This material is often referred to in the industry as quartz, but the name engineered stone gives you a better idea of what it is.
Unlike natural stone countertops that are cut from pure granite or marble, engineered stone counters are made from quartz crystals held together with a resin binder. They have a similar appearance to natural stone, but they possess benefits not available with natural materials. Let’s take a look at the advantages of engineered stone countertops.
The quartz material is compressed into slabs that have similar color and texture to natural granite and slate. One difference you’ll notice is that the color is more uniform than the variations in hue you’ll find in most slabs of natural stone. While those who appreciate the character of natural stone may view this as a disadvantage, the benefit is that the engineered stone used throughout your kitchen will match perfectly. Colors available for engineered stone kitchen counters include earth tones across the entire spectrum, pure whites, greys and more. Most of the color comes from the natural color in the quartz, though colorants can be added to achieve the desired tone.
The finished material is very hard – nearly as hard as granite. It has the advantage in that it won’t crack as easily as granite or slate does. It is very resistant to heat, so a hot pan won’t leave a scorch mark. The surfaces are resistant to scratches and cuts, though it’s still recommended you use a cutting board on top of them.
One of the downsides to natural stone countertops is that they can be porous. This leaves room for debris to get into fissures and pores where it can be tough to clean. The surface of quartz countertops won’t collect dirt and debris, making clean up easier and more effective. If you work with raw vegetables, fish or meat in your kitchen, then engineered stone will prove an asset to food safety.
If you are looking for a clean contemporary look Engineered Stone is for you. It has a wide range of designs that mimic limestone and marble but you will not have to worry about staining or etching or resealing.