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If you were to ask a group of people whether you should choose a Silestone countertop or go with granite, the answers you receive may be split. Both materials have their benefits and drawbacks, so it will ultimately come down to what matters most to you in a countertop.
Are you looking for more durability or a natural stone look? Maybe you intend to make your decision based off color availability. Whichever one you choose, this guide will help walk you through everything you need to know about Silestone and granite countertops.
What is Silestone?
Silestone is one of the leading brands of quartz countertops. The brand is manufactured in Spain by Cosentino. The primary difference between Silestone and granite countertops is that Silestone, like all other brands of quartz, is engineered. The countertops are made by combining around 90 percent of the quartz mineral with about 10 percent resins, polymers and pigments. These percentages can fluctuate slightly depending on the individual countertop, but the numbers will always be in the same area.
Types of Silestone
Silestone offers many different colors and designs for you to choose from. That is a major advantage of quartz in general; because the stone is manufactured, there is virtually an endless amount of customization options.
What is Granite?
Unlike Silestone and other quartz countertops, granite is a naturally forming stone. It forms underground when magma cools, allowing for large crystals of minerals to develop. These crystals give granite its distinctive colors. The stone is very commonly used in home remodeling projects, with most of the projects using it for kitchen and bathroom countertops. While quartz offers so many colors to choose from, this is not to say that granite doesn’t have its fair share as well. There are many different colors and patterns that you can choose from when buying a granite countertop. In addition, the natural flecks and grains of the stone can create a distinctive and attention-grabbing look. If you are looking for something that can make a bold statement, you should think about going with green, blue or red granite. Each slab of granite has variation in color over its surface – which makes each unique.
Types of granite
As mentioned above, granite can be found in a vast array of styles. The natural stone comes in many different colors – some giving off a more laid-back feeling, while others present a bold feeling that will instantly turn the attention of visitors to your countertop. If you are looking for a wide selection of granite countertops, check out over 500 variations at Marble.com.
One of the main reasons for Silestone’s popularity is its appearance. The countertops can be manufactured to look just like natural stone countertops. In addition to the ability to resemble natural stone, Silestone countertops offer many other customization options, virtually ensuring that you will find something you like in terms of appearance.
The advantage of granite’s appearance is the classic and stylish look it offers, especially when used for kitchen countertops. The natural stone is available in many different colors and patterns that will add appeal to your kitchen or bathroom countertop.
When it comes to appearance, granite has the edge over Silestone. While Silestone offers many options and can be customized to mimic the look of natural stone, there is nothing quite like a slab of natural granite.
Silestone countertops generally cost between $50 to $100 per square foot. Prices will depend on how large your countertops are and the levels of customization, among other factors.
Granite will cost in a similar range as Silestone. The material can often be found for about $40 to $100 per square foot installed. As with Silestone, additional factors can cause the price to go up or down.
To get a better idea of potential cost, Marble.com has an Estimator Tool that you can use.
As for which is the friendlier option for your budget, granite will be your better option, although some overlap in pricing exists.
Because Silestone, and other brands of quartz, are engineered, the countertops are not porous. This can be very helpful when the countertops will be installed in high traffic areas, like a kitchen. Because it is not porous, your Silestone countertop will not need to be sealed. To clean the countertop, all you need is soap and water. While maintaining a quartz countertop may sound like a breeze, there is one significant drawback that you should make note of: Quartz countertops are not heat resistant. Do not remove a hot pot or pan from the stove and place it on your quartz countertop. If you do this, the resin will melt, and you will be left with a permanent mark on your countertop.
Granite is also one of the easier countertop surfaces to take care of. Like Silestone, the durable material can be especially helpful in the kitchen. However, this is not to say that granite is an indestructible material. You will still need to take good care of your granite countertop if you do not want it to get damaged. You can clean the surface by using just warm soapy water. Never clean your granite countertop with harsh cleaners, such as vinegar, bleach or Windex.
Both Silestone and granite countertops can last for many years if you take proper care of them. While this is the case, granite is your better option because of qualities like heat resistance.
Installing your Silestone countertop is not a do-it-yourself type of project. You will need to hire a professional. Hiring a professional will significantly decrease the chances of your new countertop being damaged during installation.
Like the installation process for a Silestone countertop, you will need a professional to install your granite countertop. This is not a project that you can take on yourself. Having a professional do the job reduces the chances of any chipping or minor damages happening when the countertop is being installed.
