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.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Granite Benchtops for your Kitchen
The main draw of granite is definitely its aesthetic qualities. The beauty of granite is difficult to match on account of its natural and timeless aura.
Granite can take even an already luxurious kitchen or bathroom to a higher level, and visually speaking a granite benchtop will normally become the centerpiece of an entire room.
Granite is also very versatile and can match up with just about any pre-existing decor on account of it being available in a number of different shades.
On top of its appearance, granite is also virtually scratch resistant on account of its hardness. Although it is not recommended to cut food directly on your granite benchtops, honestly we would be more worried about the knife than about the benchtop!
Granite is also extremely heat resistant, so putting a hot pot or pan down onto it in your kitchen, or something like a hair iron in your bathroom, is not going to cause any problems.
Finally, granite benchtops, so long as they have been sealed properly, are also highly stain resistant and will not absorb any spilled food or liquids even if you don't clean them up immediately. It is recommended to get a professional to seal your granite in order to make sure it's done effectively while still maintaining the granite's good looks.
Despite the abundance of advantages above, granite benchtops are not flawless or without negative aspects altogether. The problems associated with granite benchtops, however, are primarily associated with their not being sealed properly, or with their seals wearing off due to not being resealed often enough.
Granite itself, without being sealed, is a porous material and will absorb spills like wine, oil, or juice, and if spills or even splashes of these things aren't wiped up immediately they can lead to permanent stains on your benchtops.
Poorly sealed granite benchtops can also gradually build up bacteria in its pores.
Although some kinds of treated granite can last up to ten years on one sealing, most ordinary granite benchtops should be resealed once per year. If this resealing is overlooked, granite can begin to show signs of staining surprisingly quickly.
Another issue with granite is that it is susceptible to chipping or cracking if a very heavy object is dropped on or crashed into one of its corners. This is not a common issue, as it will require quite a lot of weight or force to make a chip or crack, but it can happen.
Finally, another significant downside to granite benchtops is that they can be rather expensive.
If, on the one hand, you are diligent about maintaining your property and will be likely to have your benchtops resealed regularly as well as to clean up kitchen spills immediately, then granite is definitely a material for you to consider for your benchtops on account of all the advantages outlined above.
If, however, you have a busy lifestyle or are depending on other people like kids or tenants to be diligent and careful about maintaining your benchtops, then you are likely better off opting for an absolutely no-maintenance, albeit less beautiful, alternative (among which there are also a variety of great options).