Granite vs Man-Made Stone

QUESTION:

We are remodeling our kitchen countertops and are getting answers all over the world - this one chips,$35 more per square foot, this one stains,etc..

we like "INDIAN DAKOTA" granite for the counter top OR CAMBRIA NORMANDY.

Bottom line answer - which is better... a granite counter top or man-made stone? And generally does granite cost more than "mms"?

ANSWER:

When money is not an issue, people install granite. Luxury home builders all install granite. So, I suppose there is your answer.

I too think overall, granite is better, but not by a long shot. There are variables that you may consider when comparing quartz vs. granite, which I've covered at the counter tops materials page.

Price

You'll see more variation in granite because it is a natural unique product. There's a huge supply of some colors and not others, so accordingly different prices. Also, quality can vary. That's why you'll see signs for $25 sq ft. granite... avoid these.

On average man-made stone is about as expensive as granite. I'm sure because manufacturers of MMS are trying to position themselves as equal in every way to granite. But for above reasons some stones may be more expensive.

Maintenance

Indian Dakota is a good stone. May not even need to seal it, but you should perform the test for sealing granite countertops on a sample to be sure.

Man-made quartz doesn't need sealing, but neither do many granite counter tops... and sealing is simple, so not really an issue.

Design

For my tastes and many/most in the design world, quartz looks very uniform and man-made. It doesn't possess the allure and unique colors, depth, textures or patterns of granite.

Quartz is a very good product, but when comparing all factors, man-made doesn't have any real advantages over granite, so I would never install a man-made stone.

There's just too many great granite counter top slabs to choose from when the cost is reasonably similar.

Good Luck,
Ryan



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Natural stone
by: Anonymous

The bottom line is that Granite is a product of the past. Yes it is beautiful, but there is no comparrison with superior product perfomance of Quartz tops, especially Silestone.

Low-to-no maintenance, 15 year warranties, anti-microbial protection, consistency in your color selection, and added strength are just a few of the things to look at when making the decision between granite and quartz. Not to mention that Quartz is the fourth hardest stone on earth right next to diamonds, sapphire, and topaz, and this gives you scratch resistence that granite can't hold a candle to.


Thanks for your input! Do you work for Silestone? You are right in what you say about the characteristics of Silestone and engineered quartz countertops. It's an excellent product. However, you are wrong... dead wrong I'm afraid in your assessment of engineered quartz' superiority to granite.

Engineered quartz is not harder or more scratch resistant than granite. For all intents and purposes, they are equal. Where do you think quartz comes from?

15 year warranty? Granite will last a lot longer than 15 years without any need for a warranty.

What is the Silestone warranty for anyway? Possibly the "color consistency" you speak of. I'm sure that's it, since I've had several Silestone owners consult me about why they have stains and discoloration occurring on their "low-to-no maintenance" countertops.

Color and pattern consistency or repetition is a matter of taste. Some people like a uniform pattern others appreciate the entirely unique movement found in natural granite.

Did you know that setting a hot pan on Silestone could damage (melt) the binding resin? Not so with granite.

The cleanliness and anti-bacterial qualities of Silestone and granite are essentially equal according to independent studies on the matter. Both surfaces rate almost exactly the same and are second only to stainless steel for "cleanability".

Bottom line... if you ask anyone in the industry (builders, designers, installers)... granite is still preferred. As I've said before, in luxury homes nobody installs Silestone over granite. Given that the cost is essentially the same for either, that says something.

Silestone is recognized as a great, long-lasting surface for your home, but it doesn't surpass the performance of granite in any appreciable way, yet it does have some problems with color integrity and damage that granite does not have.

But, no surface is perfect, so if you like Silestone, install it. It isn't a contest. I'm here to help readers wade through the actual facts so they don't make decisions based on the marketing hype that accompanies this debate and stretches the truth.

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