When comparing the installation process, neither option stands out as better than the other. Either one you choose will require a professional to install the surface.
Durability is another major benefit of Silestone countertops. Silestone is almost indestructible when it comes to countertops. Despite this, you still shouldn’t be careless, because you will want to avoid any rare chance that damage occurs. As referenced above, be sure not to place excessive heat on the surface of a Silestone countertop. If you do, the countertop will receive irreversible damages.
Especially considering that it is natural stone, granite is one of the most durable natural surfaces you will be able to find. It will damage any sharp knives you use on the surface, but it is still recommended that you do not cut directly on the countertop. Granite countertops are also heat resistant, meaning a hot pot or pan will not cause any damages. Although granite is very hard, you will need to exercise caution when handling heavy objects around the countertop. It will chip or break if a heavy object falls on it – especially on the corners.
In terms of durability, granite gets the edge because of its heat resistance.
Silestone is a very sanitary and stain resistant surface. Because quartz is not porous, it is virtually impossible to stain. Despite this, it is always a good idea in general to clean up any messes on the countertop.
Granite is also very stain resistant. Though the stone does require sealing, this will only need to be done about once every year. The sealing process is also very easy. Just like Silestone, it is not advised that you opt to leave any spills sitting on the countertop.
Although it does require sealing, granite is your better option here. When you consider all the other benefits that granite has, having to seal your countertop is not much of an inconvenience.
All quartz is non-porous, which makes it a moisture resistant surface. Considering Silestone is one of the leading brands of quartz, moisture should not be any issue.
Granite requires proper sealing. When it is properly sealed, the material will be stain and moisture resistant. However, if you spill something on the surface and it is not properly sealed, the spilled liquid may sink down into the stone, which will leave your countertop compromised.
Both materials are relatively resistant to moisture. One of the only differences is that you will need to make sure your granite is properly sealed – something that is not difficult to do.
Heat resistance is an area in which granite has a huge advantage over Silestone. Silestone countertops are not heat resistant, so be careful when handling hot items around the countertop if you choose Silestone.
Conversely, granite is one of the most heat-resistant countertop materials you will find. Hot pots or pans placed on the surface will not cause any damages to the countertop. Despite this, you should still be cautious when placing any hot items on it. Just to be safe, you should use trivets or hot pads.
Silestone very rarely incurs any damages, so repairs should not be an issue. If you do happen to have any minor damages, quartz can be repaired very easily.
If you need to fix any small chips or cracks in the surface of your granite countertop, there are repair kits that you can buy to do so. An advantage to having granite is that its natural flecked pattern can help hide any minor chips or cracks in the stone. Remember that a granite countertop needs to be re-sealed about once a year.
Repairs are not difficult to do on either material, so there is no clear advantage here.
Silestone countertops are a great selling point for potential buyers. The material is both attractive and easy to take care of.
On the other hand, natural stone will always hold high value. Despite the positive factors of quartz, many homeowners still prefer that traditional look and feel of natural stone. Granite in particular holds high value because of the reasons mentioned with Silestone, while also holding the advantage of being natural stone.
If you are looking for which material has the better resale value, granite will be your best bet. Natural stone generally always has a higher resale value.
Silestone is one of the most eco-friendly countertops you can have. Quartz often leaves less of a carbon footprint than natural stone like granite.
Granite is quarried and then shipped across the world to the manufacturing sites. However, because granite exists in many locations worldwide, you will be able to find granite that is quarried in the United States. This will cut down on air pollution from transportation.
Environmental impact is one of the few areas in which Silestone has a distinct advantage over granite.
Where Will Silestone Work Well in My House?
Silestone will work well in many different areas of the home. It is particularly suitable in a kitchen, as the material is easy to clean and very sanitary.
Where Will Granite Work Well in My House?
There are also many places in the house where granite works well. As with Silestone, granite is especially helpful in the kitchen due to it being sanitary and easy to clean, among other factors.
Silestone or Granite? Which is the Better Option?
While Silestone has its appeal, granite is a better all-around option. The final decision on which is a better fit for your home will be up to you.
Choosing Silestone or granite for your new countertops will offer many benefits. These benefits include stylish looks and easy maintenance. No matter which material you decide on, this guide will provide you with information that you will need to know before making your decision.