If you’re planning a kitchen or bath renovation, you’ll eventually reach a point in which you have to decide what kind of countertop you’d like: engineered stone for sale or natural stone slabs for sale?
One material isn’t necessarily better than the other, but engineered stone and granite have distinctly different properties. Having an understand of what these key differences are can help you choose a material that best suits your needs.
Is one more “natural” than the other?
Also referred to as quartz, engineered stone countertops are made from quart crystals blended with color pigments and bound together with a polymer or resin. So while engineered stone is derived from quartz, a naturally occurring material, it isn’t as natural as granite. Slab granite countertops are sliced directly from quarries, cut to the correct size, and polished until smooth. In terms of appearance, engineered stone is typically more uniform in color.
Which one is less expensive?
If you want to save money on countertops, then it’s probably best to choose a completely different material such as ceramic or laminate. Both engineered and granite countertops are in the same price range, with the prices of each frequently shifting because both are shipped overseas on container ships. As such, the cost per square foot routinely changes with the fluctuating prices of petroleum.
What about radon?
Radon is radioactive gas that is naturally found in both granite and quartz, which can be a concern for some consumers because of radon’s link to lung cancer. However consumers can rest and breathe easy knowing that this link has all but been disapproved since its media scare in 2008. According to the U.S. EPA, it is highly unlikely for any radon found in granite or quartz countertops to reach a higher than normal level. If you still have concerns, the EPA recommends using home radon test kits which can be easily purchased at hardware stores.
Which one is more durable?
Because it has to be manufactured, engineered stone has had any existing flaws engineered out of it. That means there are no invisible striations that are just waiting to split and crack open, which is often the case with granite. And because engineered stone contains resin, it’s far more stain-resistant compared to granite. For example, a red wine spill on a granite counter top will result in a permanent stain.
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