Which worktop to prefer – granite, quartz, marble or ceramics?
Wooden floor, decorative glass background and natural stone – each of them adds personal style to a home. Home design encounters many passing trends, but as kitchen requires large investment, it should primarily stand the test of time. To that end, worktops are particularly important. Similar to the rest of the kitchen furniture, the worktop is constantly exposed to various organic substances, water, salts and detergents. Therefore, it has to be durable and easily maintained. Today there is wide range of suitable materials available. Most common choices include laminated, stainless steel, wooden or stone worktops. As for the latter, granite, quartz and marble stand out, whereas all these materials are suitable for kitchen worktops. Stone worktops are beautiful and elegant, providing real design experience, they area also durable, scratch resistant and more importantly – extremely practical. If you decide to use stone worktop, you should know that these materials differ in their properties.
Granite is extrusive rock formed from cooled magma. Due to its natural origin, granite has unique colour, character and beauty. In general, granite rock is patterned and dominant light minerals create the overall impression of light surface. Granite may have pink, red, brown, grey, black, or rarely white or blue shades (colour depends significantly on various components of feldspar) and this material suits to embellish the homes of people who prefer completely natural materials. This natural rock is found worldwide, whereas it differs slightly by structure and colour in every region.
Due to good resistance to heat and cold, granite is a perfect fit for kitchen – you can place hot pots, pans and ovenware directly on worktop. Granite has minimum porosity, but it can still absorb small amount of liquid. If you choose granite worktop, keep in mind that, as a rule, light granite tends to absorb more water and thus stains more easily than dark granite. To prevent staining, remove any liquids spilled on the surface as quickly as possible.Granite has dense structure. It is hard and not easily damaged in the course of daily use. However,granite is not completely unbreakable – it can be damaged by negligence or accidentally. Proper maintenance ensures granite surfaces that last virtually forever. Granite worktop is easy to clean.Usually it is sufficient to wipe it with damp cloth, although special products should be used for light-coloured granite once or twice a year.
Quartz (quartz composite) represents a fine alternative to natural materials. This manmade material contains 93% of natural minerals. In order to achieve required colour and consistency, quartz is combined with resin binder and colorants. When comparing granite and quartz worktops, their qualities are rather similar, but not identical.
One advantage of quartz is its uniform structure and extensive selection of colours that allows designing a personalised kitchen. Among many light shades, white quartz is particularly popular because there is no pure white rock (e.g. granite) available in nature. Various shades of the wide colour range of quartz makes it easy to combine them and match them to many other materials.
In addition, quartz has very good physical properties – it is hardwearing and durable material. When comparing quartz to granite and ceramic material, the latter still have slightly harder surface structure.As manmade material, quartz is non-porous and has an absorption level of virtually zero. Thus, it is not only waterproof and resistant to liquids, but also highly hygienic material.
When properly maintained, quartz retains its beauty and good qualities for decades. However, keep in mind that quartz is not completely heat resistant and may crack because of thermal shock. It may also cause visible heat damage to the surface (e.g. trace of a hot cookware), as the resin in the composition of quartz melts at high temperatures. We strongly recommend using special trivets when placing hot objects on the surfaces containing mirror flecks (surfaces from the Starlight series offered by Diapol) in order to prevent damage to the surface. Generally, quartz worktop is easy to maintain. When used indoors, polished surfaces do not require impregnation (i.e. treatment with special sealant) and it is sufficient to clean them with soap and warm water.
Marble is the best known and most appreciated metamorphic rock, and its beauty is characterised by veins and bold colours. Pure marble, consisting of mineral calcite is white – impurities in the mass give the material veiny, patchy, patterned look. The colour spectrum created by these impurities is wide, ranging from grey and pink to green, brown and black shades. Carrara rock available in the product range of Diapol is one of the best-known marbles in the world. For example, Michelangelo used this particular Italian marble for creating his famous sculptures.
For people who love natural white rock, there are not many alternatives besides marble. Elegant look of this material lasts for years and represents a classical and timeless choice for kitchen worktops. By the way, skilled bakers know that the naturally low temperature of marble is ideal for preparing food for baking.
However, you should know a few things before deciding in favour of this appreciated furnishing material. A marble worktop requires great caution and more care. Marble is softer and more porous than granite, which means that it is rather easily scratched and stained. Particular caution is required when handling red wine, coffee, tea, oils and juices. Acidic fruit (e.g. lemon) may also damage the appearance/colour of marble. Therefore, it is important to use coasters when placing cups and glasses on the surface to avoid absorption of liquids into the marble worktop.
While neutral, mild acidic or mild alkaline detergents are suitable for cleaning granite and quartz surfaces, one should avoid acidic detergents in daily cleaning of marble surfaces.
Ceramics is made of 100% natural components. It is highly valued by designers and stylists in modern home interior design. This worktop is made of ceramic slab processed at high temperature, cut into suitable size, its edges and surface finished. Ceramic worktops are scratch resistant, they area also resistant to heat and do not absorb liquids.These worktops are easy to clean and preserve their beauty for decades when properly maintained, which makes them particularly suitable for homes with small children and pets.
Granite is a good choice for someone who prefers fully natural material with its genuine beauty and pattern. Wide range of colours and manmade technical properties of quartz provide unlimited options for furnishing the kitchen, making it suitable for those who like pure colours. Due to its elegance and timeless beauty, natural marble suits well for a person who longs for exceptional luxury – this material is undoubtedly unique both to the eye and to the touch.
Those who love modern style and not too heavy worktop may choose ceramic product.If you still find it hard to decide, consult with the sales consultants of Diapol Granite OÜ who will assist you in choosing the material that suits best for your kitchen or bathroom in terms of both colour and family lifestyle.