Silestone Vs Granite
The Choice Between Silestone vs Granite
The choice between Silestone and granite for a counter top is between two very excellent surfaces. Granite is of course well known and usually the counter top of choice in upscale homes. That is not to say that a more modest home won't feature granite counter tops, but granite is and will always be an expensive choice.
An Engineered Stone - So where does Silestone come in, and for that matter what is Silestone? If you see Silestone advertised or discussed there will often be a copyright symbol next to the name, as Silestone is not a naturally occurring stone but is what is called an engineered stone. In other words it is a man-made stone. Silestone is 93% quartz, crushed quartz to be exact, with the remaining materials consisting primarily of binding polymers. Granite contains a high percentage of quartz as well, so the two materials aren't completely different, though more than one might think.
The Big Three - A meaningful discussion of Silestone vs granite shouldn't totally neglect Corian. Corian is another manufactured counter top finish and is a great favorite with many homeowners and with contractors as well. Corian counter tops are usually exceptionally beautiful and the material is easier to work with than granite, plus Corian is less expensive. The great disadvantage of Corian vs Silestone vs granite, is that Corian scratches easily whereas the other two materials do not, and one cannot place a hot pot on Corian without damaging it (it melts). Hot pots can be placed on granite and on Silestone, although it isn't recommended as standard practice.
Back to Silestone vs granite. The main disadvantage of Silestone is that the beautiful patterns found in natural granite cannot be duplicated in Silestone, and it is these patterns, together with the expensive look they impart, that makes granite so popular. On the other side of the coin, if you want a bright red, or bright yellow counter top, or one with a variety of colors, granite won't do the trick, and Silestone would be the choice.
The biggest drawback to a granite counter top is that it has to be periodically resealed, almost annually. While granite appears very solid, it is a somewhat porous material, and if not periodically sealed, can become a home to bacteria, plus can be easily stained. Silestone on the other hand has a surface that is much less porous and does not require resealing.
Silestone Is Less Expensive, But Granite Is Real - As far as cost is concerned, Silestone has an edge here. Neither counter top material could be considered inexpensive, but Silestone is less expensive than the entry grade of granite. In side by side comparisons of Silestone vs granite, Silestone seems to hold an edge in several areas. Aside form cost considerations, whether Silestone, granite, or Corian is chosen often depends on the look of the material. While granite gives one few choices as far as color is concerned, but many choices as far as different and stunningly attractive patterns are concerned, the other two materials, try as they might, simply do not look like natural stone, and when a homeowner wants a natural stone counter top, only granite will do.
Summary – A comparison of Silestone vs granite gives Silestone the edge in terms of maintenance, cost, and the fact it has a less porous surface, while granite takes the cake as far as sheer beauty is concerned. Corian is a popular alternative, but is not as rugged and durable as is either Silestone or granite. When it gets right down to it, the average homeowner is going to choose what looks best, while still being affordable, so the door remains wide open in that respect.