, homeowners run into several choices. Two of the most commonly installed counter tops are granite and silestone. Known for their longevity and luxuriousness, both counter top types are considered high-end kitchen decor. Many homeowners debate about which surface works best in the kitchen, but of course, silestone and granite each come with their own set of benefits and shortcomings.

Take a closer look at the features of granite and silestone, and learn about the pros and cons of each.

Granite: When it comes to counter top choices, granite tabletops are a more organic choice. Mined from stone quarries across the globe, granite counter tops arrive to contractors in large slabs. When a kitchen remodel is in place, a professional will take measurements and carefully cut pieces to fit cabinetry. Homeowners can choose from a variety of edge styles, which the contractor will also carefully shape. Granite is offered in a number of natural colors, the most popular including green, black, and ivory.
Pros – Granite counter tops biggest pro is that they last for a lifetime. Granite slabs will also add value to your home, is a sanitary prepping surface in your kitchen, and can handle the stress of hot pots and pans. Knives and other sharp objects can be used right on a granite surface, no cutting board necessary. Granite counter tops also add a look of elegance to a home’s kitchen, and can easily be matched with any color or style of cabinetry. As an added bonus, no two pieces of granite are alike, so your kitchen will be forever unique.
Cons – Granite is heavy and requires a labor intensive install. It’s also possible to break granite, if hit with something extremely heavy like a meat cleaver. As long as you are careful, you shouldn’t run into this issue. Lastly, granite requires a permanent install – that is, it is extremely difficult to remove. It’s important to be sure about your decision when shopping for granite counter tops.

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Silestone: Commonly referred to as quartz, silestone contains crushed quartz mixed with a special resin. The total mixture amounts to about 93% quartz and 7% resin. Quartz is one of the hardest materials found in nature. When mixed with resin, it creates a durable, man-made product that is engineered to reflect natural stone. Silestone is manufactured by heating, pressing, and coloring the quartz and resin mixture into large slabs that are later cut down to be installed over kitchen cabinetry.
• Pros – Because of the way silestone is engineered, it does not require polishing or a protective seal like granite does. Silestone is more resilient than granite, and will easily resist any sort of spill or heat damage, maintaining the look it achieved the day it walked in your home. Unlike granite, a special cleaner is not necessary to wipe off silestone surfaces. Silestone also comes in more uniform pieces and is easier to match up at the edges, due to a lack of color variation.
• Cons – Unlike granite counter tops, it’s important to use a cutting board, as the silestone surface can dull knives. Silestone also lacks the natural look of blemishes and veining that are found in a slab of granite. Because silestone is a manufactured product, you may find that it is more expensive than granite, depending on how much of your kitchen surface you need covered.
Hopefully this list of pros and cons has been informative! Use it as a guide to choosing which type of counter top is right for you and your kitchen. Both granite and silestone can provide your home with beautiful and durable counter tops that will last a lifetime.

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