You are not logged in. [Log In]


Forums » General Discussion » The Water Cooler » Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#409786 - 01/26/15 03:10 PM Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
Looking for opinions. Axiom folk are always good for voicing thoughts.

Is the extra cost of buying Silestone, Caesarstone or Cambria Quartz worthwhile compared to real granite for a countertop?

http://www.cambriacanada.com/en/Advantages/performance-benefits/

The only major difference i can see that would draw me towards the more expensive 'manufactured' materials is they don't need to be re-sealed every so often. However, with a highly polished surface, and the use of soap, i'm not concerned about the harboring of bacteria more so than the potential for stains. That is far more a marketing ploy than a reality that anyone got sick from using stone countertops.

I'm hoping for real world opinions from those who have owned granite countertops for awhile.
Any issues with sealing or not sealing?
Stains ever a problem?


Edited by chesseroo (01/26/15 03:10 PM)
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

Top
#409790 - 01/26/15 03:52 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
The lab benches where I work use a dull gray silestone with a matte finish. I've seen many a desk with coffee ring stains.
_________________________
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

Top
#409799 - 01/26/15 08:33 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: pmbuko]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: pmbuko
The lab benches where I work use a dull gray silestone with a matte finish. I've seen many a desk with coffee ring stains.

Well that is interesting.
Are you sure they are stains or just someone being sloppy and lazy?
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

Top
#409800 - 01/26/15 11:52 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
We put in Caesarstone 'Quartz' in our kitchen & 3 bathrooms over the past couple of years. We did a full back splash ($$$!) in the kitchen with it as well. Ours was a new colour 2 years ago called '4255 Creme Brulee' & we were the first to have it done locally. It is a light cream colour with slight mottling that goes well with our new real Natural Cherry Cabinets. It is not too busy as many of the designs are & lighter colours like ours don't show kitchen 'dirt' & 'water marks' like dark colours seem to. The finish is slightly shiny but not satin. See 3 pics of it here, although it looks more dramatic & classy in real life:

http://www.caesarstone.ca/en/The-Catalog/Pages/4255%20Creme%20Brule.aspx

Absolutely no issues of any kind - so far. Like all of those types of counter top materials, they don't come cheap & we bought a ton of it. Amazingly, the few seams that there are are virtually invisible. Most people would never see them in our installation...

TAM

Top
#409811 - 01/27/15 10:09 AM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
I wouldn't expect alot of issues really from either granite or the 'quartz' countertops unless a person left some liquid sitting for a prolonged period (much like the coffee rings that Peter described). However, knowing that granite could be perfectly fine even unsealed and is $15/sq ft cheaper, and is a natural material, is very tempting.

I came across what seems to be one of the few unbiased reports on granite counters. After reading through to the end, it seems i would have to convince the granite supplier to give me a chunk of the selected material for testing before i would make a decision.
http://www.forresidentialpros.com/article/10348240/a-look-at-the-most-common-myths-about-granite
After all, i do love chemistry...

Incidentally, we are looking at the Caesarstone Atlantic Salt as our leading choice at the moment, unless we go with granite.
http://www.caesarstone.ca/en/The-Catalog/Pages/6270%20Atlantic%20Salt.aspx
$90-95 /sq ft installed



Edited by chesseroo (01/27/15 10:11 AM)
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

Top
#409815 - 01/27/15 12:53 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
My wife watches Holmes the renovator guy on HG TV. She said that he recommends quartz for durability so that's the way that we went.

We have never had a stain nor a scratch or blemish in over 2 years - it is really tough whereas granite is more prone to damage, or so I've heard.

Nice colour you've picked - it will hide crumbs, etc, well. If you look at the backsplash in their gallery pics, ours goes right up to the bottom of the cabinets & right up to the ceiling behind our stove where the vent hangs. I believe that it was 1 thickness less than the counter top but not the thinnest due to fragility problems of moving big pieces during the transport & install process...

TAM

Top
#409816 - 01/27/15 01:04 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
My counter tops are granite. Black, with big flakes of mica. I also have an area that is stainless steel (which is why I picked the slab with mica flakes in it). I guess it’s been 14 years or thereabouts since I built the place. Damn, time has slipped on by….

I really don’t know what folks are yacking about when they mention that granite needs to be resealed. When was it sealed in the first place? It was polished at the processing facility, but sealed?? I have used a variety of cleaners / polishes, and even one that was called…..wait for it…. SEALER! Well of them pretty much suck. They leave milky residue, or make it look dull, or are just snake oil. What I have found that works best, is a 50/50 blend of tap water and vinegar. Cleans it and leaves a very nice shine. I rarely do that however, cause it’s a PITA. So, I use a “granite cleaner” made by DuPont. Works OK, leaves a nice shine, and it claims to be a sealer as well. But with respect to “sealer”, phooey, hogwash, blah.

It has held up nicely. I have one area that does have some very fine scratches and that’s my fault. I don’t remember how I put them there, but I think alcohol was involved….

