In the home, a number of materials are used to create kitchen countertops. Particle board, covered with a laminate finish, provides an inexpensive countertop solution compared with solid countertops such as those made from, solid wood, stainless steel or soapstone, for example. Countertops made from solid granite or quartz are also expensive compared to laminated particle board, but each of these materials has advantages worth considering when choosing a countertop material. Quartz stone, used to create countertops, is also known as engineered stone.
Granite is a natural stone that contains elements of quartz. Typically, granite used for countertops is composed of 50 percent quartz, while the engineered stone used for quartz countertops contains 90 percent or more quartz, with the remainder consisting of resin and pigment, according to the Difference Between website. Both materials are natural mineral stone that do not retain heat and often feel cool in comparison with the surrounding air temperature. Because of this, you can roll bread and pastry dough directly on a quartz or granite countertop, given that dough should always be rolled on a cool flat surface. If your countertops were made from wood, or laminate-coated particle board, you would need to purchase a cool rolling board to roll out dough, an expense you don't have to consider if your countertops are made from granite or quartz.
Both granite and quartz are resistant to heat and small scratches. You can place hot pots directly onto granite or quartz without damaging the material, something you cannot do with wooden and laminate-covered particle board countertops. And while it is not recommended that you use the surfaces regularly as chopping boards, the materials will resist minor knife scrapes. Both surfaces are easy to clean, needing only hot water and a sponge to deal with spills.
Of the two materials, quartz is the more durable, second only to diamond for scratch resistance. Quartz is also less porous than granite, and does not need to be sealed to make it water resistant. Most granite does need to be sealed with a waterproof sealant, every one or two years, but this is a simple process, and the sealant can be applied with a soft cloth, and polished with a dry cloth.
Each piece of natural granite has different patterns and gaining in every stone and the distribution of quartz crystals within the stones differs from stone to stone. This means granite comes in a choice of patterns, allowing you to choose from swirls, veins of different color running through the stone and a speckled look. The distribution of quartz within the granite also determines how the surface of the material will sparkle in the sunlight, or under artificial light, and there are hundreds of granite colors you can choose from. Quartz is more uniform in pattern, especially when the stone is engineered using a pigment. This does mean however, that it is easier to match up two separate pieces of quartz.
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