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Kitchen surfaces: Granite vs quartz worktops

Natural or engineered stone? The answer will depend on how you use your kitchen
   Amanda Peters  |  written on: 29-05-2018 13:00pm

The worktop you decide to go with will have a massive impact on the final look and functionality of your kitchen. Therefore, there are numerous things to consider – from the finish, style and pattern to the use of the space; are you going to be cooking often? What kind of cooking? Is the space going to be used to have dinner parties? Is it going to be the hub of the house? The answers to these questions will dictate how robust your worktop would need to be.

Darren Taylor, managing director of Searle & Taylor Kitchens, sheds light on two popular worktop choices – granite and quartz.

When it comes to natural stone, granite is a very popular choice. It is available in a wide range of colours based on the different metals and minerals present in the region as the stone forms. “We recommend granite because it is a completely natural surface; it comes in a wide range of colours and each piece is unique, which also delivers a luxuriant quality,” says Darren. “It is also very hardwearing, heat resistant and not susceptible to scratches so it is ideal for use as a worktop in the kitchen.

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Searle & Taylor Signature Bespoke kitchen with a worktop in Marron Cohiba granite

“The most important aspect of using granite is to ensure that it is properly sealed. As granite is porous, it will absorb stains if not protected. Being a natural surface, it can chip or hairline cracks can appear if something heavy is dropped on it, but otherwise it is a very robust material."

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Searle & Taylor Signature Bespoke kitchen with a worktop in Marron Cohiba granite

Manmade quartz ranks high on practicality. It offers the benefits of natural stone, being hardwearing, but is not as porous, making it ultra stain and mould resistant. Darren advices, “There are a number of manmade quartz surfaces on the market, but the one we recommend most is Silestone. This is a composite of natural quartz, polyester resin, colour and antibacterial agents. We recommend Silestone because it comes in a wide range of colours, textures and finishes, including suede and gloss surfaces in a single colour, which suit a lot of contemporary kitchens.

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Contemporary Intuo kitchen by Searle & Taylor with Silestone worktops and pencil edging in Gris Expo

“Because it is an engineered surface, the edges are also customisable, from bevelled to bullnose and the thickness of the surface is customisable too – from 12 mm to 120 mm, so it is possible to have two different thickness worktops in the same material on a kitchen island. It is scratch resistant, non-porous, stain resistant and easy to clean.

“Silestone is not as heat resistant as granite and it is always recommended that you use a trivet if placing a pan upon the surface.”

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Contemporary Intuo kitchen by Searle & Taylor with an island that features a 20mm and 80mm depth Silestone worktop with pencil edging in Gris Expo

Also read:
Expert's corner: Quartz and ceramic surfaces

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Which type of kitchen worktop best suits you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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   Amanda Peters
KBB Ark Web Editor. I've been writing for design magazines for a few years now and like nothing more than ‘exploring’ other people's homes (with their permission, of course).

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