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Granite vs. Silestone?
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posted
We are building a new home and cannot decide between granite or quartz. Any pros or cons to share on either one? We have heard granite may crack, stain, or have other absorbing issues. Please share your thoughts. Thanks.
 
Posts: 7 | Registered: 13 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You have heard propaganda put out by the Engineered Stone lobby. I dont know for sure but I would bet that the ES ads say their product looks just like the real thing. Funny, I have never heard the same comparison made by the stone people towards ES.
If you want a uniform look, then go for the ES. It is quartz, granite, or whatever aggregate, mixed with epoxy, formed into a solid block and sliced like a loaf of bread. There wont be any color variation within the same block. Being that it is 7% epoxy by weight, not volume, there is a lot of epoxy, which is in the plastics family. Some plastic when subjected to heat from a hot pan can deform or melt. This is something the ES people dont talk about.

Granite is not always uniform, it can vary wildly within the the same block of stone so with it you are getting a one of a kind look. Maybe not a good thing if you have a lot of countertop space to cover and you want it to look all the same. Some granites are more uniform in their appearance and some granite slabs dont ever need to be sealed, some do, it depends on the particular stone.
Granite can stand up to high heat. Go to www.stoneadvice.com and look in the photo gallery at the section where the guys are using a flame thrower to heat up the granite slab and cook a steak on it.

I really dont have a dog in this race, I am a tile setter, I dont deal with slabs of any kind at all. If its bigger than 20x20" I dont want to be involved. I do know people in the slab industry and I have been part of discussions about the spread of misinformation, like that being done by the ES industry.

Bottom line, shop for a slab installer FIRST. If you find a good one, they will give you great advice on which you can make an educated decision.
 
Posts: 163 | Location: Ocean Grove, NJ | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks so much for your advice. We actually chose Granite today for our kitchen counters. I think we will be happy.
 
Posts: 7 | Registered: 13 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I do not mean to confuse things by adding another material but have you tried looking at soapstone it is more durable than either granite or quartz and does not stain as badly. Look into it. I can give you a contact if you would like.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 20 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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hi archdesigner. looks like zalex has made their choice - bet it's going to be great!
however, you mentioned a contact for soapstone - if you wouldn't mind passing it on, i would sure appreciate it.
thanks
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 21 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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what's the difference in having concerete counters installed? still think soapstone over granite? where can it be gotten in NW Fla? pensacola area? thanks. know any installers & what cost should run?


hi, was wondering if might have contact of who installs or sells soapstone in NW Fla/Pensacola area?
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Fla | Registered: 21 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have had Black Galaxy granite in 2 home kitchens. Compare 2 black samples--say the Galaxy and a comparable quartz or silestone--and you should see which has depth and life to it! The Galaxy is also a perfect foil to today's black or black and steel appliances.
Yes, you need to keep it sealed once or twice a year for responsible ownership! We have never had a problem with care issues, however. Just a quick wipe and you are all set. And were we not taught in kindergarden to use hotpads? In comparing price versus quality, the granite has been worth the slight difference in cost.
Make sure you have a good installer. My most recent re-do, the first contractor told me my L-shaped counter needed to be cut in two pieces. May have been logical advice for a larger countertop, but not for my size. You want as few seams {or none} as possible.
Have fun!
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 21 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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zalex, I had the same problem last year. We went with Quartz because of the porous nature of real granite. You must treat it once or twice a year to keep the shine. Using Granite for cutting meat it not recommended but Quartz doesn't care.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 21 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by zalex:
We are building a new home and cannot decide between granite or quartz. Any pros or cons to share on either one? We have heard granite may crack, stain, or have other absorbing issues. Please share your thoughts. Thanks.


We have installed Silestone counters and backsplash in our kitchen and we love them. We selected this product over granite, even though it is slightly more expensive, because it does not require sealing and is virtually impervious to heat (scorching). We are delighted with it. It is easy to clean and it always looks good.