Just remember, granite is a shiny polished rock. It’s hard, but you can chip or fracture it if you are being stupid. I don’t know how in the world you could ever stain it.

If you do go with granite, it needs to be supported with a pretty stout sheet of plywood over the cabinets. You do not want the support to flex, even if you are walking on it (and that can happen).

I think I might play around with concrete next time. I’ve seen some pretty attractive counters lately made with concrete. I’m also going to have a food prep area that will be an end grain wood/butcher block construction, with a hole in it that dumps to a compose type collection bin. I saw this on a cooking show, Michael Simmons’s Supers. Way cool. Not sure if you can find that show on youtube or not, but it is worth a look.
_________________________


Top
#409817 - 01/27/15 01:05 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: exlabdriver]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: exlabdriver
My wife watches Holmes the renovator guy on HG TV. She said that he recommends quartz for durability so that's the way that we went.

We have never had a stain nor a scratch or blemish in over 2 years - it is really tough whereas granite is more prone to damage, or so I've heard.

This is where i try to eliminate what people have heard vs. what they've experienced. More often than not, you will hear about the problems and complaints more than the good.
Granite is extremely hard material but like any stone, it may have a run which could crack under stress. If hit with a steel pot, yes it could chip again depending on whether that spot has a weak run. But, how often does this really happen?
That is the basis for my question re: granite.
It should be noted that even the 'quartz' counters can take damage from such an incident.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

Top
#409818 - 01/27/15 01:19 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: michael_d

I really don’t know what folks are yacking about when they mention that granite needs to be resealed. When was it sealed in the first place? It was polished at the processing facility, but sealed?? I have used a variety of cleaners / polishes, and even one that was called…..wait for it…. SEALER! Well of them pretty much suck. They leave milky residue, or make it look dull, or are just snake oil. What I have found that works best, is a 50/50 blend of tap water and vinegar. Cleans it and leaves a very nice shine. I rarely do that however, cause it’s a PITA. So, I use a “granite cleaner” made by DuPont. Works OK, leaves a nice shine, and it claims to be a sealer as well. But with respect to “sealer”, phooey, hogwash, blah.

All stone is porous. When polished, there are still micro sized holes in between the mineral crystals that if linked, could even go down all the way through the stone. Every piece of stone is different (e.g. the end of a granite run vs the middle of that same mineral vein) and every type of stone is different (e.g. marble vs granite vs limestone).
Composition is a huge factor in the resilience of a stone counter. Some which have higher quantities of say calcium, will be more likely to be affected by acid etching (e.g. leaving lemon juice on the counter for some period before wiping up).
Just google some images of "granite stains" and you will the most common have to do with grease and acid etch (i think the wine stain appear over exaggerated).
The idea of a sealer is to fill in those micro holes but as i've read, some stone counters don't need it at all.

Quote:
It has held up nicely. I have one area that does have some very fine scratches and that’s my fault. I don’t remember how I put them there, but I think alcohol was involved….

And this will happen with any counter. I've seen scratches on everything from stone to Corian and quartz. Nothing is impervious.

Quote:
Just remember, granite is a shiny polished rock. It’s hard, but you can chip or fracture it if you are being stupid. I don’t know how in the world you could ever stain it.

A dark counter such as yours may also hide some stains. It is possible you have something but just cannot see it.

Quote:
If you do go with granite, it needs to be supported with a pretty stout sheet of plywood over the cabinets. You do not want the support to flex, even if you are walking on it (and that can happen).

I won't be installing it and with any counter we get, i'll be sure to have a warranty on it longer than one or two years or i won't bother with that company.

Quote:

I think I might play around with concrete next time. I’ve seen some pretty attractive counters lately made with concrete. I’m also going to have a food prep area that will be an end grain wood/butcher block construction, with a hole in it that dumps to a compose type collection bin.

Concrete is also something we considered and that DOES need to be sealed! Concrete is actually quite a highly reactive material but it does make for some interesting counters.
Very expensive though; far more than quartz the last i checked.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

Top
#409824 - 01/27/15 03:10 PM Re: Real granite vs. manufactured "quartz" countertops [Re: chesseroo]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
Our kitchen 'island' has a single slab measuring 73" X 39" with a 12" overhang to accommodate a couple of high bar chairs. Instead of using 'L' braces to support the overhang, they installed 3 heavy steel plates into 3 slots that were routered into the top of the cabinet work. Completely invisible & strong.

We have friends that had concrete counter tops in their 'mansion' because they were all the rage about a decade ago.

We didn't like the looks of it at all - looked to me like a DIY job to me. It didn't prove to be durable either. Unless concrete installations are better today, I would never go that way...

TAM

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 
Forum Stats

15,280 Registered Members
16 Forums
24,088 Topics
425,364 Posts

Most users ever online:
883 @ 03/04/17 05:06 PM

Top Posters
Ken.C 18044
pmbuko 16437
SirQuack 13579
CV 11709
MarkSJohnson 11444
0 registered ()
176 Guests and
2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newsletter Signup