When it comes time to decide on a material for your countertops, you might be wondering whether to choose granite or engineered stone. While they are both popular choices, it’s important to know which material works best for your home and lifestyle. Here are a few key differences:
1 – Natural vs. Man-made
Nowadays, granite is a popular choice for high-end projects that require both durability and style. Granite is a type of natural stone that is formed when molten rock is forced between other layers deep in the earth’s crust. A variety of natural minerals, including quartz, tourmaline, topaz, garnet and titanite, contribute to granite’s crystalline appearance and stunning look.
Engineered stone, on the other hand, is exactly that – engineered. It is manufactured in a facility (instead of inside the earth) and is comprised of about 95 percent natural stone (usually quartz) and 5 percent resin. Natural stone crystals are ground and blended together and then heated to create a solid surface.
2 – Flaws and Consistency
Because it is created by the earth, granite may naturally include flaws and irregularities. Each piece of granite is a unique slice of nature, so slabs may vary in color, thickness and pattern. If you appreciate a one of a kind piece of artwork, though, go for the granite.
If you’re looking for perfect consistency, engineered stone is the way to go. Engineered stone slabs can be designed and replicated to achieve a specific and consistent look. But because they have a uniform appearance, they may lack the unique color and pattern variations that granite offers.
3 – Strength and Durability
Both granite and engineered stone are high quality, very durable and relatively easy to maintain. However, engineered stone is harder and heavier than granite and almost impossible to chip or fracture. Because of the natural divots and fissures in granite counters, they can be more prone to cracking. If you get your granite counters properly sealed, however, you won’t have to worry much about this issue.
4 – Maintenance
Both engineered stone and granite are easy to clean – just wipe spills with a damp cloth and mild cleaner. Granite tends to be more porous and can stain, especially if acids, coloring agents or oils are involved. Engineered stone is completely non-porous, so it’s very resistant to staining.
When it comes to choosing a material for your countertop, keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of granite and engineered stone. Both are beautiful, high-end materials that will make a lasting impression in your home. At Primera, we have a wide variety of options in both materials and we can help you choose the right fit for your project.