Quartz, Granite Or Solid Surface: What’s Your Perfect Kitchen Countertop Surface?

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As one of the most hardworking places in the home, your kitchen deserves to be fitted out with the best materials. Here’s the ultimate guide to kitchen countertops materials.

Quartz

Manufactured to counter the limits of natural stone countertops, this man-made surface is made out of a combination of quartz chips, polymer resins and pigments then compacted under intense vibration, vacuum and pressure into dense, non-porous slabs making it one of the most hardwearing materials for the kitchen.

Image credit: Silestone

Image credit: Silestone

Properties at a glance:

  • Non-porous
  • A little pricier than other alternatives
  • Low maintenance
  • Man-made
  • Does not require sealing, conditioning or polishing
  • Resistant to bacteria
  • Strong and durable
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Impact-resistant
  • Stain-resistant
  • Heat-resistant
  • Mould and mildew resistant
  • Wide variety of colours and patterns

Solid Surface

Primarily made of acrylic, polyester, epoxy and bauxite, these tops can be formed into almost all shapes and sizes. Though man-made, they have a softer and warmer feel than natural stone.

Image credit: Absolute

Image credit: Absolute

Properties at a glance:

  • Non-porous
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Man-made
  • Does not require sealing or special cleaning
  • Resistant to bacteria
  • Direct heat from hot cookware may discolour the material
  • Strong but susceptible to scratches and burns
  • Scratches and burns can be sanded and buffed out
  • Stain- and mildew-resistant
  • Seamless installation – no cracks to trap dirt and debris
  • Wide variety of colours and designs

Natural Stone

Usually fashioned from raw materials, like marble or granite, natural stone surfaces feature a unique pattern, veining and colour – different from its manufactured and man-made counterparts. And it’s thanks to its distinctive and raw features that natural stone countertops are still one of the industry’s mainstays.

Image credit: Marble & Granite

Image credit: Marble & Granite

Properties at a glance:

  • Porous
  • May be a little more expensive compared to other materials
  • Requires periodic sealing to prevent staining and bacteria growth
  • Less heat-resistant compared to other man-made materials
  • Less chip- and crack-resistant compared to other man-made materials
  • Less stain-resistant compared to other man-made materials
  • Heavier and denser compared to other alternatives
  • Unlike solid surface, seams can be easily seen
  • Unique in colour and patterning
  • Wide selection of natural colours

KompacPlus

Each KompacPanel starts as paper pulp soaked with resins. Multiple layers are then set carefully across each stratum to reinforce the panels. The 6mm-thick panel is them treated under high temperature and pressure, fusing each layer together and thoroughly ensuring that its physical properties are comparable to that of other countertop alternatives.

Image credit: KompacPlus

Image credit: KompacPlus

Properties at a glance:

  • Non-porous
  • Affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Scratch- and dent-proof
  • Designed to resist wear and tear even after years of heavy use
  • High-density
  • Steam-proof
  • Fire-resistant
  • Sleeker and thinner compared to other alternatives
  • Comes in a variety of warm tones
  • Looks like real wood
  • Can be mounted directly on to counter
  • Fully customisable and can be tailored to fit any specifications or size

This was adapted from an article originally published in the December 2016 issue of SquareRooms. 

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