Granite is an igneous rock formed from molten magma which over time has cooled. Many minerals can be found in granite such as: crystal quartz, feldspar, and mica. The product is very hard, scratch resistant and very durable. Granite can be found all over the world; Canada, Italy, South Africa, India and New Zealand. The look of granite can range from calm smooth to vibrantly wild. To properly care for granite it does require annual sealing to maintain the finish and protect the stone from staining, though this process takes little time and is well worth the effort. There is also an option when you purchase the stone to add on a 15 year residential water-based stain protection if you are looking for less maintenance! Granite ranges in pricing, though we do offer a 12 pack program which is a better deal.
Quartz is a natural stone surface that is composed of 93% natural quartz crystal stone and 7% pigments and epoxy resin. This stone is very strong, durable and maintenance free. Because this stone is a sealed, non-porous surface there is no annual sealing required and will resist stains. The manufacturing process also allows a much more uniform look to the stone, though they have now come out with designs that allows for movement within the stone as well.
Marble is composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals like calcite or dolomite. Marble is best known for the beauty of its veiling and swirls. These appear because of clay, silt, sand, and iron oxides that get added during the transformation from limestone to marble. It is a very soft stone which is porous. This results in a stone which etches and stains easier than granite so careful consideration must be given to the application of this stone as a counter top.
Laminate is made of paper blended with resin and attached to particle board. Recent designs are very close to mimicking the look of natural stone counter tops for a cost effective solution for a new kitchen. Laminates surfaces are available from very smooth to textured depending on the desired effect. Laminate counter tops are stain resistant and most stains can be easily removed by soap and water. While laminate is a very affordable option it is prone to scratching and burns so appropriate care still needs to be taken. With wear and moisture, seams can become a weak point and is also difficult to repair if it gets damaged.
Many home owners like butcher block’s warm, natural appearance and variegated wood tones. Being wood, knives scratch the surface easily. This can give the appearance of a shop worn look which many people appreciate, but these scratches can also be sanded down to remove them. Wood swells and contracts with moisture and butcher block counter tops are no different. It also harbours bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting to care for this product safely. For regular maintenance oiling is a must to fill in scratches and further protect the surface.