Both the similarly named quartz and quartzite are popular materials for kitchen and bathroom benchtops, however they are not the same material and are different with respect to their cost, required maintenance, longevity, and appearance. The following guide will outline the main differences between these two materials.
Granite Bathroom Benchtops: The Pros and Cons
Popular material for bathroom benchtops
Because of its versatility (it seems to fit just perfectly no matter what kind of decor you pair it with) granite has become a very popular material for bathroom benchtops today.
Granite is actually produced by volcanoes, and the rock is then quarried from the mountains before being cut, shaped, and, optionally, stained before being brought to your door.
Despite being a completely natural product dug directly from the earth, you will be surprised at just how tailor-made for your home the finished product will look once installed.
The advantages of granite far outweigh the disadvantages.
Provided that it has been sealed properly, a granite benchtop is virtually impervious to harm and cannot be scratched, stained, won't absorb any water or bathroom products, are totally heat resistant, and will last essentially forever (so long as they are resealed about once per year).
Although the raw granite itself is very beautiful and versatile, they can be tinted just about any colour if you have a specific colour scheme in mind for your bathroom.
Where money and your living space allow for it, a single solid slab of granite will make for a beautiful benchtop; however, in cases where it is too difficult to transport the slab (say, for an upstairs bathroom), granite for benchtops is also available in tiles which make for much easier transportation (albeit a more time-consuming installation).
Another plus side to granite is that since it's pulled straight from the earth, the patterns of each stone are completely unique. And in the event that the benchtop is ever removed, disposing of it will not have any negative impact on the environment since it is completely natural.
Nevertheless, there are still some downsides to granite.
For one, granite benchtops, especially the single slab variety, are very, very heavy.
This not only makes transportation more difficult and expensive, it also makes them challenging and dangerous to install. You need to make sure that the cabinets beneath your benchtops as well as your floors are study enough to hold up all the weight, or you could be in trouble.
Also if you don't have enough people to carry the slab then you can very easily end up with damage to your walls, floors, or to human bodies while moving it through your home.
Another significant downside is that it needs to be sealed regularly in order to remain impervious to damage.
Granite alone is porous and will absorb spills if it is not sealed probably, and one sealing is not permanent (typically about once per year granite benchtops need to be resealed).
If the above pros outweigh the cons for you, please make sure you are well prepared with the right tools and enough helpers to make sure you get a smooth and safe DIY installation.
Also please ensure that you have the space to maneuver, and that your floors and cabinets will be able to take the weight. If you are not especially handy and think you might not be up to the task of installing or sealing your granite benchtop properly, it will likely be best to hire some professionals so that your investment into the beauty of your bathroom won't be compromised by any mess-ups.