Granite vs Quartz vs Corian Worktops – What’s Best For Your Kitchen?
There is plenty to be said for a kitchen installation that features worktops made from granite, quartz or Corian. So long as you are happy with your choice, there is no single one that you could pick out as ‘the best’. What does come into play, however, is the fact that there are differences between the three materials, each offering certain pros and cons.
For example, granite is an entirely natural stone whereas quartz worktops are made from naturally occurring quartz mixed with resin to form a stable surface. There again, Corian is entirely man made. In fact, it is a brand name rather than a material itself.
As such, it is probably best not to compare granite to quartz and quartz to Corian and so on directly. Rather, you should consider the main aspects you will want out of a new kitchen worktop. In the main, this usually comes down to three factors: appearance, cost and maintenance. Once you know how each of these materials stacks up with respect to these attributes, you will be able to make an informed choice. Let’s look at each in turn.
To begin with, quartz has a very uniform appearance. Despite being made from mostly natural materials, it is polished and engineered in such a way that the appearance often looks designed rather than random. Some people like this because there will be a closer fit with the rest of the kitchen’s interior design. It is why quartz is often preferred in bathrooms, too.
As a completely natural stone, granite comes with all the colour changes and movement you would expect. Each granite worktop is as unique as a freshly sawn plank with all of the texture of its grain running throughout it. Granite comes in many different colours, too. Corian is even more uniform in its look than quartz but it offers less shininess. It is a good option if you don’t want highly reflective surfaces, perhaps because your kitchen is situated under a lantern roof.
Buyers should note that the cost of granite varies dramatically. Some stones are more sought after, making them more expensive. There again, thicker worktops will be dearer simply because they contain more material. Generally speaking, granite is an expensive option because it needs to be quarried.
By comparison Corian is much cheaper. As it is only two-thirds natural materials, the manufacturing costs of producing it are much lower. Quartz is an engineered stone. Consequently, it will have the highest price tag of the three worktop options because it requires a lot of working before it can be sold as worktops. That said, the extra cost of quartz is often spread over a longer life so it still offers good value for money
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Finally, Corian often wins out on maintenance because it is already non-porous. This means no sealing. To keep it looking good, you just need to wipe it over with soapy water. It can be scratched, however, and Corian also suffers if it is exposed to temperatures over 100°C.
Granite is porous so you need to seal it every few years which puts some buyers off. The small holes it has can harbour microbes, so you need to disinfect it regularly, too. Quartz worktops are harder than granite. No sealing or reconditioning is needed with them. Sudden temperature changes can affect it but other than that, quartz is likely to keep looking good for decades after it was first fitted.