Countertops made of engineered stone are composed of 93% quartz particles. Engineered stone offers a wider range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. Engineered stone is not as popular as granite and is often confused for granite but the regular consistency of the patterning gives it away as being man-made. In fact, engineered stone has all the benefits of granite but is easier to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. It is more expensive than granite or stone. Engineered stone brands include Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera and Cambria Quartz.
Granite countertop exudes elegance in a kitchen and as the use of it becomes more widespread, prices have come down. Stone upgrades even the most modest kitchen. It holds up to heat and comes in a range of colors. It is substantial and will last a lifetime. It can have a mat finish as "honed" or a shiny polished finish. New sealers are almost maintenance-free but granite can require some periodic sealing and some stones, particularly marble, can absorb stains despite being properly sealed. Granite has the second highest hardness rating after diamonds but any stone can crack if it is stressed in transport or installed improperly. Stone offers a high value to home buyers and, particularly, granite kitchen countertops are elegant and timeless.
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