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Which Engineered Stone to Use On a Kitchen Countertop

WE INSTALL THE FINEST STONE SURFACES THROUGHOUT THE NORTHWEST

Although many homeowners set their minds on granite or other natural stone countertops when they plan a kitchen or bath remodeling project, engineered stone options are increasingly popular. Also known as composite or quartz countertops, it’s often hard to distinguish these manmade materials from natural ones. 

NorthWest Stone Fabricators is the Seattle area’s leading source of composite and stone countertops. We have more than a decade of experience helping home and business owners and contractors select and install beautiful, high-quality countertops made from a variety of materials. Here, we explain the difference between natural and composite materials and help you determine the best option for your project.

WHAT IS ENGINEERED STONE?

Engineered or composite stone is a mixture of crushed quartz crystals, glass fragments, shells, metal, or mirrors held together with polymer resin. In most cases, the material contains about 90% quartz and 10% additives, which mix to create a smooth, durable, and attractive product. Often referred to as quartz countertops, the stone material can replace marble, granite, or other natural materials in virtually any application. 

Quartz slabs offer several benefits over materials like granite and marble.

Quartz is a non-porous surface, so it’s impervious to stains and bacteria buildup. The strong stone material is also less likely to scratch or chip than marble and will last as long as granite— or even longer. It’s also less likely to crack than a solid slab of natural stone since it has a more uniform structure throughout.

Although other manmade products, like laminates, are more durable than ever, they cannot match the heat resistance of a quartz countertop. It’s less likely to catch on fire and can resist everyday heat-related wear and tear.

Stone tiles and countertops are beautiful, no matter the source, but choosing a composite material allows increased uniformity and a greater variety of colors and styles. When you choose quarried natural stone, no two pieces are alike, and you’ll have to select the specific slabs for your project. When you opt for a manmade material, you can customize the appearance to an extent (for example, choosing a style that resembles marble or granite), but the overall appearance is more consistent.

Quartz countertops are popular among homeowners who prioritize sustainability and want to incorporate recycled materials into their homes. Using a factory-made product eliminates the need to quarry natural materials like marble, which protects natural resources, and the greater durability and longevity of these products means they do not need replacing as often.

For all the advantages of quartz, there are some drawbacks. For example, creating curved designs is more challenging than with natural materials, and quartz countertops aren’t ideal for outdoor applications. Additionally, long-term exposure to direct sunlight can cause quartz to fade, so these countertops are best for indoor kitchens and bathrooms.

COST COMPARISION

Composite materials for countertops cost about the same as natural stone. Although the price tag is higher per square foot than for plastic laminates and other manmade materials, you get a high-quality, more durable product. In general, you can expect to pay between $60 and $100 per square foot for the material and installation combined.

In some cases, choosing a composite product is more affordable than alternatives. For example, if you want a solid slab of a specific natural stone, such as all-white marble without veining, it will cost significantly more than a factory-made slab. Not only will you save money, but the quartz countertop will have a perfect, uniform, and unblemished appearance. 

Certain brand-name products, like Silestone and Caesarstone, contain more quartz than other options. The increased quart content can increase durability and other features, and the cost may be higher than other options.

How It Works

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FILL OUT OUR FORM

Let us know all the details about the project you have in mind. We want to know your vision.

WE GET TO WORK

We work our remodeling magic so that, before you know it, your home is updated and upgraded.

LOVE YOUR SPACE

Now you get to start using and falling in love with the new space in your home.

TALT TO NORTHWEST STONE FABRICATORS ABOUT YOUR COUNTERTOP OPTIONS

Engineered or composite stone is a mixture of crushed quartz crystals, glass fragments, shells, metal, or mirrors held together with polymer resin. In most cases, the material contains about 90% quartz and 10% additives, which mix to create a smooth, durable, and attractive product. Often referred to as quartz countertops, the stone material can replace marble, granite, or other natural materials in virtually any application. 

Quartz slabs offer several benefits over materials like granite and marble.

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