The decision on granite vs. silestone is a tough one for the homeowner. Each have their advantages.
Granite has advantages over Silestone as well. Unlike Silestone or any engineered quartz countertop, it is a natural product. It is simply quarried, cut and polished prior to arriving at your home. Granite countertops come in many different colors and patterns. As with Silestone countertops, a Granite countertop can be cut to have square or beveled edges. It is slightly less expensive and relatively low maintenance. Yes, granite countertops occasionally need a sealer applied.
Though granite countertops have been the high-end, popular product for years, Silestone is becoming increasingly popular for countertops. Silestone countertops are composite quartz material that are typically 10-20% more expensive than Granite countertops, however it provides a slightly more elegant look. Silestone comes in about 48 different colors – the quartz material sparkles providing a glimmering radiance that is unmatched by granite.
Silestone can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, or bars. It can be used on floors and walls and it is widely available. Though Quartz is a very hard material, cutting on the surface can cause marks. In addition, it is heat resistant but it is recommended to NOT place hot pots or pans on it. The adhesive material that binds the quartz together could turn color with too much heat.
Silestone is non-porous so it is impervious to stains. It is also an extremely hard material and will have less likelihood of chipping compared to granite. And unlike granite, periodic sealing is not required.
Engineered stone countertops are a man-made product that mixes quartz found in granite with a resin to make a surface with properties almost identical to granite. Silestone is essentially the same product, which is widely regarded as an excellent countertop surface.
Myth: Sealing granite is a chore
This issue has been blown out of proportion. you don’t have to apply a granite sealer to an engineered stone countertop, but a granite sealer is a very simple and infrequent “wipe on, wipe off” procedure. It doesn’t take a closet full of special chemicals to protect your granite, and it is not a major chore that is not a determining factor when comparing Silestone versus granite.
You may also hear that you must seal granite to maintain it’s shiny polish. Not true. Sealing is for stain resistance. You could do nothing but wipe it with a sponge for years and it will still look gorgeous. Minor, easy maintenance performed periodically will give you peace of mind and bring out the best in your granite and natural stone. The same can be said about quartz. Care and cleaning is equally easy for either surface. Both natural and synthetic stone countertops are polished by grinding and buffing the surface into a smooth shine.
Myth: Granite harbors bacteria.
Silestone resists bacteria but studies prove that both granite and quartz are among the safest and cleanest surfaces on the market today. One is not superior to the other.
Which Countertop Is Best?
Once you understand that man-made quartz countertops and granite perform equally well and that the care and cleaning of each surface is essentially the same, the decision between granite and Silestone comes down to color, pattern and perceived value for most buyers.
Color and Value
Granite enjoys a greater prestige due to its natural origins and is therefore of greater value in the minds of some homeowners and buyers. New granites come on the market all the time from different countries providing hundreds, sometimes thousands of colors and patterns from which to choose.
Silestone offers some 50 color choices that have consistent appearance. A significant benefit is that you never have an issue with matching a pattern or color at a seam. Sometimes doing so is a problem with granite. Each granite slab is unique.
In the end, whether you choose Silestone’s engineered quartz stone or granite you will get an excellent countertop surface. Make your pick based on the color and pattern you like best.