Natural Stone, or Engineered Stone—Which Is Best for Your Wallingford Kitchen?

Posted by Bob Wiedenmann

Natural-Stone-or-Engineered-Stone-Which-Is-Best-for-Your-Wallingford-Kitchen.jpegWhether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing home in the Wallingford area, the kitchen is undoubtedly one of the rooms you pay special attention to. And one of the biggest components in your kitchen has to be your countertops.

Not only will your countertops significantly impact the way your kitchen looks (which makes coordinating your countertop materials with your cabinets and floors important), but they also play a huge role in how your kitchen functions and feels.

For years granite countertops have ruled the roost in the kitchen. They’ve (understandably)been a standard for elegance and durability. And for a long time, any kind of engineered stone was regarded as a step down.

With today’s engineered products, that’s no longer the case. Quality engineered stone products that are on the market today are both beautiful and durable. So which option is the best for your Wallingford kitchen? Let’s take a look at both options.

Natural

Granite is made up of a variety of natural minerals that include garnet, quartz, titanite, topaz, and tourmaline. It’s that combination of minerals that help give granite the beautiful look builders, designers, and homeowners love. And because it’s a naturally occurring combination, no two slabs of granite will ever look exactly alike. Some people find the uniqueness and unpredictability of the patterns absolutely captivating. The unpredictability can sometimes cause difficulty. It’s rare that the sample you see will be a perfect match for the final slab of granite that’s installed. For some people that’s an issue and others don’t mind it at all.

Engineered

Engineered stone, on the other hand, while comprised of approximately 95 percent natural stone (generally quartz) and 5 percent resin,is manufactured.The natural stone crystals are ground together and then heated to create a solid surface. That gives it a consistency that doesn’t occur in natural stone. Some people prefer that consistent look. That consistency can also make it much easier to match colors (or coordinate with your cabinet materials).

When it comes to wear-and-tear, both surfaces are extremely durable. That natural flaws and irregularities that give granite its beautiful and unique appearance also make it somewhat more susceptible to breakage, while engineered stone—beingsomewhat harder and heavier than granite—isvery resistant to chipping or fracturing. Both are very robust surfaces, however, and with proper sealing after it is installed you generally won’t have an issue with granite.

As far as maintenance, both surfaces can be cleaned with mild cleaners and a damp cloth. With granite it is important to stay on top of spills (especially with things such as red wine) because the more porous nature of the natural stone makes it more subject to staining. Of course, bi-annual sealing helps with that. Because engineered stone is less porous, it is also less likely to grow bacteria than granite.

If you’re curious about cost, there is not a huge discrepancy in pricing. That, of course can vary if you’re insistent on a higher level of granite. Both do well in holding their value for resale, although granite may have a slight edge in that category.

Which is right for your Wallingford kitchen? Both are fantastic choices. It will probably come down to an aesthetic choice for you. But take your time—with their durability, you’ll be living with your decision a long time!

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Tags: Kitchen Remodeling, Building a Custom Home

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