Installing a kitchen is a long and difficult process, but getting the dream kitchen you have always wanted as an end result is definitely worth the effort and expense. Everything with a kitchen needs to be carefully considered to ensure that it fits well, is functional and attractive and one of the key aesthetic and design decisions is what countertops to install. Everyone will have their own opinions when it comes to style and colour, but the material that your chosen Countertop is made from is something that can be debated.
The general choices are seen as between laminated, solid wood or stone and all three of these options have their benefits and drawbacks, however, there is another option – engineered stone. Engineered stone is a manufactured stone product that is predominantly made from quartz (usually around 94%) and it is compressed into perfect slabs ready to be cut into whatever shape is required. This comes with a lot of benefits that should make engineered stone definitely and option worth considering.
Engineered stone, as previously mentioned, is constructed primarily of quartz; and quartz is an incredibly durable and hard wearing material that is actually a crystal. As such, the crystal lattice nature of the quartz means that that can take a lot of punishment and remain unscathed, providing a brilliant countertop material.
Natural stone countertops are only really resistant to stains from fluids and other sources because they have been treated with a sealant after they have been shaped. Once this sealant is scratched or begins to age and wear off, the stone surface is susceptible to staining from a wide variety of things given stones porous nature. Engineered stone does not have this weakness as it is naturally very resistant to staining as the quartz is largely impervious to penetration in the way that natural stone is.
Easy to maintain
The previously mentioned porousness of natural stone is perhaps one if its biggest drawbacks. If fluids get to the actual stone beneath the sealant then they will start working their way down into the stone and this can lead to a buildup of bacteria within the countertop. This can be especially hazardous to the health of anyone eating food prepared on these surfaces as if raw meat juices are allowed to permeate into the stone, the bacteria that can form from these can be very dangerous. Engineered stone doesn’t allow anything to get under its surface and will remain beautifully smooth and can simply be wiped clean without having to worry about what’s beneath the surface.
Given that it is a manufactured product, it is possible to customise engineered stone to produce almost any colour, texture, tone or pattern. This means that it can be designed to fit almost any kitchen and fit in with the decorum without any issues, providing excellent flexibility for the designers and installers. So, whilst it might not be to everyone’s tastes, it can be argued that these benefits do mean that engineered stone can rank among the best countertops on the market.