Which surface material is best for me?
There are a number of things to consider when selecting the material you would like your new worktop manufactured in:
Granite is 100% natural and is quarried directly from the earth in large blocks. The granite blocks are then sliced into slabs and polished on one side. Fabricators cut shapes from the slabs according to your specifications, every piece of granite is different, even if cut from the same block. Joints are visible and differences in veining or marking can accentuate the joint visibility.
Quartz is an “engineered” stone, quartz crystals are mixed with resin and pigment in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7% resin. Fabricators cut shapes from the slabs according to your specifications. Quartz much more consistent in colour and is available in a wide array of colours not seen in natural materials such as granite, another great advantage with quartz is that it does not require sealing, although like granite, joints are visible.
Solid Surface worktops are stain, water and impact resistant and offer seamless joints and solid surface sinks can enhance the look even further, with the added benefit that the surface is resistant to mould, bacteria and mildew, plus any offending marks and scratches can be simply ‘polished out’.
Solid Wood worktops and their differences in grain and colour offer a great variety of choice for a kitchen worktop and can be very effective in modern, traditional, contemporary or urban industrial designs. With the correct maintenance, timber and wood worktops will provide natural beauty in your kitchen for many years and will even improve over time in appearance.
Sintered Stone worktops are the most highly performing surfaces on the market today. While they cost more than other installations, the material itself has been specifically designed for extreme resilience. Within this category, Dekton is a highly performing 20mm surface, with the advantages of highly appealing designs, though these surfaces are not through-coloured. Apollo Ceramicá is full coloured and consistent throughout, and is a fully sinterised material – resulting in improved performance, yet comes in at a more premium price point.
|Granite||Quartz||Solid Surface||Solid Wood||Sintered Stone|
|Brand Name||Apollo, Sensa||Apollo, Silestone, Zodiaq, Compac, Caesarstone||Corian, Avonite, Apollo Magna, Apollo Slab Tech, Staron, Hi-Macs, Hanex||Apollo||Apollo, Dekton|
|What is it?||100% Natural stone quarried||93% crushed quartz with a resin binder||Acrylic or Polyester||Various species of 100% Natural wood||Advanced engineered stone|
|Heat Resistance||Not affected by heat – but always use a pan stand||Hot pots can damage surface – always use a pan stand||Hot pots can damage surface – always use a pan stand||Hot pans can burn the surface – always use a pan stand||Heat resistant to all rigours of domestic use|
|Cleanliness||Independent studies claim granite one of most bacteria-resistant surfaces||Non-porous – very resistant to bacteria||Deep scratches can harbour dirt and or moisture||Independent studies claim wood resistant to bacteria||Non-porous, very resistant to bacteria|
|Scratch Resistance||Highly scratch resistant, but can scratch or chip||Highly scratch resistant, but can scratch or chip||Scratches easily – but can generally be sanded out||Scratches and abrasions can generally be sanded out||Highly scratch resistant, can withstand direct cutting|
|Fabrication||May require seams – various edge profiles available||May require seams – various edge profiles available||Seamless – usually set on an MDF sub-structure – various edge profiles available||Wood blanks can be custom made into many shapes and edge types||May require seams – various edge profiles available|
|Appearance||Highly polished finish – every piece is naturally unique in color and veining/marking||Polished finish – consistent and uniform color and patterning||Matte finish – with consistent and uniform color and patterning||Oiling will deepen the colour and bring out the veining||Choice of Polished, Matt & Textured finishes|
|Maintenance||Requires periodic sealing to prevent staining||Wipe clean spills||Scratches can be sanded out||Requires periodic oiling||Low maintenance, chemically treated for life|