The difference between Silestone and granite worktops
There are many different types of kitchen worktop materials but by far the best on the market are Silestone and granite. These worktop materials are often placed in two of the most important rooms in your home, the kitchen and bathroom.
Buying any other worktop material will cost you more in the long run and since these important surfaces will be used daily, it is important for you to know the differences between the two so you can make the right decision for your family.
Can’t decide between choosing Silestone or granite?
Granite is a type of stone that can consist of many different types of rock, with the two most common being quartz and mica. This material varies in colour and pattern based upon the type of rock it contains. It is quarried from the earth’s crust and is found in abundant quantities around the world. After being quarried, granite blocks are cut into slabs and then normally highly polished to make the surface smooth and shiny. A matt ‘honed’ finish is also available in some granite types.
Silestone consists of a combination of approximately 95% quartz and resin, which are fused together to form a very solid, reliable and consistent material. Referred to sometimes as ‘engineered stone’, Silestone is popular in many homes because of its durability, versatility and modern colour range. There are numerous choices that range from solid colours to patterns that look like natural stone. Some Silestone types have the appearance of marble but being Silestone, they have the durability of granite. Leather finish Silestone is very similar to a matt or ‘honed’ finished granite.
Silestone is practically the same weight and density of granite, and is cut and templated to exact dimensions in the same way as a granite worktop would be. Touchstone are ‘Gold-Level Approved’ Silestone fabricators offering the Silestone 10-year warranty our competitors can’t offer.
Granite worktops purchased from Touchstone have sealer applied upon leaving Touchstone’s factory. This is because granite can be a porous material. Budget granite worktops supplied by other companies are generally not sealed and therefore due to this cost cutting, cheap granite worktops can be prone to stains. All granite worktops may need to be resealed from time to time.
Sealing Silestone worktops is not needed as this material is already non-porous. Silestone will resist stains caused by spills for years without ever needing to have a protective coating.
No matter whether you purchase granite or Silestone counters, householders will find they are both easy to keep clean. In most cases, wiping them down with a damp sponge is sufficient to remove dirt and food residues from either of them. A mild spray cleaner, such as Lithofin Easy-Clean or a solution of washing-up liquid and hot water can also be used to clean them. At all times you should avoid using harsh chemicals on granite worktops, as doing so could cause the protective sealant to break down, therefore requiring it to be reapplied.
Silestone has a distinct advantage over granite in that bacteria are less likely to accumulate on the surface. This is because the composition of Silestone makes it difficult for bacteria to grow on this material. In addition, Silestone also includes a unique bacteriostatic protection system which is designed to resist bacteria; granite does not possess this property. If you are very conscious in your food-preparation or have young children, we recommend that you choose Silestone instead of granite as it will be more resistant to bacteria.
One of the reasons why granite has been used for years is because this material is extremely heat resistant. When hot objects are placed on top of a granite worktop, it won’t crack or scorch. Silestone on the other hand is heat resistant, but can be sensitive to extreme immediate changes in direct surface temperature. With Silestone worktops you should always take care to always use trivets or a Franke ‘Rollamat’ whenever placing hot pants or roasting tins on the surface.
Both Silestone and granite are scratch-resistant materials, making them good choices for kitchen worktops. Granite may be slightly more scratch-resistant than Silestone because of its hardness.
The cost of granite and Silestone are fairly similar to one another in both cost of materials and installation charges.
The current UK trend is currently for Silestone above granite. This is likely due to the number of choices that are available along with the fact that Silestone produce a beautiful colour palette with antibacterial properties. In our opinion, both materials are aesthetically pleasing and durable for regular domestic kitchen or bathroom worktop use.