How does a Granite Benchtop Compare to Other Stone Work Surfaces?

Many homeowners now prefer the look of natural stone for their work surfaces as they offer unique colours and patterns. Granite is one of the most popular Benchtop materials on the market but here are a few differences between Granite and other materials available to assist you in your choosing.

 What is the difference between Granite and Quartzite?

Appearance
As with any material, the visual differences between granite and quartzites are a matter of taste. Some people prefer the natural and unique look of granite while others like the wider variety of colours and patterns or uniformity that quartz has to offer.

Durability
It is said that Granite is the most durable natural Benchtop option available and is known for resisting cracks and chips. Quartzite, is a harder material, so is a bit higher on the hardness scale and slightly more resistant to damage

Maintenance and repairs
When annual resealing is carried out, granite and Quartzites offers excellent stain resistance. Small scratches in granite & Quartzites can be filled in with colour-matching epoxy or resin but it is suggested that you use professionals to repair large cracks or damage from heavy objects. Quartz is nonporous and repels red wine, coffee and oils without sealing. Damaged quartz is harder to repair and should always be done by a professional installer. 

Installation and price
Both granite and quartzites should be installed by professionals as they are extremely heavy and difficult to handle. Also, cutting holes for the sink or hob is no easy task.

The price of granite vs quartz
Granite prices have started to reduce making the price of Quartzite usually dearer in pricing depending on colours chosen.

What is the difference between Granite and Marble?

Appearance
The aesthetic differences between granite and marble are a matter of taste, some people prefer the natural look of granite, which comes in a wide range of colours and patterns. Others like the elegance and veining of marble, which is easily recognisable and most commonly available in blacks or whites.

Durability
Granite is often cited as the most durable natural Benchtop material available and is known for resisting cracks and chips. Hot pans can be placed directly on the benchtops, you can cut on the surface without knife damage, and granite is resistant to stains and spills. Marble is much more porous and will stain a lot easier and more prone to scratching.

Maintenance and repairs 
With proper annual resealing, granite is very resistant to stains, well used kitchens should be sealed as often as 6 monthly (light colours) to offer the maximum life and prolong the stunning looks. Minor scratches or cracks in granite can be filled in with colour matching epoxy or resin from the local Hardware store, but professionals should repair large cracks. Minor damage to marble can be repaired similarly to granite, but bigger problems also require professional help.

The price of Granite vs Marble
Both granite and marble should be installed by a professional as they are extremely heavy and difficult to handle. Granite prices have started to go down, making it quite a bit more equal with marble pricing dependant on colours.
 

Engineered Stone vs Granite

Granite is a popular choice for high end projects that require both durability and style. It is a type of natural stone that is formed when molten rock is forced between other layers beneath the crust of the earth. A variety of natural minerals such as quartz, tourmaline, topaz, garnet, and titanite give granite its unique crystalline appearance.

Engineered stone, on the other hand, is exactly that, engineered. It is manufactured in a facility and is comprised of about 94 percent natural stone (usually quartz) and 6 percent resin. Natural stone crystals are ground down, blended together and heated to create a solid surface.

Flaws and Consistency

Because it is created naturally, granite may include flaws and irregularities. Each piece of granite is a unique slice of nature, so slabs may vary in colour and pattern. If you want your Benchtops to be unique piece then definitely granite is the choice for you.

If you’re looking for perfect consistency then engineered stone could be an option for you.

Engineered stone slabs can be designed and replicated to achieve the same look throughout, but, because they have a uniform appearance, they may lack the unique colour and pattern variations that granite offers.

Strength and Durability

Both granite and engineered stone are high quality, very durable and relatively easy to maintain. Engineered stone is harder and Lighter than granite and almost impossible to chip or fracture but this can happen if anything big or weighty fall on it incorrectly. Because of the natural divots and fissures in granite benchtops, they can crack, chip or stain, but if they are sealed correctly and annually you shouldn’t have any problems at all.

Maintenance and repairs

Both engineered stone and granites are easy to clean. Just wipe spills with a damp cloth and soapy water as soon as you can to avoid stains. Granite tends to be more porous and can stain if you don’t regularly seal it, especially if acids or oils are involved, wipe them as soon as possible to prevent this from happening. Engineered stone is completely nonporous, so it’s very resistant to staining but if a stain does happen, watered down Jif or other cream cleaner is all that is normally required to remove the stains (i.e. red wine, curry powder, etc.)