Patty D
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 26 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mark
I really enjoyed your stoneadvice photo gallery. Quite a show! I only hope our stone guys in Ohio do as nice a job as your guys.
Thanks.
 
Posts: 7 | Registered: 13 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you were making a choice by function and cost you could include quartz with any other engineered material in your search for a countertop. However when you are comparing these products to granite and you're including the variables of taste and feeling remember what Mark Twain wrote about finding the right word when crafting a sentence. "The difference between using just any word and finding the one that makes the sentence just right is the difference between lightning and a lightening bug".
Engineered surfaces have proven qualities in the right circumstances where function rules and may even be compared aesthetically to homogenous patterns of widely available granite but when you're relaxing with a newspaper and coffee at your countertop and your eye drifts to catch that ancient vein or subtlety of color you'll appreciate choosing one of the more elusive granites for such a personal location.
 
Posts: 15 | Registered: 03 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well said...can I qoute you?
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: 27 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mr. Lauzon,
Are you talkin'to me?
Neighbor.
 
Posts: 15 | Registered: 03 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes Sir! Wink
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: 27 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sure, be my guest. But remember to quote Twain.
By the way, we selected granite and every day we realize the genuine measure of its natural beauty over a homogenous product. Though there are valued, more utilitarian uses for the latter.

By the way, I visited your website and enjoyed the demonstrations. You really are a passionate student of the craft. Great work and keep up the enthusiasm.
 
Posts: 15 | Registered: 03 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(sorry, I know this is bringing up an old thread...but I wanted to make a comment)

Neighbor, I am sure you know what you are talking about, you are a pro, and I am only a homeowner....however I have had the exact opposite experiences as what you described above.

I have set down a frypan that had a grease flair up down on silestone (Starry Night) with no damage....but in my other kitchen, where I had Granite (Black Galaxy...approx 2 years old) I have a mosaic of oil stains around my stove and on my baking island (prep area where oils are more likely to be used).

Granted, I have only had the silestone for about 16 months....but after setting down the pan from the grease fire, I am totally sold on Silestone. It was on the counter for at least 10-15 minutes.

Of course, I usually use some type of heat deflecting pad....but that case was, as you can probably guess, an emergency situation. And I have caught my son, on occassion setting down a cookie sheet unprotected with no ill effect.

I guess every situation is different, and probably different companies use different compounds...but for ease of care, I have no remorse over picking the Silestone.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 10 January 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do you want to be an individual or part of the crowd? I'll take my granite and all of the little variations in it that no one else has and seal it.
dma
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Sunny South | Registered: 04 February 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tigz, you probably are replying to Mark Lauzon who is a pro in this field. I wrote an note about the sheer essence of granite and M. Lausen asked to use the copy. I don't know if he ever indulged but I say again that he's welcome to the phrasing. Hope you were satisfied with the results of your experiment. By the way tileguybob posted a directive on the recent message board under GRANITE STAINS.
 
Posts: 15 | Registered: 03 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Neighbor,
Mark will be leading a seminar at the Stone Expo in Atlanta later this month. Maybe he is saving the quote for the grand finale Big Grin Anyway, you were right on in your assessment of the aesthetic value of granite. Good job. Wink
 
Posts: 163 | Location: Ocean Grove, NJ | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just wanted to send out a warning regarding Silestone. My wife and I spent over $6,000 to put in Silestone countertops. Within 2 weeks, the started chipping with even the slightest tap of a plate. My supplier and fabricator came out, but Silestone didn't want to hear about any of this, and after viewing the photos I took, said we were abusing the countertop. We were not abusing the countertops, and within the 8 months it took to resolve the problem (by switching to Caesarstone) we had over 30 chips and a slight crack to the surface.

In a nut shell, Silestone will not stand behind it's product. Good luck dealing with Alejandro or Lashandra at Cosentino in Texas.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 17 October 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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