Advantages and Disadvantages

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What are some of the advantages and disadvantages between laminate, granite and quartz?

Written by: Lorna Glasser owner of Bevelled Edge, a Regina, Saskatchewan countertop business who specializes in granitelaminatequartz countertops,sinks, tapstiles and cabinet refacing to Regina, Saskatchewan and surrounding area. Here she writes about advantages and disadvantages between laminate, granite and quartz.

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Solid Surface Countertops
A synthetic surface. It is made of non-porous acrylic polymer. The compressed molecular makeup makes the product sealed and sanitary. The slabs of material are ½” thick with colour and particulates consistent throughout. Some well known brand names are: Staron, Gibralter, Meganite, Avonite, Corian.

Key traits that make this material a great choice:

  • Longevity
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Invisible seams
  • Integrated sinks

The look is satiny smooth. The feel is softer and warmer than stone. The material can be carved and thermofoiled in order to form and shape it.

Surface damage can usually be repaired with scrubbing or light sanding. More severe damage requires professional repair.

Proper care includes:

  • Gentle non-abrasive cleaning. An example is the use of microfiber cloths or sponges such as Norwex or Mr. Clean.
  • Do not cut or chop directly on the surface.
  • Do not put hot pots directly on the surface. Avoid corrosive chemicals, highly acidic or alkaline solutions and dye or staining foods.

The cost is comparable to granite and quartz.

Laminate Countertops
advantages and disadvantages-Bevelled-Edge-Regina-counter-top

Laminate is an inexpensive, low maintenance alternative to pricier options.
New laminate patterns are extremely realistic representations of granite.
Laminate countertops are available in multiple construction styles.

Advantages:

  • It is a solid durable material
  • There are a wide range of colours textures and patterns
  • It cleans easily with soap and water
  • Resists most stains
  • Inexpensive

Disadvantages:

  • Seams may be visible
  • Seams susceptible to prolonged water exposure
  • It can chip or scratch. Some finishes are more resistant than others.
  • It cannot be used as a chopping surface, but really no other counter should be either.
  • It is not resistant to heat. The glue that binds the laminate to the substrate can release.

Granite

GialloOrnamentalKitchen - advantages and disadvantages

It is an elegant and durable surface. A sheet of natural stone cut from the earth and polished.

Advantages:

  • Natural beauty that mostly cannot be reproduced in other products.
  • It is water and heat resistant
  • Easy cleanup
  • Every slab is unique

Disadvantages

  • Requires sealing
  • Stains, acids, alcohol and oils can permanently mark the surface.
  • It can chip or flake
  • It dulls knives and glassware breaks easily
  • Expensive
  • Seams can be quite visible depending on the pattern in the stone

Quartz

 

This is an engineered stone. Blocks of stone are ground up and the hardest crystals are reformed into a slab with 7% resin. Slabs are the same thickness and weight as granite. Slabs are completely sealed. Slabs lack the natural flaws of granite that weaken the slab.

Advantages:

  • Mold and mildew resistant. Extremely hygienic.
  • Slabs have some resistance to heat and scratching.
  • Stains will not penetrate. Surface colouration can be scrubbed off.
  • Different looks are created imitating marble, granite and other stones.
  • Seams cut cleaner than most stone products
  • Easy clean up

QuartzDisadvantages

  • Expensive
  • It dulls knives and glassware breaks easily

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