While there are many surface options when designing your countertops, when it comes to using natural stone there tends to be confusion in which stone is better than the other.
There are differences in each type of stone in terms of durability, susceptibility to staining, heat resistance, etc. But, truthfully it is all about preference, and consideration for how you are going to be using these countertops. Whether they be for kitchen or bath, this may become a variable in your decision.
To help you decide here is our comparison guide:
Granite is naturally formed, high-heat and scratch resistant, doesn’t stain, and is easy to clean. It is widely regarded for its durability and long-lasting nature. There are a large variety of colors and patterns for granite that are unmatched in variety by any other stone. Due to the high demand granite has become more affordable, and therefore is becoming a more attractive option for many homeowners.
The downside is that it is a semi-porous stone, and should be resealed every few years.
Quartzite is derived from sandstone and formed through a manufacturing process of high heat and intense pressure. It is most commonly mistaken as marble for the fact that the colors are typically white or grey and the stone typically shows veining much like marble. The difference is that quartzite is the most resistant to chips and scratches, and has a fair resistance to heat over other natural stones. It is known for its strength and durability, and thus an attractive option.
In addition to needing to be resealed every year, there is typically a smaller variety of colors and patterns. Its most common features are whites and shades of gray, which can be limiting for some homeowners.
Quartz is a manmade slab containing 93% natural quartz stone and binding it with 3% resin. This makes the stone stronger than marble or granite with the added bonus that quartz is non-porous, meaning that it is stain resistant and will never need to be sealed. Because of the manufacturing process, quartz is also scratch resistant. A major benefit for a lot of homeowners.
The problem with quartz is that it doesn’t hold up to high-heat the same way that other stones can. The fact that it is manufactured can also be a deterrent, as the colors that can be generated can never match up to what is made naturally.
Marble is often used for entryways and bathrooms as it is often regarded as a luxurious and beautiful stone. Marble is typically “softer’ than other stones and is typically used for areas that undergo less traffic and use (p.s…. The Taj Mahal is made of marble).
Unfortunately, marble tends to stain if improperly sealed and all spills should be cleaned up immediate. It can also be susceptible to damage due to high-heat and/or acids. It is especially necessary to avoid the use of acidic cleaners such as those with a base or fragrance or orange or lemon. There is also a smaller collection of colors and patterns, most range in whites and greys.
Laminate can be an attractive option for those who want a surface that is easy to clean and easily replaced if expecting renovations or upgrades in the future. It also tends to be the most affordable option.
There are many downfalls to laminate. The largest one being the lack of resistance to heat that most people hope for in a countertop. There is low resistance to scratches, and typically have a plain if not cheap appearance.
As you can see, the many types of stones have their own positives and negatives. The way you use the stone will be a big factor in which you decide to choose. But understanding the differences can help you decide which is best for you and your home.